If you’re looking to simplify your family life, adopting a minimalist mindset is a great way to start. Not only will it help you get rid of unnecessary clutter, but it can also make your family interactions more positive and meaningful.
In this article, we’ll be tackling this subject of becoming a minimalist family, and some tips on how to approach it within your household:
What is a Minimalist Family?
A minimalist family is a household that functions with as little physical and mental clutter as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to own few material possessions, but it can apply to those who choose to live a simplified life in every aspect.
It also means that each member of the family contributes to a clutter-free environment, which in turn can greatly improve communication and lessen stress. By living with less, your family can live with more.
Why Be a Minimalist Family?
In short, embracing a minimalist lifestyle is beneficial for everyone involved. Families who want to live more minimally find it easier to reduce stress, increase productivity, and eliminate waste.
A minimalist household is one that puts a number of things into perspective, not just material possessions. Minimalism allows people to re-evaluate their lives in terms of the way they want them to be lived. By removing the excess, they are able to focus more on the important factors that truly matter in life.
How To Become A Minimalist Family
Remember to keep in mind that although it’s much more challenging- it’s not impossible. Being a minimalist with a family is one way to bring growth and intention to your home.
Childhood today is messier than what meets the eye and this is precisely why they need more minimalism than ever.
However, in integrating minimalism in your family, you can’t force it on them right away. Instead, let them come to this interest on their own. You can still involve them and be helpful in the process. This way, you can slowly but surely show them how much space and time they will be gaining by letting go of excess things.
Minimalist living in a family is possible. It may seem hard to do because children need a lot of stuff for school and playtime, among other reasons. But there are ways to adopt the mindset while still enjoying a fulfilling amount of stuff.
21 Ways to Be a Minimalist Family
1. Start with a conversation
Instead of going straight to the things right away, try having a family conversation first. This way, they can think about what – and why – they’re getting rid of their stuff.
By doing this, you’ll give them an opportunity to see what’s really important for them as family members. Keep in mind that this is a long process, so don’t rush it.
2. Develop good habits
Instead of letting your kids be in charge of their own things, make them part of the process too. This means keeping them involved in deciding what to keep and what to get rid of when you’re decluttering the house.
If they are able to see the meaning behind it, they will be more patient about letting go of their stuff. They can also help you decide what to keep for storage purposes.
3. Set up a reward system
If your children are struggling with giving up their stuff, set them up with a reward or incentive system.
For example, if they let go of their stuff for a week, let them have one toy or book of their choice. This way, they won’t feel deprived of the things that are important to them.
4. Offer alternative activities
The common attitude towards minimalism is that it requires people to live with nothing and sacrifice all kinds of luxuries. This isn’t true at all.
Instead of them spending their money on things they don’t really need, offer alternative activities for them to do instead. Have a movie day and watch your favorite old movies that you’ve collected over the years!
5. Don’t compare your path
Minimalism isn’t the same for everyone and what may look for one person can look different for someone else. You can’t copy or compare minimalism for others because it may not work for you. The best way to find out what you should keep and what should go is by listening to yourself- not from others.
Comparing will just defeat the entire purpose of minimalism.
6. Take it gradually
Minimalism isn’t an overnight thing that you can just integrate into your family’s lives. You have to remember to take it day by day and you can’t rush cleaning invaluable belongings. If you think about it, there’s no harm in cleaning the house little by little.
You can start with your things and slowly move on to their things. This way, they’ll grow accustomed to throwing away excess stuff that’s unnecessary or is cluttering up your home.
7. Appreciate the declutter
When you first try to become a minimalist, it’s going to take time to get used to it. You’re accustomed to a lot of things and furniture around you that it seems odd when they’re so much space- but appreciate this.
It will take time to adjust to it but stick with it and you’ll realize that this declutter has a lot of benefits. And your family will too.
8. Focus on important things
When you first try to declutter, everything may seem important that you can’t let go of. However, choose what you need the most- and let go of other unnecessary things.
Knowing what’s important and what’s not depends on how you see things and keep your priorities straight. You don’t need to hold onto excess things that you know won’t make a difference in the long run.
9. Organize by category
When you’re deciding to live a minimalist life, it’s hard to let go of things when you look at one whole big picture. However, by grouping things according to their categories can make it easier for your entire family.
For example, group books into different groups of fiction and non-fiction. This way, you’ll see that there’s a space for your family’s favorite book or two instead of looking at the whole shelf and getting overwhelmed by it all.
10. Don’t force it if you’re not ready
Not everyone is ready for a minimalist lifestyle especially with family, so it’s crucial to only integrate it into your life once you’re ready. There’s no need to rush this as not everyone can handle a minimalist life.
You can slowly introduce it to your family and focus on other things until you’re ready to let go of the rest. It’s better than rushing into something that may not work well for your family.
11. Stay positive during the process
It’s inevitable that living a minimalist lifestyle will be difficult at first, but you have to remember that it’ll get easier with time.
Minimalism is finding out what’s truly important to you and letting go of unnecessary things that may have followed over the years. So it’s better to be positive about this lifestyle change instead of being negative- or your family will eventually give up too.
12. Set time limits
If you have a family to take care of, it might be difficult for everyone to stay focused on decluttering rooms. That’s why it’s important to set a certain deadline for this and stick with it.
Having a deadline will ensure that your family is going to finish the task at hand by the end date- or you can make them. However, it’s better to set the date but explain why this is important for their own well-being and for your family in general.
13. Start with baby steps
It’s best to start small when you’re just starting out with minimalism. If you try to declutter your entire home at once, it’ll be overwhelming and your family won’t see the purpose of it.
Start small with one room at a time and slowly work your way to other rooms in your home, which should eventually result in an overall declutter. You can also use this opportunity to find out about yourself first, what you don’t need anymore and let go of it.
14. Bring in less clutter
Minimalism is about reducing things, so it’s best if you don’t buy a lot of unnecessary stuff that’ll only add to the clutter.
Make it a point to purchase less and think before getting something new- does this serve a purpose for your family or not? If not, then put it off for now until you find a specific use for it.
15. Apply the ‘less is more’ concept
As a mother, realize that ‘less is more’ applies to your children, even with simple things like buying the toys they want. By differentiating the things they need from the things they don’t, they better understand the concept of what minimalism is all about.
16. Encourage your family gently
Again, you can’t force it in your family to believe that minimalism will improve their lives if they don’t believe it to be true. You need to encourage them lovingly and not at all in a way that feels like an obligation or task.
17. Don’t force your family to change
You ultimately can’t force your family to change when they don’t view minimalism the same way. You can’t force them to change views, but you can inspire them as to why you should shift towards a minimalistic lifestyle.
18. Be patient
It will take time for your family to adapt and get used to a minimalist lifestyle, so it’s important to be patient and help them with the transition one step at a time. It’s better than rushing into something they might not understand or like.
19. Be a good example
As a mother, you’re the best role model for your children. So be a good example as to why minimalism is beneficial and how it can help improve their lives. Let them ask questions about what’s going on so they better understand what’s happening- instead of giving them an answer without permission from them first.
20. Make it fun!
Don’t make your family members feel like they’re in a boot camp and they have to suffer through this. Making it fun is important so that the transition with minimalism is as smooth as possible for them.
21. Make sure everyone’s onboard
You can’t just push minimalism into your household without your spouse or even your children, since they’re the ones who’ll be living in there. Make sure everyone’s on board with this lifestyle change before you start implementing it, otherwise minimalism will fail pretty quickly because it won’t work without the support of your family members.
By following these 15 tips for minimalist families, your family will eventually become familiar with the lifestyle change and make this an easier process to stick with.
Remember that there’s no specific time frame on whether you should wait until they’re older or younger- it all depends on your personal preference. It can be risky if you force them to declutter when they’re still young but it can be rewarding if they get the chance to learn and appreciate minimalism at a young age.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did then don’t forget to share this with your friends and family!