If you’re anything like me, all this time has you wondering: where did all this stuff come from!? If you haven’t already, you’re finding little ways to purge between homeschooling, cooking, and a little “you” time.
I get it, finding a place for everything and keeping it organized is so hard to do. I find myself wondering how I could keep the house as clutter-free as possible. You may be thinking, it’s impossible to keep the house clutter-free with kids, but we’re here to offer a little reassurance that it’s definitely possible.
Minimalism With Kids
“There are toys everywhere!”
Boy, if I had a dollar for every time I said this, I would be a millionaire. Once you have kids, it seems like the clutter-free life is gone, but after researching and taking action to make it happen during this quarantine, I can tell you it’s not. Of course we know the house can be clean,, but if we’re being truthful, it’s only when we have guests coming to the house.
If working towards a minimalist lifestyle has not been on your radar, it is definitely something to think about. Personally, if my house is not clean, I find myself getting distracted when trying to get things done. When I identified this problem, I made a pros and cons list of how becoming a minimalist family would not only benefit me, but my children as well.
Why Be More Of A Minimalist
For me, having the stay at home order was the breaking point. I’ve thought about it for so long, but this was life’s way of saying, finally take action. Ever since doing it I can say there have been multiple benefits that I didn't even take into consideration during my pros and cons list.
Let me say, I have never been less stressed. When I wake up every morning, I no longer have to spend a half-hour trying to make the house look somewhat put together. I no longer feel overwhelmed by everything in my house.
When things return to “normal”, I know that I will no longer have to rush to get the house presentable when people come over. This was always super hard for me to do. I would find myself stuffing things into closets to get them out of view and of course, I would forget they were there until I did my annual clean up.
My mind has never been so clear. I would spend so much time stressing about where something was because most of the time, other things were stacked on top of it so I could not find it. With less junk taking up space in my house, I no longer have to waste all this time trying to find certain things.
The whole process helped me really appreciate what I have. We’re all a victim of going into T.J Maxx and buying something that we don’t need, but at the moment, we really want. As time passes, I’ve accumulated so many unnecessary knick-knacks that at the end of the day, I really don’t need.
Of course I have bought things that yeah I don’t need, but they truly make me happy. Did I need the cute little dog cookie jar? NO. But I love how some mornings it truly brings me joy to see it sitting on my kitchen counter, and my family doesn’t always check the jar so… more cookies for me I guess!
Last but not least, living a minimalist lifestyle gives the kids fewer responsibilities they have to take care of. Yes, teaching your kids to clean things up is important, but we all know they are stuffing things under their bed just to get that extra screen time cleaning earns them. Let me tell you, when I had to move my family, there was so much junk that my kid never used that I ended up just donating. Now that my life has allowed me to create a minimalist kids room, I know the next time I have to move, or even just deep clean the house, I won’t have to deal with that whole process again, thank goodness.
FIVE STEPS TO GO MINIMAL
1. Decide why you want to become a minimalist and how you’re going to explain it to your significant other and/or your kiddos.
Your significant other or roommates, whichever it may be, will most likely be very understanding. The kids on the other hand, it may be more of a challenge. By deciding what you are going to say you can be ready to answer any questions. Be sure to explain the benefits and why it will make for a better living situation.
2. Have your family members put five of their favorite things in a “keep” basket.
Depending on what you’re trying to minimize, you could also incorporate this into different categories, such as a keep basket for toys, shoes, clothes, or whatever you can come up with. By doing this, you can make sure that as time goes on you don’t accidentally throw out something that even though your family member may not use it every day, it is important to them.
3. Decide on how many things a day you want to get rid of.
For adults, we all can spend a few hours a day and decide what to keep and what to get rid of, but kids on the other hand, a whole different story. We suggest for the little ones to start with the one item each day rule. This could be related back to the previous step as well. You could say, “every day we need to each get rid of one item of clothing, toys, or a book.” By doing this, your little one will be able to spend some time deciding what they want to get rid of and get the last bit of time to use it before doing so.
4. Make sure not to buy anything new.
Sure there are a lot of sales going on right now, but don’t do it. We promise there will be another sale. This will make the whole decluttering process a lot harder. Being that you just bought the item, you may think that you truly need it, but you haven’t had enough time to know that. Focus on only buying the essentials, such as groceries. Not only will this help you keep from building more clutter, but you will save some money along the way.
5. (In our opinion the hardest) Do all these steps so you set an example.
You don’t want to be implementing this lifestyle and not doing it as well. Your little ones could think that they did something wrong or they could not take it seriously because you’re not as well.
Maintaining The Minimalist Mindset
The key to keeping it clean is to have rules for decluttering. For this lifestyle to stick, you’re going to need to have multiple checklists. First, have a checklist that you keep to help you keep things clean. This list could be chores that your little one has to do each day or things that you need to do to help keep everything in line.
Second, create a checklist for when you want to buy something. While it may seem like the item is needed at the moment, try to create a list that will help you determine if it really adds to your life, or it’s a temporary want. By utilizing lists, you’re able to show your little ones that you want to keep living this lifestyle. The way that you keep up with maintaining being minimalist will vary from family to family.
Maintaining the minimalist mindset is going to be hard at first. But once you get the hang of it, a minimalist lifestyle will maintain itself. The most important thing is to remember why you are doing it and remind yourself every day. It’s going to be difficult to get rid of your personal possessions, but in the end, you’ll be happy you did it. If you decide to undergo the transformation for becoming a minimalist, let us know in the comments down below.