Is this even possible to embrace minimalism with kids?
If you are here thinking that it is impossible to be minimalist and have kids then you are sadly mistaken.
Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean your life has to be filled with clutter and chaos. In fact, having kids can be the best motivator for living a more minimalist lifestyle.
And I am a real example in that sense.
Yes, I am a mom and I am a minimalist.
The only thing that changed when I became a mom was that my WHY for living more simply became even more clear.
I want to set a good example for my kid and I want to show that we don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. I want to instill in my child values like compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and contentment.
And minimalism is the best way to do that.
Besides what was said above, I believe that having a lot of toys only creates more mess and chaos in our lives. It’s been proven that too much choice can actually lead to stress.
So, I am for fewer toys and more quality time spent with our kids.
If you haven’t embraced minimalism yourself yet, it might be hard to start with kids.
But it is possible, and I am here to show you how.
Is it possible to embrace minimalism with kids?
Well, yes. A very strong and powerful YES!
Minimalism with kids is not only possible but also recommended! This is due to the many benefits that it can provide for both parents and children.
Minimalism can help to declutter your home and simplify your life, which can be extremely beneficial for parents who often feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have to deal with on a daily basis. It can also teach children the value of living with less and help them to appreciate the things they have.
The important thing is to start slowly and implement only those changes that you feel comfortable with.
You don’t have to go from a traditional home to a minimalist one overnight – that would be too drastic and is likely to cause more stress than it would relieve for your family. Just make a few small changes at first and see how you and your family adjust.
If you need some help to get started, check out this article about “decluttering when overwhelmed“. You will find some great tips and a step-by-step guide on how to declutter your home in a way that is manageable and stress-free.
Benefits of minimalism with kids
There are many benefits of minimalism with kids, both for parents and children.
For parents, some of the benefits of minimalism include:
–It can help to simplify your life. You won’t have to spend as much time cleaning and organizing your things, and you’ll have more time to enjoy your family. All those unnecessary items such as toys, and clothes can be donated to charity or sold, and you can use the money on experiences instead.
–It can help you save money. When you live with less stuff, you have less to buy and maintain. You may find that you no longer feel the need to keep up with the latest trends, and you’ll be less likely to impulse buy.
–It can help you to focus on what is important in your life. When you live with less, you are forced to prioritize what is truly important to you. This can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
–Less cleaning. This one is pretty self-explanatory! When you have less stuff, there is less to clean. You know how overwhelming it is to clean and organize when a lot of toys are all over the house. If you have less, it will take you less time to tidy up.
–It can reduce the amount of stress you feel on a daily basis. When you have fewer things to worry about, you can relax and enjoy your life more.
–Knowing where everything is can save you time and energy. When your home is uncluttered, it’s easy to find what you need. This can save you time and frustration on a daily basis.
Another benefit for parents is that minimalism can set a good example for their children.
For children, some of the benefits of minimalism include:
P.S.: It is important to mention that these benefits can have an effect not necessarily in short term but in long term. You can’t expect a child not to want a colorful toy that they see in a shop. It is important to be patient, and remember that the benefits of minimalism are not going to present themselves immediately. It may take some time for your children to truly appreciate the benefits of living with less. But if you stick with it, eventually they will come to see the many advantages of minimalism.
–It can help them to appreciate the things they have. There is a saying that “the more you have, the more you want“. When children live with fewer things, they can learn to appreciate the things they have and be grateful for what they have.
–It can teach them about responsible consumption. When children see their parents living with less, they can learn about responsible consumption and the importance of not wasting resources.
–It can teach them the value of living with less. When children see their parents living with less, they can learn that it is possible to live a happy and fulfilling life with fewer material possessions.
–It can help them to focus on what is important in their life. Children who live in a more minimalist environment can learn to focus on the things that are truly important to them. And what is important in life is time spent with loved ones, the present moment, and experiences, not material possessions.
–It can help them to develop a more positive outlook on life. When children live with less, they can learn to focus on the positive things in their life and be more grateful for what they have. For instance, they may be more thankful for the simple things in life, such as a hug from a parent.
If you are considering embracing minimalism with kids, then these are just some of the benefits that you can expect.
Tips on starting minimalism with kids
Kids are often hoarders of stuff. They tend to keep every toy, every piece of clothing, and every knick-knack that they come across. They also want to get as many new toys as possible! This can make it difficult to start minimalism with kids.
But, as mentioned above, it is not impossible.
General tips on minimalism with kids
Here are some tips on starting minimalism with kids:
- Try to explain to them what are you going to do.
I know, it sounds like a lot. And it is complicated, but try to tell them something like this:
Mama/daddy wants to get rid of some of your toys and clothes. This is because you have a lot of them that you don’t use. In the beginning, just a few of them that you really don’t like. You can choose them yourself. After a while, we will do this again. Also, from now we will start to buy fewer toys. But don’t worry, we will go to aquaparks, the zoo, and whatever you like instead.
This way, they will hopefully understand that it is not about them losing something. It is about different ways to have fun. And they might be happy to do decluttering with you because they will feel involved in the process, which is super interesting for children.
This leads me to point number 2.
2. Keep your kids involved.
Let them help you with decluttering. They will be more likely to let go of some of their belongings if they are the ones who are choosing which ones to get rid of.
You can do this by, for example, making a pile of all their toys and clothes and then letting them choose which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of. They might be unsure which ones to let go of, but try to help them and guide them.
And don’t forget to praise them for their efforts!
3. Be prepared for some resistance.
Let’s be honest, your kids are probably not going to be too thrilled about the idea of getting rid of their stuff. And that’s okay. Just be prepared for some resistance and try to be understanding.
You have to make this a game, and not a battle. So try to be patient, playful, and calm. Eventually, you will get there.
4. Use the opportunity to teach them about empathy and giving.
One of the best things about minimalism is that it can teach us about empathy and giving. And what better way to teach your kids about these things than by example?
Once you have decluttered their stuff, take some of the things that you no longer need and donate them to a charity. Take your kids with you when doing this and explain to them that there are people in need who will be very happy to receive these things.
Your children will probably feel so good that they have contributed to this world in a good way!
5. Be a good role model.
This is probably the most important tip of all. If you want your kids to be minimalists, you have to be a good role model.
So if you are decluttering your home, let them see you doing it. And if you are buying something new, let them see you thinking about it first.
Explain your decision-making process to them. For example, you can say something like this:
I am thinking about buying this shirt. I like it because it is nice and cheap. But I don’t need it. I already have a lot of shirts. So, I am not going to buy it.
This way, they will start to think about their own possessions and whether they really need them or not.
6. Be patient.
Minimalism is not something that you can achieve overnight. It is a journey that takes time, and it is different for everyone.
The same goes for kids. They are not going to become minimalists overnight. It is a process that takes time. So be patient and don’t expect miracles.
Start small and take baby steps. And most importantly, have fun with it!
7. Celebrate your achievements together.
It is also important to remember to celebrate your achievements together. This is a journey that you are taking as a family, so it is important to celebrate your successes together.
For example, you can have a trip to a dinosaur land or aquapark once a week or month from the money that you made from selling some stuff. Do something that doesn’t involve toys, but great and memorable experiences.
Small celebrations such as this will help to keep everyone motivated and on track.
8. Be flexible.
Last but not least, be flexible. This is not a race and there are no rules that you have to follow.
Don’t make big expectations to have a certain amount of toys and clothes for your kids, nor for yourself. And again, don’t think that your kids will fully embrace minimalism overnight.
For instance, your kids might want to keep a toy that you think is unnecessary. And that is okay! Let them keep it. The important thing is that they are making progress.
The same goes for you. If you find it hard to let go of certain things, that is okay! Take your time and don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
It is a journey and it takes time. So be patient and enjoy the ride!
Minimalism and toys
1. Set the rule one in and one out.
This is a rule that a lot of minimalists live by, and it is a great way to teach kids about minimalism.
And for kids, it works great because the house won’t get full of toys. You are going to have the same amount of toys all the time! Also, they certainly have some toys that they barely touch, so it is a good way to get rid of them.
The rule is simple: for every new toy that comes into the house, one toy has to go out.
2. Encourage them to find other ways to have fun and become creative.
One of the best things about minimalism is that it can teach us to find other ways to have fun. And what better way to teach your kids about this than by example?
There are a lot of things that you can do instead of buying new things. For example, you can go for a walk in the park, to a playground, play a board game, or read a book together.
You can also encourage them to be creative and use their imagination. Having less stuff leads to a more creative mind! They will start to come up with their own games and ways to have fun.
3. Let them make their own decisions.
One of the most important things that you can do is to let your kids make their own decisions. This is their journey, not yours.
You can guide them and give them advice, but ultimately, it is up to them to decide what they want to do.
Place a box for things that have to go. Let your kids know that the box is there and it is for toys that they don’t need/like. Encourage them to put the unused toys in the box. And make a routine out of it.
Minimalism and children’s clothes
As a minimalist, you might want to get rid of your kids’ clothes if they have too many or if they have outgrown them.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with kids’ clothes:
1. Get rid of clothes that they have outgrown.
If your kids have clothes that they have outgrown, it is time to get rid of them. It’s easy and there is not much to think about. Just let them go.
2. Get rid of clothes that they don’t wear.
If your kids have clothes that they never wear, it is time to get rid of them. Just because they are cute or you bought them on sale, doesn’t mean that they have to keep them.
3. Be ruthless with clothes that are stained or have holes.
The same goes for clothes that are stained or have holes. If they are not wearable, it is time to get rid of them.
4. Keep a small number of clothes.
When it comes to kids’ clothes, it is best to keep a small number of clothes. You don’t need more than about 1 week’s worth of clothes. This way, you can wash them regularly and they will always have something to wear.
5. Avoid buying clothes just for in case occasions.
There is no need to have a separate wardrobe for special occasions. Just buy clothes that can be worn for everyday occasions. In case you will need to buy something special, you can always do that when the occasion arises (Learn How to Get Rid of Clothes here).
6. Shop less frequently.
If you want to save money and declutter your home, it is best to shop less frequently. Go to the shop when you need it and make a list of clothes that you need beforehand. This way, you are less likely to buy something impulsively.
7. Consider buying second-hand clothes for your kids.
Children grow so fast. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on new clothes when they are only going to wear them for a short while.
Rather, consider buying second-hand clothes for your kids. They are also much cheaper.
7. Choose quality over quantity.
Quality always wins. It is better to have a few clothes that are of good quality than a lot of clothes that are of poor quality. Choosing quality over quantity is not only good for your wallet in the long run, but also for the environment.
So, when you are next shopping for your kids, keep these tips in mind.
And remember, the goal is not to have a perfect wardrobe for your kids. The goal is to declutter your home and simplify your life. So, don’t sweat the small stuff!
Related: Life After Decluttering: Now What?
Minimalism with kids is all about simplifying your life and decluttering your home. It’s going to make parenthood so much easier and it will be good for your kids in the long run.
There are many benefits to implementing minimalism with kids, such as more time to play, less stress, more focus on what’s important, and teaching them to be responsible with their belongings and be grateful for each of them.
Remember that minimalism is not about perfection. And it is not about getting rid of everything that you own.
It’s about simplifying your life in a way that works for you.
So, start small and see how it goes!
Have a simple life! Cheers!