“I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” – Brian Gardner
One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my journey to embracing a minimalist lifestyle can be summed up in two words: my daughter.
So many times, I have found myself tidying our home or cleaning our things instead of playing with my her. I have found myself so overwhelmed by the amount of toys and mess after she plays that I just can’t stand it. Enter: a minimalist home.
However I didn’t anticipate the challenges that have come with trying to create this type of home while you have kids.
If you have ever tried to donate that toy that your kids got in their Happy Meal three years ago, then you know what I am talking about. Nine times out of ten, even though she hasn’t played with it in months, it instantly becomes her favorite when I try to get rid of it.
I mean, instantly.
But, for me, I had this dream in my head that I would include her in this journey with my husband and I and help her find the value in the things that she owns and become more intentional with what she chooses to fill her room with.
I also wanted her to be included in us keeping our home decluttered, with more open space to enjoy and not so many “things” laying around. So, while I still did get rid of some things while she was not home (shh don’t tell her!) I am really trying to teach her about the concept of minimalism and simple living.
It hasn’t been easy and it is definitely a work in progress but I am loving the steps we have taken to create a minimalist home.
If you have been thinking about changing your life and your home, to include a more simple lifestyle, I want to share with you a few things that have truly helped me begin to achieve my goals of a minimalist home with my little one!
Include your kids.
Seriously. What a great experience this has been including my daughter in this journey. We have talked so much about the things we own, what is important, living with less and why we have decided to change our lifestyle.
It may be easier to just do things without your little ones, I have thought about doing this a few times, but I am so glad we are doing it together.
Teach your kids about donating.
When we have been going through and getting rid of things in our home, I have been trying very hard to explain to my daughter about donating items. That we aren’t just throwing things away, we are giving them to other kids who may not have as much.
One thing my daughter has always had is a big heart so this has hit home for her. Now, she sometimes is the one who comes to me and says she doesn’t play with this or that toy and she wants to donate them.
Give yourself and your kids the grace to grow and learn together. Creating a minimalist home is not going to happen overnight and you aren’t going to be perfect. And that’s okay.
Be realistic in your expectations with your kids.This will lower any frustrations you may feel during the process.
If your little ones don’t want to get rid of that one book that they haven’t opened in three years, then let them keep it. You aren’t ready to part with those 25 cook books you have never used? Then don’t get rid of them. Eventually, you will be able to let go of these items and so will your kids.
Start with your possessions.
Start going through your items before you ask your children to go through theirs. Once they see you embracing the process, it will be easier for them to being evaluating their own possessions. After you have gone through your own personal things, then start going through your family’s things with your kids.
Focus on all the good things.
There are so many beautiful things that have come with this process of creating a minimalist life and home. When you notice something positive from changing your lifestyle, like their room being tidier or having to spend less time cleaning, point them out.
Focus on all of the good things and your little ones will start to notice these positive moments too.
Change your shopping habits.
Okay, I will be the first to admit that I love shopping. I also adore buying things for my daughter and seeing her face light up when it is something she has asked for and wanted. However, this is something that I realized I needed to change. For the past few months, we have completely changed our shopping habits.
Yes, I still buy her something here or there that she has asked for. But, I have noticed that when she does get something new, it means more to her. She got so used to getting something wherever we went that she started expecting it. This is still something we are working on but it is getting better and better as we are growing. (Another added benefit has been the money we have saved!)
Embracing minimalism and simple living has been one of the most amazing changes I have made in my life. Have you ever thought of becoming a minimalist with kids? I would love to hear your experiences and advice! Leave a comment below! XOXO