The philosophy of minimalism is to focus on the important things in life and eliminate distractions. This can be especially important for parents, who may have difficulty balancing the demands of family with the rest of their lives.
If you’re working to reduce your belongings and live more simply, it’s probably something you want to share with your children.
Although it may be difficult, minimalism can still be achieved even when you have children. Many parents have had the experience of stumbling over toys in a cluttered home, but that doesn’t mean it’s not achievable.
Reasons for Teaching Minimalism to Kids
If you live a minimalistic lifestyle, your children will learn from your example and be able to lead happy, intentional lives while focusing on the things that matter most.
Less Is More
Focusing on what you have rather than what you want teaches children to be grateful and appreciate what they have. Material possessions may bring happiness, but they aren’t as fulfilling as other things.
Children are often more likely to enjoy playing with pots and pans from the cupboard than with their expensive dollhouse. So, there is no need to fill their room with toys they may or may not play with.
Not having as many toys teaches children to use their imaginations more. You will still buy your children toys, but you will do so with more intention.
Before buying an item for a child, consider how often they would play with it and if the cost is worth it. Would a cheaper alternative be just as good?
Think about buying toys that will inspire creativity and imagination, rather than just getting what everyone else is getting.
If we only buy what we need and can afford, and explain our choices to our children, they will learn how to handle money and budget their own money wisely in the future. Helping them to save up for things they want will teach them the value of delayed gratification and how to plan for large purchases.
Promote Healthy Moderation
One way to encourage your kids to live simply is to have them help with chores around the house. This will help them to understand how much work it takes to keep a home running smoothly. Another way to encourage simple living is to take your kids on nature hikes and teach them about the importance of taking care of the environment. Explain to them that living simply means living in harmony with the planet and not overconsuming resources. Lastly, model simple living yourself by living minimally and intentionally. If your kids see you living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, they will be more likely to adopt these values themselves.
A person with an addictive personality may be drawn toMinimalism is about living with only the things you need and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. However, a person with an addictive personality may be drawn to excessive shopping, gambling, comfort eating, and other behaviors that go against the idea of minimalism.
If children spend too much time on electronics, they can get addicted and lose sight of what’s important in life. They might become focused on keeping up with the latest trends instead.
You should encourage moderation by limiting screen time for everyone, not just them.
You can lead by example for your children by turning off your electronics and spending time with them in a healthy activity. If they see you watching TV all day or using your phone at the dinner table, they will think that is acceptable behavior.
Give Back to Society
Make minimalism a part of your children’s lives by teaching them how important it is to give back. Set up donation stations in your house for them to put their unwanted belongings in.
Help them understand that sometimes things that don’t bring them joy can be useful to other people. Show them how to donate clothes or other items they no longer want to people who will appreciate them.
There are many charities that are associated with churches and shelters that are more than happy to accept donations. These donations are then distributed to people who are in need.
When you buy less, you can afford to pay more for each individual item. This is the same for your children. Explain to them that by spending more on fewer items, they will save in the long run. Give them the opportunity to research and pick a charity they are passionate about. One excellent way to prepare your children for minimalism is to teach them how to spend money wisely and how to contribute to a good cause. You can do this by helping them to understand the importance of buying fewer things, and of paying more for each individual item. This will help them to see that, in the long run, they will save money by doing this. Another way to prepare your children for minimalism is to encourage them to research and choose a charity that they are passionate about supporting.
Benefits of Minimalism
When you clean up your home and get rid of clutter, you may notice how positively it affects your mental state. Decluttering your home can declutter your mind and improve your overall well-being.
When you are surrounded by clutter, you feel like you can never get ahead of your to-do list. Your brain is constantly trying to check things off, which makes you feel like there is always something else that needs to be done.
If you live in an area that is free of clutter, your brain will feel as though it can finally relax. Your mind will be at ease because it will no longer be overstimulated by the number of things it feels like it needs to be doing.
If your senses are constantly bombarded with too much stimuli, it can cause a great deal of stress.
Clutter can be a distraction, preventing us from being productive and creative. It can take our focus away from necessary tasks and cause us to not operate at our full potential.
How to Teach Minimalism to Kids
After realizing the advantages of living a more simplistic life, it makes sense to start teaching your kids how to live minimally as well.
Lead by Example
In order to Declutter teach your kids how to minimalism, this will help reduce stress and allow them to live a more fulfilling life.
You should lead by example and share your reasons for decluttering your home and life with others.
Sorting through your belongings and only keeping what brings you joy is beneficial because it declutters your space and allows you to focus on the things that are truly important to you. This also teaches children that it is okay to let go of things that no longer serve them, making way for something new that might better suit their needs.
Old toys that are no longer used by children can make other children who are in need very happy.
Include Them in the Process
After removing unwanted items from your own belongings and from common areas in the home, help your children do the same with their belongings.
Make sure to involve your child in every step of the decluttering process, from start to finish. Invite them to make decisions about which items they want to keep and which items they can let go of. This will help teach them valuable lessons about organization and decision-making.
Encourage your kids to participate in dropping off donations or giving them to someone in your local Buy Nothing group. Helping with the donation process will make kids feel good about getting rid of items they are no longer using.
Talk About It
The subject of decluttering can evoke strong emotions. Discuss your own experience with the process and solicit their feelings on the matter as well.
If your kids are feeling emotional about embracing a more minimalist lifestyle, talking to them about those emotions will help them work through them.
Its important not to make children feel bad for wanting something or because theyre having a hard time letting go.
It can be difficult to get people to talk about decluttering because it can be seen as a negative process. However, if you emphasize the positives of decluttering, such as the joy of living with less stuff, people will be more likely to be open to the idea. Declaration can be a pleasant experience if you approach it with grace, patience, and understanding.
We have friends who have entire basements and multiple playrooms full of toys.
There are toys everywhere, and it looks like a toy store that never closes. My kids didn’t have friends who had less stuff than they did. They had friends who had way more stuff than they did.
Make your children aware of how fortunate they are to have an abundance of toys and other necessities.
If you have more than others, reach out and be friends with them. If that’s not possible, try volunteering through your church or with local charities. I get it, I used to live in a rich suburban area too.
encourage your children to be compassionate by signing up for a toy drive and having them help with the process
Create Storage Areas and Categorize
If you want to teach your kids about minimalism, it will be easier if you get the toy clutter under control.
When our storage containers and baskets get full, the kids get to choose what to keep, what to give away, or what to toss.
The point of minimalism is to buy fewer things, but it’s inevitable that sometimes you’ll come home with plastic objects (junk) from a birthday party or school event. That’s okay. Just make sure it fits in the storage container for that type of item.
I don’t try to tell them what they can or can’t keep, because I might not fully appreciate a treasure they love.
We keep a Rubbermaid container in each child’s closet to store their stuffed animals. They’re not pretty, but they’re hidden and can hold a lot of stuffed animals.
It’s time to declutter your stuffed animals and dolls when the containers are overflowing. I only bought a handful of them in their entire lives. It’s amazing how they reproduce and multiply!
When looking for ideas for storage containers, I love shelves with storage cubbies. They can hold a lot of toys, and each type of toy can be grouped together. They can also be used as a bench or shelf for books.
Enlist the Help of Relatives
Before birthdays and holidays roll around, have a conversation with your relatives about your family’s desire to declutter. This way, everyone is on the same page and no one’s feelings will get hurt.
Make sure to communicate anything the child may need to your family. They will enjoy giving gifts and it will declutter your journey. Just make sure that every item has a place in your child’s room. Your kids may surprise you and make space for themselves.
Cut Out TV Marketing
If you’re looking for a reason to ditch your cable or satellite provider, this is a good one.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on marketing to children every year because it is effective. Children see advertisements, and then they want the products. This is part of our culture.
You don’t have to completely stop watching TV, but if you switch to paid providers like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, you can avoid commercials that are directed at children. (However, it also helps to cut out TV watching with your kids.)
More Experiences and Less Stuff
We remember camping trips, vacations, and memberships to the local museum or zoo, but we don’t usually remember the gifts we got for our birthdays.
Give your children memories instead of toys. You can do this without spending much money too. Go on a camping trip, plan a vacation, or visit a local attraction.
Try alternating between having a birthday party and a family experience every other year. This helps reduce the number of physical gifts coming into our home. It also provides an opportunity for the family to do something extra special together. The kids get to plan the entire day. They choose our meals and our activities. They don’t have to do any chores.
Since we spend less money on material possessions for our home, we are able to travel more as a family. My five-year-old daughter is obsessed with San Diego after visiting it for the first time. She is convinced she is going to live there one day, and I can guarantee you she remembers that trip more than any Christmas gift.
Talk About Your Desired Lifestyle Regularly
When you are teaching minimalism to kids, make sure to talk about your lifestyle choices in your regular conversations.
Don’t wait until your child’s room is a mess to have a talk about living with less clutter. Explain that people live differently and that having less stuff can make someone happier. When your child is doing something positive, point out how it contributes to a clutter-free lifestyle.
You can use your vacation as an example of how saving money can allow you to do things you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. You can also point out how getting rid of things they don’t use anymore gives them more space to play.
In addition to discussing the children who benefited from the toys, you can also talk about how great it is to watch your children giving with their whole hearts.
Remember Teaching Minimalism to Kids Is a Journey
The most important thing to remember is that teaching minimalism to kids is a journey, not a destination you will reach overnight.
Although it may be tempting to go into your child’s room and clean it out while they are at school, it is important to remember that they will only resent you for doing so.
Make sure your kids know how lucky they are to have what they have, and teach them to be grateful for it. Help them understand that experiences are more valuable than material possessions. Give them lasting memories, rather than things.
Enjoy the Journey
Everyone is at a different stage in their life. My kids still have collections of sticks and rocks in their room. Their jewelry boxes are overflowing with plastic trinkets and prizes they’ve won. These items make my children happy.
Keep up the good work of bringing in fewer things to your home and spending less money on items that don’t serve a purpose.
Make spending time with each other a priority and go on nature hikes and trips to new places. Good food is another thing to enjoy together. This is a much simpler lifestyle and your kids will probably adopt it too without even realizing it!