Becoming a minimalist can dramatically change your family’s life. To put it lightly. It will simplify your life, streamline your home, and give you more time in your day. Here are a few tips on how to be a minimalist mom, starting today. Because it’s definitely possible to be a minimalist with kids!
1 | Be an Example
The key to getting your family on board with minimalism begins with you. You must rock the minimalist lifestyle first. Don’t worry, it doesn’t require an overnight overhaul!
To be a minimalist mom, simply take the lead in minimizing your own personal belongings first. Of course, as moms we do have the most control over much of the household inventory. Which means that we have the freedom to not only minimize our own belongings but also many of the household items. The kitchen, pantry, laundry area, storage closets are all areas where we can take the lead to live with less.
Once you get a grasp on minimizing your things, it will be much easier for the whole family to follow. Still, it doesn’t happen overnight.
Being able to minimize just a few household areas will change our daily lives as moms. Even if there are still parts of the house that haven’t yet been decluttered.
2 | Start ‘Em Young
The younger you start, the better! It’s fairly easy to be a minimalist mom with a newborn. If you have toddlers, they can easily adapt, and they wouldn’t even know a different way of life.
The habits of young children are still being formed and are more adaptable at a younger age. They will believe that it is completely normal to only have a few toys rather than a room full.
With babies and toddlers, you call the shots. With elementary age kids, it’s best to involve them so they don’t feel like you got rid of their toys behind their back.
However, just because it is easier to start young doesn’t mean there’s no hope if you have teenagers. It’s possible to still make the switch at any age. Although, you may meet some resistance. But teenagers do need to learn how to be responsible for their own belongings.
With older kids, leading by example is more effective. As is ensuring they are bearing age-appropriate responsibility with household chores.
3 | Explain Your Why
Kids will understand and make the change a lot easier and faster if you explain the reasons why you want to live with less stuff.
Kids over the age of 5 want to know the reasons behind this lifestyle change, or it won’t matter as much to them. Plus, they’re at the age where they like to ask why.
Of course, too much explanation for kids under 5 won’t be very helpful for them.
Nevertheless, kids deserve to know the reason behind why you’ve chosen minimalism. There are many opportunities to teach them throughout the entire decluttering process. Soon they will experience the benefits of this change.
4 | Give Experience Gifts
One of the easiest ways to be a minimalist mom is to give experience gifts to your children instead of physical gifts.
Experience gifts are where you do a fun activity instead of receiving an actual toy for birthdays and other celebrations.
The beauty of this is that you get to choose how to carry this out. Experience gifts not only clear up space in your home, but they put the focus on spending time with people versus accumulating more stuff. It is also a way to get your kids excited about becoming minimalist.
Here are a few examples of some experience gifts:
- Family trip or vacation
- Ice skating or rollerblading
- Rock climbing
- Visit a water park together
- Go to an arcade
- Family movie night
- Have an ice cream date
- Visit an amusement park
- Attend a live sports game
- Visit a museum
- Visit an indoor playground or trampoline park
- Go to a nature center
There are so many fun and simple experience gifts that will do a lot more than a toy for children. These are the memories they keep even when they are adults. Experience gifts do not have to be expensive. It’s possible to do what is within your budget. Your children won’t know the difference between an expensive trip and a budget-friendly one; they will just enjoy the fun times together.
READ ALSO: 101 Ways to Simplify Your Life as a Mom
5 | Accentuate the Positive
There are pros and cons to every way of life. If you are struggling with the change to be a minimalist mom but know you want to live that way, your kids will grow up hearing the struggles and negatives about minimalism.
Instead, focus your attention on the positives. You can find so many amazing benefits to this lifestyle:
- more time together as a family
- less toys means less time spent cleaning up
- being able to easily find their favorite things
Once you focus on the good that comes from it, so will your children.
6 | Include Your Kids in the Process
Once kids reach a certain age, they can understand your undertaking to be a minimalist mom and want to help. What better way to teach them than to include them in the switch? They can declutter and donate stuff they don’t use anymore. It’s possible to even make it a game!
When kids are included in the minimalist lifestyle, they learn crucial values that will stick with them forever. With minimalistic living, there are countless values to learn, and it would be a shame to lose that if you try to do it without them.
7 | Sprinkle in Some Fun
If your children only see it as getting rid of all their things, they won’t enjoy this new change. They will dread it and try to fight it. However, if you can make it fun, it will help them to stay positive throughout the journey!
Experience gifts are one way to make it more fun. You can also do competitions to see who can declutter and donate the most things or celebrate when you achieve a certain milestone. Make it like a game for your children, and they will begin to enjoy it more.
8 | Declutter on a Schedule
Even if you try your hardest, you will still end up with things you don’t need throughout the year. Try to declutter every one to three months if you can. This helps keep things balanced and makes living a minimalist lifestyle easier with kids.
Just like your body needs to detox every few months, so does your life and home. Decluttering is a quick process to help you “detox” and start again fresh.
9 | Minimize the Dishes
Another simple way to be a minimalist mom is to declutter your kitchen. But if you’re hesitant to tackle the entire kitchen, then start with the dishes.
Regardless of what season of motherhood you’re in, dishes can be a time suck for anyone.
Whether you prefer to air dry or use the dishwasher, minimizing the dishes will reduce the amount of time it takes to do the dishes since there will be less of them in total.
I personally prefer to run the dishwasher once a day. Have you seen this funny commercial with couples saying they do it every night? They’re talking about the dishwasher, of course.
We used to own the standard 12 count of everything that we got after we got married. You know, 12 mugs, 12 dinner plates, 12 salad plates, and 12 bowls.
What happened was, since we had 12 mugs, we kept reaching for a new mug as soon as one was used. We quickly ended up with 12 dirty mugs in our kitchen sink! Not necessary or helpful.
I used to dread unloading the dishwasher because the dishwasher was so stuffed to the gills with dishes that it would take a while to unload it.
However, once I greatly reduced the number of total dishes that we owned, it was much easier and faster to unload the dishwasher. Now we own less than 8 dinner plates. If company comes over, we can access our melamine plates for occasional entertaining. I dedicated a space up high in a kitchen cupboard for them after organizing our kitchen.
10 | Minimize the Kids’ Clothes
My last tip on how to be a minimalist mom is to reduce the amount of clothes that your kids have.
Try a capsule wardrobe! They’re fantastic for kids. It allows them to easily mix and match items, which will help them look more put together. Also, capsule wardrobes makes it easier to organize a small kids’ closet.
Of course, don’t stop there! Minimize the clothing options for each person in your household (as much as you are able to do so) and it will greatly reduce your laundry load.
Go Be a Minimalist Mom
Start now and help your children live minimalistic lives! This principle will stay with them and help them for the rest of their lives. Use these ten tips to help make the transition a little bit easier.