Is there a right way to be a practice minimalism with kids? What are the benefits of being a minimalist family? You’ve probably seen the extreme tv shows and blogs, and you may have even thought to yourself, there is no way we could be a minimalist family. I here you, as I was there too. I then learned minimalism doesn’t have rules. Minimalism does have benefits, and most families who practice minimalism with kids see the benefits of being a minimalist family.
Minimalism doesn’t have rules
I consider ourselves to be a minimalist family. However, there are no rules to what a minimalist family looks like. Some die-hard minimalists may look at our home and think I’m crazy to even claim a stake in minimalism. Our kids have more than ten toys, and our home has more than 100 items in it. We also have a fairly large house for the purpose of entertaining and hosting guests. I still like to state we practice minimalism. Why?
The Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity”. Compared to some minimalist families, we are not in the category of “extreme spareness and simplicity”.
Yet, compared to our society obsessed with consumerism, excess things, and large homes, I would call us “extreme”. You can find moderation in minimalism, and you can live a life with less. You do not have to follow a style of minimalism with rigorous rules and counting of items. You also don’t have to invest in gallons of white paint!!
Determine your priorities as a minimalist family
Part of becoming a minimalist family is to discuss and determine your priorities. Where do you want your money to go? What do you want your memories to look like? Do you want a big house and a big career at the expense of other things? Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses? What trade-offs are you willing to make in order to experience changes?
Communicate with your family
If you are considering the benefits of minimalism and are ready to achieve a clutter-free home and a clutter-free life, don’t just start throwing out stuff you now see as excess. (I tried this. It didn’t go so well.) First, set an example with your own things. Then, talk to your family about how you are feeling overwhelmed and how you would like to try something new. Point out the positives, and start talking to your kids about minimalism before you really even do anything.
The benefits of being a minimalist family:
You stress less
When you work to become a minimalist family, you learn to live with less in your home and less in your life. By doing so, you have fewer things in your home to clean-up, and you have less clutter in your schedule that takes away from the more important things in your life. Living with less gives you back the most important thing in the world, time! Living with less stuff can also make you happier.
I started to practice minimalism because I was about to have a nervous breakdown. We were always working for more, so that drove me to want to keep moving up in my career and to make more money. I was stressing out over the smallest things, and the mess in the house made me feel overwhelmed and behind all the time.
Then, I made a New Year’s Resolution to start simplifying every aspect of my life. It didn’t matter if it were assignments at work, decluttering my bedroom or decluttering my closet. I was going to find a simpler way to do everything. In doing this, my stress and anxiety diminished insanely fast. I started to focus on the things in life that really brought me joy.
You save money
One of the fun benefits of minimalism is that when you stop spending money, you start saving a lot more money. You have more money for family vacations and more money for emergencies. It also opens up doors for more opportunities that will possibly allow you to quit your job, if you are not happy and it is something you wish to pursue.
You spend more time together as a family
One of the benefits of minimalism is more time. You can spend more time with your loved ones, and spend more time doing the things that make you happy. With minimalism, you are no longer a slave to obligations. By convincing your loved ones to embrace the principles of a minimalist family, you help prevent them from experiencing the stress and overwhelm that comes from excess.
You remove toy clutter
Minimalism means your kids have less stuff too. Again, minimalism does not have to have rules. You don’t have to get rid of all but ten of your toys. You can, but that is not necessary. They can still have a room full of toys, just toys they love! Get rid of the clutter in your kid’s room and get rid of the stuff that adds no value or joy.
There are many benefits to your kids having fewer toys. They go outside more, use their imaginations more, and they too have less stuff to clean-up. It is a win-win for everyone!
You get to start doing what you love
When you are a minimalist family, you stop doing the things you think you SHOULD be doing based on what everyone else is doing. Instead, you spend time doing the things you love. By practicing minimalism, you are not just getting rid of the things in your home. You are getting rid of the excess clutter in your schedules and in your life. You stop doing the things that don’t matter anymore and make room for the things you love to do. This makes for a happier family!
You are doing more for the environment
When you are buying fewer things, you are stopping the constant flow of junk into your home. You are no longer collecting plastic toys that are played with once, and you are no longer buying clothes that will end up in an excess donation center one day. You are only buying what you need, and you are consuming it, rather than contributing to increasing pollution. You also find other ways to stop buying things, like investing in reusable kitchen items!
You get to enjoy a clutter-free home
Another one of the benefits of minimalism is you have less stuff in your home. A clutter-free home makes you enjoy being in it and makes you proud to show it to other people. You don’t have to be an interior decorator. When you have less stuff, your interior decorating skills are automatically increased! You are also company ready anytime someone shows up with little notice!
Becoming a minimalist family is possible!
Becoming a minimalist family is not as impossible as some make it seem. There are also many benefits to being a minimalist family! Ultimately, you get more time and more joy with your family. You feel healthier, and your home feels more welcoming and a whole lot less chaotic. Try it out! You may just find being a minimalist family isn’t so difficult.
If you want to get a headstart on your minimalist family’s journey, check out the Happy Clutter-Free Home Series, which consists of 7 days of challenges you can do to see immediate changes in your home.