The principles that accompany the minimalist lifestyle lend themselves well to family life. Less attachment to dozens of disposable toys and tangible items means less cleaning, buying, shopping, moving, and more time spent with the kids. Forbes has even stated the potential wellness benefits of minimalism. But how do you keep up with the organisation and neat design of your home and lifestyle with young children running around?
Teaching minimalism to kids early in life can be difficult, but the rewards are priceless. Use these tips to help introduce minimalist living with kids ideas to your family home.
Start Small and Make it Fun
Just because you have minimalism down to a science doesn’t mean the transition won’t be difficult for your kids. The trick is to start small and celebrate each step towards de-cluttering and organising your family life.
A great way to bring these values to your kids is to make minimalism fun in a way that works for not just you, but for them. Here are a few ideas that can help you to make minimalism fun for your kids:
- Suggest a weekly show-and-tell show. Your child will select items to donate or throw away, but first, they tell the story of their journey with the item. Self-reflection can solidify your child’s view of material items as unimportant compared to intangible values like love, family, and commitment.
- Let your child be a designer of their own space. When children are passionate about curating their decor and toys, they are more likely to want to keep things clean and spend time organising.
Focus on Quality to Minimise Quantity
When you buy things for your child, investing in Montessori and environmentally friendly toys can be a great way to minimise waste. These items are more likely to be durable and last a long time. You won’t have to replace them like you would a cheap plastic toy.
Invest in high-quality toys that suit your child’s hobbies a few times a year rather than constantly filling your child’s space with new toys they won’t even use. This instils the idea that having a few things they care about is better than having many things that mean less.
Make Space for Discomfort
Remember that this lifestyle may not come naturally to your family life. Staying organised and freeing your life of clutter can be tough when you’re trying to manage a busy home.
The key to making minimalism work is being open and constructive about difficulties and challenges. Family meetings can be a great way to check in with everyone and incentivise sharing your feelings.
Keeping a minimalist home may mean less stuff, but it also means less clutter in your functional space, less to clean, and less stress. This means that there is no definition of a perfect minimalist home. So if you have kids and feel that your organisation has started to slip, don’t get caught up striving for perfection.
Embrace the journey and stay focused on the big-picture goals, not the setbacks or resistance. Explore the small ways you can improve every day. The best way to reaffirm these values is to make space to talk about your insecurities and discomforts with the lifestyle.
Fill the Hole Your Material Items Left
So you sold your excess stuff and streamlined your home storage to make room for living… now what? Remember why you got rid of your stuff? Maybe it was so that you could have more freedom to travel as a family. Maybe it was to avoid wasting hours cleaning every weekend when you could be playing with the kids.
Whatever the reason you chose to de-clutter, make sure to fill your life with valuable activities. Some great activities for minimalist families to do on weekends without needing to buy items or waste time on cleanup include:
- Going to the library
- Public beach or pool
Engage With The Community
Many parents say that speaking with other families in the same situation can help each other gather tips and tricks for keeping an organised household. We don’t all come up with the same ideas or read the same articles, so engaging with other minimalists on social media platforms or social events can be a great way to share the latest news.
It can also be fulfilling to connect with others in the community about the difficulties and the rewards of adopting minimalism in your household.
The Bottom Line
Minimalism living with kids isn’t easy by any means, but don’t worry. With these tips and a flexible attitude, you can experience the minimalist lifestyle with children.
Check out www.MadeMinimal.com.au for the best Montessori toys to help ease the transition to minimalism!