Choosing minimalism and creating a simple life for yourself is one thing. But how exactly do you go about creating a minimalist family home?
When people think of the word ‘minimalism’, they often picture a single person living in a tiny apartment with nothing but a bed, a chair and a small kitchen table. Or a nomad with just one bag, travelling the road.
While this might be one way to go about living minimally, it’s certainly not the only option. You can create a minimalist family home just as easily. And it doesn’t have to be boring or sparse!
So, if you’re looking to simplify your family life, these steps will get you on your way to streamlining living in no time.
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- Why be a minimalist family
- Minimalism with kids
- 10 ways to create a minimalist family home
- 1) Have a decluttering session
- 2) Create designated spaces for everything
- 3) Practice sustainability
- 4) Shop intentionally
- 5) Invest in quality pieces
- 6) Embrace the simplicity of life and learn to live with less
- 7) Create memory boxes
- 8) Live by the one-in-one-out rule
- 9) Have more experiences than things
- 10) Discuss gift giving before an event
- Read more on minimalism with families
- Final thoughts on creating a minimalist family home
Why be a minimalist family
Did you know, the average American family home has over 300,000 items in it.
This number includes every single thing from the clothes in your closet to the books on your shelves to the knick-knacks on your coffee table. Not to mention all the toys, gadgets and electronics that families seem to accumulate these days.
It’s no wonder we feel so overwhelmed and stressed out all the time!
We’re constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses, acquisitioning more and more stuff that we don’t really need or use.
But what does all this stuff really do for us? As anyone who has ever stepped on a stray Lego can attest, it actually makes our lives more complicated, not less.
That’s why more and more families are now choosing to live a more minimalist lifestyle. By getting rid of unnecessary clutter, minimalists create a calmer, more relaxing home environment. And with less stuff to keep track of, family life can be simpler and less stressful.
In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, minimalism offers a welcome respite from the never-ending cycle of consumption.
Minimalism with kids
Of course, if you have kids, living minimally might seem like more of a challenge than it’s worth.
After all, kids are constantly outgrowing their clothes, wanting new toys and adding to the never-ending pile of laundry.
But when it comes to raising kids, many people believe in the power of less. That’s right, minimalism.
Just like adults, children can benefit from decluttering their physical space and living with less stuff. Not only does it make for a cleaner and more organised home, but it can also teach them important life skills like authority and self-control.
How to teach children about minimalism
Lead by example: One of the best ways to teach your children about minimalism is to lead by example. Start by decluttering your own space and getting rid of any unnecessary items that are taking up valuable real estate in your home.
Encourage them to declutter: Once you’ve started decluttering your own space, encourage your children to do the same. help them go through their clothes, toys and belongings and get rid of anything they no longer use or need.
Create rules for bringing new things into the home: It’s inevitable that your children will want new things from time to time. Whether it’s a new toy or a piece of clothing, create rules for how new items can enter your home. For example, you might require that for every new item that comes in, an old one must be donated to someone less fortunate than them. This will also teach them the value of giving.
Explain why you’re living minimally: It’s important that your children understand why you’ve chosen to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Explain to them the many benefits of minimalism and how it can make your family life simpler and happier.
10 ways to create a minimalist family home
1) Have a decluttering session
Once you’ve explained the reasons behind why your family is going to start living a more minimalist lifestyle, it’s time for everyone to embark upon a decluttering session. This helps to kickstart any minimalism lifestyle.
Everyone should be responsible for their own possessions, during this process. It’s important that children learn from a young age that they are in control of their own stuff.
Of course, you can still be there to encourage and nudge them to go through their clothes, toys and belongings and get rid of anything they no longer use or need. It will be harder for children to do this and it may sometimes feel like a punishment. This is why it’s important to have had a clear discussion about the reasons why they are doing this before embarking on the task.
When everything has been decluttered, head off to the charity shop / orphanage / women’s shelter as a family. It will help for everyone to see where their old belongings are going and to see the happiness on the faces of those receiving them.
2) Create designated spaces for everything
It’s important to have a place for everything in your home and to teach your children from an early age where things go. This will help to keep your home more organised and tidy and make it feel less overwhelming.
When everything has its own space, it’s much easier to know where things are and to put them away after using them. This is especially important for small children who are still learning how to tidy up after themselves. Once something has been used and is finished with, it should be put back in its home before taking something else out.
Designated spaces also help to cut down on the amount of stuff that you have. If you know that everything has its place and there is no more space for anything else, you’re less likely to go out and buy more things that you don’t need.
3) Practice sustainability
For many minimalists, the practice isn’t just about reducing physical ‘things’ in their homes. It’s also about being sustainable and being kind to the environment.
As a family, you can start to live more sustainably by recycling everything that you can, composting food waste and using less water and electricity. Teaching your family simple things like turning off the light when they exit a room or not leaving the water running when brushing their teeth can make a huge difference.
If you have a garden, you can teach your children about where food comes from by growing your own fruit and vegetables. Not only is this a fun activity to do together, but it’s also a great way to reduce your grocery bill and to eat more healthily.
4) Shop intentionally
Just because you’re a minimalist family doesn’t mean that you never go shopping. It’s still important to buy groceries and other necessary items, and even non-necessary things from time to time.
But, as a minimalist family, you’ll be much more intentional about the things that you buy.
Before making any purchase, ask yourself if it’s something that you really need. If it’s not, then don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that.
Of course, this can be difficult if you have small children who are always asking for the latest toy or gadget. But, if you stick to your guns and explain that they don’t need more stuff, they’ll eventually get used to it.
5) Invest in quality pieces
When you do need to buy something new, invest in quality pieces that will last for a long time.
It’s better to have a few well-made items that you love and use all the time than a whole bunch of cheap things that fall apart after a few uses.
Don’t buy into fast fashion which often isn’t of a high quality and doesn’t last. Fast fashion items also tend to come from unethical sources and have a negative impact on the environment.
Instead, do your research and buy items that are ethically made, environmentally friendly and will stand the test of time.
6) Embrace the simplicity of life and learn to live with less
One of the best things about having a minimalist family is that you learn to appreciate the simple things in life. You’ll find that you don’t need all the stuff that you thought you did and that your life is just as good, if not better, without it.
You’ll also start to see how much time and money you wasted on things that you don’t even use. Instead of going out and buying the latest trends, you can use that money to save for a rainy day or to go on holiday.
And, instead of spending time cleaning and tidying your home, you can spend quality time with your family or pursue your hobbies.
7) Create memory boxes
One way to keep a clutter free home and life is to create memory boxes. I always say that memories aren’t in things, they’re in your heart and your mind. But, in saying that, there will always be a few items that you want to hold onto. Those are sentimental items.
Make memory boxes for each member of the family to keep these sentimental keepsakes in. The purpose of these boxes is to hold the items you don’t look at often but can’t bear to throw away. And the good thing is that they won’t take up much space.
This is a great way to keep your home clutter free while still being able to hold onto the things that are important to you.
8) Live by the one-in-one-out rule
A great way to reduce the amount of stuff in your home is to live by the one-in-one-out rule. This means that for every new item that comes into your home, one item has to go out.
This means you are really thinking about what you’re purchasing and making a decision as to whether it’s more important than something else you own.
This rule is a great one to teach kids too as it will help them to make important decisions for themselves.
By following this rule, it also means that your home won’t become overrun with stuff because you’re constantly decluttering as new things come in.
9) Have more experiences than things
What you’ll remember in years to come won’t be the stuff that you owned but the experiences that you had. What your children will remember are those incredible outings and the memories they’re left with.
Make memories as a family by going on trips, days out, camping adventures and more. Even if it’s just a night at the cinema or a camping in the back garden. These are the things that you’ll look back on with fondness, not the material possessions.
10) Discuss gift giving before an event
If you’ve got a birthday or Christmas coming up, have a discussion as a family about what kind of gifts you’d like to give and receive, if any.
You might find that your kids are happy with just one small gift or experience rather than a whole bunch of things they don’t need. You can also talk about making homemade gifts or giving to charity instead of purchasing things.
This will take away the pressure of having to buy gifts and also means that you’re not adding to the clutter in your home.
Read more on minimalism with families
If you’re interested in reading more about minimalism with families, here are some great books to get you started:
- The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo
- Clutterfree with Kids – Joshua Becker
- Minimalism for Families – Zoe Kim
Final thoughts on creating a minimalist family home
Everyone has their own version of minimalism and what works for one person, might not work for another. But these tips should give you a good starting point on your journey to creating a minimalist family home.
Minimalist living with a family doesn’t have to be hard. By following these simple tips, you can declutter your home, reduce the amount of stuff you own and live a happier, meaningful life.
Do you have any tips for living a minimalist lifestyle with kids? Share them in the comments below!