As a mom, you quickly realize that if you don’t have a plan to deal with clutter – there is going to be a mess. That mess can usually be attributed to the clutter that comes along with a growing family. In today’s guest post Samara from Tiny Fry shows you how to use minimalist tips to maintain a clutter free home.
Minimalist Tips for a Clutter Free Home
Truth be told, family clutter can be hard to tackle, even if you only have one child. That’s where the magic of minimalism comes into play!
Minimalism is the concept of keeping family clutter to a minimum in order to appreciate what you have.
It’s a lifestyle that involves a lot of organization and thoughtfulness when it comes to what you decide to keep and what you decide to let go of.
Want to give your family a lesson in minimalism? Here are 10 strategies you can use without causing issues with your partner and kiddos.
1) Stop procrastinating
The sooner you start working minimalism into your life, the better.
You don’t have to wait for a milestone event in order to start simplifying.
You can start today.
The sooner you start making the conscious decision to declutter and organize your life the faster you will start reaping the benefits.
2) Create a plan
Many people are paralyzed by the thought of getting started because they focus on the room or items that are the most difficult first.
Don’t do that! Instead your first steps should be quick and easy.
You can certainly start taking baby steps toward minimizing. You make progress when you:
- Decide to donate a few items of clothing that don’t fit as you sort your laundry
- Take down old notices off the refrigerator while you cook dinner
- Throw out expired spices and canned foods when you put your new pantry items away
As you practice minimizing you will find it gets easier.
3) Clarify what you want vs. what you actually need
This is a challenging concept, even for most adults.
Our culture is so focused on material items and convenience that it takes a mindset shift to break these clutter causing habits.
Minimalism is about more than just having a neat and tidy home. It’s about being mindful of our impulses and spending habits.
Here are a few strategies to get you started if this is challenging for you:
- Stop making purchases just because it’s a good deal or on sale
- Make a shopping list and only purchase items on the list
- Avoid malls or “trigger” stores (ie Target, Costco etc).
4) Set limits for what you allow to come into your home
A simple minimalist tip is to set a maximum number for different items in your home.
For example, you can decide that your family of 4 needs no more than 8 water bottles. Then you go through your kitchen and decide which 8 you are going to keep. The others get donated or tossed.
Just think of all the areas that this will work for:
- Kid’s toys
- Winter items like jackets, umbrellas, rain boots and scarves
- Coffee/Travel Mugs
5) Align your choices with your priorities
Sit down and make a list of the top 5 things in life that bring you joy.
I am guessing that the list will be full of people and experiences, not things.
In fact, neuroscientists have discovered 5 things that will make you happy:
- Listen to music from the happiest time of your life
- Think about goals for the future
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid procrastination
When we realize that material possessions don’t create lasting joy, we have layed the groundwork towards a minimalist lifestyle.
Maintaining a clutter free home becomes much easier when you know that a new knick knack, handbag, or kitchen gadget is not going to make you happier. In fact, it will just make your house messy.
6) Create a system for organizing your children’s toys
If you are like most families with young children, toys are a main cause of frustration and overwhelm.
While you may think that by reducing the number of toys your children have you will be depriving them, the opposite is actually true.
Research has shown that children who have fewer toys:
- Are more content playing independently
- Show fewer signs of frustration (less tantrums)
- Have longer attention spans
If you are just getting started with minimalism a great strategy is to start with a toy rotation.
7) Purge on a regular basis
Whether you schedule on the calendar or randomly decide when it’s time – get the entire family involved.
No one said that decluttering and organizing has to be boring! If you have kids and want to keep things tidy make a game out of it.
- Turn on some good music when it’s time to do an evening pick up
- Set a timer and see who can find the most items to donate
- Offer a small reward (ideally an experience and not an object, in the spirit of minimalism) for the kiddo who keeps his area cleanest.
You might be surprised at how much fun it can be to declutter with kids if you turn it into a game.
While they’re putting away items, ask them how school has been, tell them about your day, and turn it into family time.
Eventually, they’ll start associating decluttering with family memories.
8) Lead by example
You can’t really expect others to lead a minimalist lifestyle without doing it yourself.
If you want your family members to understand the importance of reducing family clutter, you’ll have to start with your own mess!
This is especially true of children. Children learn through observation.
You can set a good example by allowing them to see you:
- Keep items picked up around the house
- Talk through your thought process when making a purchase
- Regularly include them in maintenance declutter sessions
If they are used to a clutter free home they will feel most comfortable when everything is neat and tidy, and be more likely to naturally help you maintain it.
9) Praise progess
It’s important that everyone in the household view minimalism as a positive experience.
For many people, it can be hard to let go of items, if it is not already a habit.
Whether it’s your spouse or child who is having a hard time:
- Praise them for donating items to people who are in need
- Comment on how helpful it has been to have them on board with the process
- Share your appreciation for their support and progress
Be sure to take the time to recognize how nice it feels to avoid the stress and overwhelm that came with always have to clean and organize the home before you got started.
10) Be consistent
Adopting a minimal lifestyle isn’t something that happens overnight
If you’re frustrated, just take a deep breath and remember that these things take time.
Eventually, the new habits will stick and the clutter free home you have always dreamt of will become a reality.
There you have it mama! 10 Minimalist Tips to a Clutter Free Home!
If you are looking to learn more about minimalism and how it can impact your family, you can find inspiration by reading some of the best books on minimalism that got me started on my journey.
We would love to hear from you! What are your best minimalist tips for keeping your home clutter free? Please comment below!
Samara Kamenecka is a VA specialized in SEO and writing, based in Madrid. When she’s not chained to her desk working, she likes to explore the city with her family. Follow along with her parenting adventures and product reviews on Tiny Fry, or catch up with her on Pinterest.