In becoming a minimalist mom I’ve started incorporating house rules into our life. Read along and see my three Minimalist Mom “dos”.
Trying to live as a minimalist mom is hard. Moving from a modern American lifestyle into one of minimalism is a big undertaking, and it’s even harder with four kids. I’m not sure about your littles, but our kids seem to have a deep attachment to every toy they’ve ever owned and every piece of art they’ve ever made. How can we be minimalist with all this kid-centered stuff around?
I’m going to share with you six ground rules we have for our family: three “don’ts” and three “dos”. These rules aren’t things we sat down and write out when we were expecting our first baby. We came into minimalist through seeking peace in our home. These Dos and Don’ts help us keep our home full of kids relatively minimal and definitely peaceful. Hop over here to read How to be a Minimalist Mom – The Don’ts
As a minimalist mom my kids do share bedrooms
Living as a minimalist mom doesn’t mean just having fewer things. It also means we value a smaller house. We by no means have a tiny house, but our 1300 square foot farmhouse is smaller than many homes holding four kids. Right now all three of our girls share a bedroom and our loud toddler gets his own room.
Our kids benefit in sharing a room because it helps foster a friendship between them. I love hearing them laughing and chatting before they fall asleep at night. They learn quickly to be respectful of others’ space and belongings. Each of the girls knows to ask permission before getting into another’s’ bed if they want their own space respected.
We have other spaces around the house for the kids to have privacy if needed. We are blessed with two large walk-in closets that each have a reading nook. There is also the living room, front porch swing, and a large chair in the basement. With all these options the girls know where to go when they need space from siblings.
Our kids do have responsibility for their belongings
One of the reasons I’m turning into a minimalist mom is that I don’t like to be “the keeper of the things”. My kids are forever playing large, imaginative games that involve rearranging the furniture and setting up blocks, books, dolls, and whatever else they get their hands on.
While I want to foster creativity and imagination in them, without ground rules I could spend my entire day following them and reorganizing spaces. By giving the kids responsibility over their belongings they are the ones who tell me they have too many things and ask to pare down.
Together we made a chore chart so each area of the house gets decluttered once a week. We do these cleanings together, and with a trash bag in hand. Whatever the girls decide they don’t want anymore goes into the bag and later I sort it out into true trash, recycling, and donations.
By allowing our kids to have responsibility for their belongings I allow them to also have the pride of ownership. This in turn allows me to focus my attention on all the other tasks of running a household and helps me be joyful while I do them.
As a minimalist mom I do have consistent donation streams
Living as a minimalist mom with four kids means I am always going through the house and donating things that we don’t use and clothes that doesn’t fit. I’ve found having consistent donation streams to get items out makes it much easier and quicker. I have a permanent donation bin set up in our basement.
Every other week when I’m picking up my grocery order I bring my donations to the local Food Pantry. I’ve found that having a set routine of when I bring the donations out of my house helps keep them from piling up in boxes to the point I’m too overwhelmed to take them all out.
When I go through the kids’ clothes at the change of seasons I do it in batches. One day I will do everyone’s pajamas, another day the dresses, another day tops etc. Next, I text the same few families. They have kids slightly smaller than mine and are always happy to receive hand-me-downs.
What are your minimalist mom or dad dos?
My kids sharing bedrooms, having responsibility for their belongings and having consistent donation streams are my minimalist mom dos. Together they keep me accountable to being a minimalist mom. Do you have any minimalist mom or dad dos in your house? I would love to hear about them in the comments. Thanks for coming along on the journey!