If you’ve ever visited a personal development or lifestyle design site, you may have stumbled upon a niche called minimalism. What is minimalism? That depends on who you ask. Essentially, it is choosing to live with less in order to live life more fully.
Many find the minimalist lifestyle attractive for a variety of reasons. Some of these include how it reflects your values. By choosing to live with less and buy less, a person can lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Others prefer the freedom that having less gives you.
There are many interpretations of the minimalist lifestyle, including one where people have chosen to participate in the 100 Things Challenge, where they live with 100 items or less. This may sound extreme, but keep in mind that people all over the world have been doing it for thousands of years.
Yet most of the modern minimalists writing about what they’re doing aren’t parents, let alone moms. There are many more barriers to a parent who chooses to live with less because parenthood invariably means he accumulates more.
Everything from baby stuff to homework, from artwork to crafts, from toys to clothes, adds up! Before long, motherhood can start to feel like it’s more about juggling all things than raising kids!
In an age when advertising tells us that more is better every day, taking the time to consider whether your possessions bring you joy is a poignant way to look at your life. If living a simpler life sounds intriguing to you, then getting into minimalist motherhood may be for you. Here are some steps to guide you through the process.
talk to your family
Keep the lines of communication open. Slashing back can create tension and stress if not everyone is on board. If you run into backlash to the idea, start with your own stuff and family items.
Explaining the reasons why you want to downsize can help. It also helps to offer an incentive for everyone else to cooperate. I mean, if we get rid of TV and cable, we can afford a vacation in Mexico in six months.
Get off the consumer bandwagon
Forget about the Joneses. Stop buying unnecessary items and take stock of what you have now. Remind yourself what you really need in life to be happy, and it’s not things!
Decide what minimalism means to you.
Are you going to take the 100 Thing Challenge? Will it be your family? What is your policy on shared items?
If counting elements is too radical for you, what is your guiding purpose behind going minimalist? How do you choose to include your family in this journey? As a mother, you probably have control over most “family items” and can choose how to downsize rooms like the kitchen. However, informing everyone that they can only keep X number of items will probably not go well.
Tidying up is a big part of becoming a minimalist, and as a mom, it’s even more appealing. Imagine your home for a moment, wonderfully free of excess junk and knick-knacks. Nothing on the ground. The items you have are of high quality and make you smile when you see them. Sounds great right?
Tidying up can be an intensive process, so take it step by step, room by room, and even surface by surface, if it’s that bad. Take a trip to Goodwill one week, start selling stuff on Ebay, and post an ad on Craigslist to get rid of the free stuff you want gone!
simplify your life
How many commitments do you have on your plate right now? How about your children? Do you have schedules of activities, play dates and sports? It’s time to step back and choose what is most important.
If you have commitments you don’t enjoy, get rid of them. Life will go on, and someone else can handle it. Even if your commitment is something like your job, you’ll find that by embracing minimalism, you’ll naturally cut back on spending. You don’t need as much money to make ends meet, and you can work fewer hours to spend more time with your family.
focus on what you love
By removing clutter, stress, and commitments, you free up an enormous amount of time and space. This is when you start to focus on doing more of what you love. This is the best part of minimalism! You have more time for your children, your passions and living your best life.
Remember, becoming a minimalist mom doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process and a journey, one that you can enjoy with your family along the way. Minimalism with children is totally possible and can improve your quality of life, with less!