Yes, it’s possible to be a minimalist when you have children! These three key tips for practicing minimalism with kids will help you live a simpler life, conquer the toy clutter, and keep your home organized.
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I am a minimalist. And I have three kids. Most people think that minimalism with kids is a contradiction, but I’m here to say it can be done!
If you are just beginning your journey to minimalism, here’s my top tips to get started when you have children.
1. Simplify The Kids’ Closets
How many pieces of clothing are in your children’s closets and drawers? And of those, how many do they really wear?
Stick With Staple Pieces
Staples in a variety of neutrals go a long way and can be combined with other pieces. In our house, we tend to stick to jeans and solid color pants/leggings. These are versatile and can be matched with most tops in their wardrobe.
Make It Mix and Match
When you buy new pieces for your kid’s wardrobe, try to pick pieces that can easily be matched with other pieces. For example, leggings in a few common solid colors can be mixed with print dresses or coordinating tees. The orange striped leggings? Not so much!
Watch What Gets Worn
Pay attention to the types of clothes that your kids tend to wear from day to day. Do they stick to certain colors, types of clothes, or materials? We can simplify their closets when we choose pieces that we know they’ll love.
2. Minimize Toy Clutter
It often seems that having kids inevitably leads to toy clutter. Here’s how I manage to keep the toy clutter at bay with three kids:
Limit new toys to special occasions
Walking through the toy aisle at Target, it never fails that I’m bombarded with cries of “I want this!” or “Ooh, look how cute this is!” or “Can I get the (insert latest fad toy here) pretty please?!?”
One of the best ways to limit toy clutter is to keep it from entering your home in the first place. Make sure your children know that new toys only happen on special occasions like birthdays and holidays.
Declutter toys with a one-in, one-out policy
When new toys come in, it’s time to go through what you have and find a new home for some. For example, when it gets close to Christmas, I’ll start thinking about what toys aren’t being played with.
If your kids are mature enough, you may be able to let them participate in the process. If they realize their toys will go to another child that would like them, it often softens the thought of losing the toy.
Focus on their favorites
Instead of buying toys for every new movie character, consider stick with the tried and true ones they love. For example, my kids love Paw Patrol. At Christmas, they got additional pieces for their Paw Patrol figures. I know it’s something they already spend a lot of time playing with, so I’m just expanding the opportunities.
I find that buying one or two random things, such as when the asked for Chubby Puppies, the novelty quickly wears off and the toys don’t get played with. Whereas with the Paw Patrol, now they have even more ways to play, so it is their go-to choice.
3. Teach Minimalism Values
Experiences over things
You know what kids remember?
- That time you let them have ice cream before dinner.
- The time you build a giant fort out of couch cushions and blankets.
- That time you went hiking and climbed a mountain (well, in their eyes).
Notice how none of these memories have anything to do with actual things?
Giving to others
When it comes time to declutter the toys or clothes, use it as a learning moment. I find it goes much easier if the child realizes that the toy is going to go to a new home. Focusing on the fact that another child is going to have as much fun with their toy makes the departure easier!
Minimalism With Kids
Living a minimalist lifestyle with kids is possible. By minimizing toy clutter, simplifying the closet, and teaching our children minimalism values, we can have a simpler life and organized home!
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