With each year, I find every aspect of my life becoming more and more streamlined. The feeling of lightness has grown on me and I’m constantly trying to balance out my neatfreak tendencies with warmth and coziness. Edited spaces have always brought me the most peace so a clutter-free home is the ultimate goal (aka an ongoing daily battle with two little ones)! I don’t want my girls to live in a sparse environment, but I also don’t want them to be buried under toys, clothes, etc. that we don’t love or use regularly.
But before even considering myself a minimalist, I like to think of this lifestyle as simply being aware of the things (and the amount of things) I surround myself with. From closets to kitchen cabinets, my idea of “just enough” has shrunk drastically over the years and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.
A few ways I keep my place intact:
+ Purge often – I like to go through all the kids’ toys before the holidays and sort through their clothes while packing for trips, discarding and/or donating whatever no longer fits, works, etc. With toys especially, I find that my kids can get overwhelmed with too many options and end up playing with only their favorites, leaving a huge pile of stuff untouched. Whenever I clean out their selection, it feels like everyone can breathe better and go about playing with whatever it is that they love most.
+ Be very mindful of what I bring into our home by only buying things that I truly love/know I’ll use and not get sick of a few months from now. Sometimes I’ll even put a purchase on hold just to see if I still want it a few days later – there have been times that I’ve completely forgotten and was happy that I didn’t just go for it on impulse.
+ Everything needs a place – put it back in its home after every. single. use. I know, this sounds super bossy and annoying but this is how my personal monster messes begin if I don’t have a designated spot for something and/or if I don’t put it back where it belongs immediately after using it.
+ Pick up sooner than later – this is somewhat related to the point above as mini clean ups save you from huge overhauls. I love using big baskets to hold toys, we have one in each of the girls’ bedrooms and one in the living room. It just makes picking up so much quicker when I (or the kids, if I’m lucky) can toss everything in one spot. Also, sticking to neutral colored baskets helps reduce visual noise in our space.
+ Schedule regular deep cleaning – I’m guilty of not yet doing this but I think it would really help to get that chore squared away. For now, I rely on guests/party prep to give myself that push to dust and scrub every inch of my house ;)
With the intention of accumulating less, I’ve started paying more attention to quality when making purchases. If I’m only going to buy one, I want it to be the best I can find and have a long lifespan. Investing in higher quality materials means our favorite things aren’t falling apart even though they’re getting extra washes + ALL the love.
Hopefully this helps, inspires, or clears up a few questions you might have about minimalism with kids. I’m nowhere near perfect, but my family has yet to drown in a sea of stuff, so I must be on the right track, at least!
A few books that I could really relate to are Remodelista, Cozy Minimalist Home, The Curated Closet, and of course The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks in finding peace at home amongst all the daily things!