I want to raise minimalist kids because I want my kids to feel the freedom and overwhelm that I feel as a mom with less stuff. Family Minimalism it starts with you.
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I know when I heard the idea of minimalism I thought ya easy for single people. Theses “minimalists” don’t have kids.
If it was just me hey no problem sell and get rid of all myself and travel the world which my belongings in a back pack! No problem! Sign me up!
Oh ya, except for the fact I have 3 little kids.
Kids that love toys, who don’t value a clean space over fun and stuff everywhere. Kids who leave behind SO MUCH laundry, and dishes, and crumbs, and crafts OH THE CRAFTS!!!
Through this 15 month journey of minimalism I have gotten rid of many things. At first my kids were not on board but now I hear them say things like “mom let’s donate this” “mom we don’t need that.”
So how did we get to that point?
Spend twice as much time on your kids then you do money. That is a great place to start. The more time you spend with your kids you will find the less money you will need to spend on them. That is what they want anyways.
If you want to implement minimalism as a family then you need to understand it starts with you. Don’t use the fact that your husband and kids will never be on board as a barrier. There is so much freedom on the other side of freeing youself from excess and clutter.
Families after all are the ones who will benefit from minimalism the most. Because of the way it can change relationships and time spent. I dare to say minimalism means more to a family then a single person or couple. But let’s be real it will benefit us all.
I used the fact that I had young kids as an excuse for clutter and mess for far too long. When I realized it had to start with me thats when things started to change.
I went room by room. Then I want room by room again and again and every round I made through my house the easier it was to get rid of things and the freedom just kept coming.
This blog for an example. I love working on this blog, I love connecting with other moms. I have big goals and dreams for this blog as an opportunity for financial and location freedom so that I can provide for and travel with my family.
I have so much more time now to work on it because I don’t spend all the time cleaning and managing my stuff.
I have more time to play with my kids because I don’t spend all day cleaning and managing stuff.
I have more quality time with my husband because I don’t have to spend all day cleaning in order for a baby sitter to come over without me feeling embarrassed of my mess!
I have time to focus on what really matters in life. Our culture has it so wrong. What’s that saying “we work to buy things we can’t afford to impress people we don’t really like?”
So if you are starting off on a minimalism journey of your own and you want to experience the freedom and positive mind space that comes from minimizing then here are some practical tips you can follow.
- It starts with you. Don’t blame anyone else in your family. Be a role model in this area. I didn’t see it at first but now everyone is on board because they see how we are happier as as family. Mommy isn’t always nagging about the mess. There are more “yes awesome job girls, your room is still clean” It needs to start with you.
- Minimalism doesn’t mean getting rid of everything just to get rid of everything. Keep what brings you true joy. Talk about what is important to your family. Making a list could even be helpful, and then anything that doesn’t align with that important list can go.
- Remember to spend more time with then money on your kids. Go to the park, have more game nights, build towers and forts, get down on their level and play. This will bring them pure joy. Enjoy the simple things.
- Reassess your traditions. Easter and valentines day for us for example used to come with a basket full of “stuff” trinkets and dollar store crap. Stuff I would end up organizing a week later for the kids to forget all about it. Now I stick to consumable treats and scavenger hunts to make things fun. A nice outfit for Easter only if they need it because they have grown not just because I want them to have an new dress. Christmas is another one? I used to go so overboard. This year they each got 4 things, one of the being a bible because that is what is important to our family.
- The paper clutter. School work and crafts take up space. I am pretty ruthless with this stuff. It stays on our fridge for a couple of days then off to the recycling it goes. The kids never remember because they are constantly bringing stuff home. They don’t miss it. Anything super special gets kept in a small folder or I take a picture of it to save on their “school digital file”
- Try challenges. For us with a house of girls the stuffed animal situation was overwhelming. I gave the girls a challenge that they could have 3 on their bed and every other one had to fit in a 12″ by 12″ basket. This took a few rounds of decluttering but now this mama is so happy with the lack of stuffed animals. We do regular cleaning challenges, set a timer for 5 or 15 minutes and see how much we can pick up in that time frame. The kids love a good challenge and it helps turn our house from chaos to calm.
If you want to get started with minimalism in your family and see all the freedom and benefits it gives you then this is where I recommend you start. It can be overwhelming to start and you are not going to get through it all in one day. It took me just under a year to finally feel like my house was truly minimized.