How To Be A Minimalist With Kids

You’ve done your research and have now made the decision to switch your lifestyle to one of a minimalist. However, the question you may now be thinking to yourself is can I be a minimalist if I have kids? As a mother of 2 young boys, I’m here to tell you that it is definitely achievable and may also benefit them too!

Minimalism is a lifestyle that emphasises simple living and letting go of unnecessary possessions and activities. While it may seem impossible to achieve being a minimalist with kids in tow, it’s actually quite achievable with a little bit of effort. By teaching kids to appreciate what they have, and encouraging them to simplify their own possessions. Setting an example through our own habits and behaviours. We can show them that a minimalist lifestyle can be both fulfilling and practical.

In this blog post, I am sharing tips and ideas on how to be a minimalist with kids so you can enjoy a simpler, more intentional life as a family.

1. Embrace secondhand and sustainable items such as buying clothes and toys from charity shops or choosing eco-friendly products that are better for the environment.

One of the biggest contributors to clutter in our homes is the influx of new items that we buy. Every year, millions of pounds of clothing, toys, and other goods end up in landfills, often after being used only a handful of times.

A great way to reduce your impact on the environment and simplify your life is to embrace secondhand and sustainable items. Shopping at charity shops or swapping items with other families can be a fun and economical way to give your kids new-to-them items that won’t break the bank.

Not only is buying secondhand more sustainable, but it can also provide opportunities to teach your kids about the importance of reducing waste and reusing what we already have.

Another way to be a more sustainable and minimalist family is to choose eco-friendly products made from sustainable materials. This can mean choosing items like reusable cloth nappies instead of disposable ones or opting for wooden toys instead of plastic.

By choosing products that are better for the environment, you’re investing in the future and showing your kids that even small changes can make a big impact.

2. Encourage kids to declutter their own possessions and to donate unwanted items to charity. Teach them to value experiences over material possessions.

Teaching kids to declutter their possessions can be a valuable lesson in minimalism, gratitude, and generosity. It also sets the foundation for them to become independent and responsible adults who have an understanding of managing what they own.

By learning to let go of items that they no longer need or use, they can begin to appreciate the importance of valuing experiences, time, and relationships over material possessions.

To begin, you can work with your child to sort through their possessions and identify items that they no longer want or need. You can talk to them about the benefits of donating or passing on these items to someone else who could put them to good use. This creates an opportunity to reinforce empathy and kindness, and to model the behaviour of giving back to the community and those in need.

In addition to teaching kids to declutter their own items, you can also encourage them to be mindful of what they ask for and to prioritise quality over quantity with the things they want to add to their possessions.

Talk to them about their values and interests and how their possessions should reflect and support those values. This not only helps prevent clutter, it can also create an environment of intentionality and consciousness in their lives.

empty white chairs beside table
Photo by Tiana on
3. Opt for quality over quantity, focusing on buying one high-quality item instead of several cheaper, low-quality items that would need to be replaced frequently.

As a minimalist family with small kids, it is essential to consider our purchasing decisions carefully. Instead of focusing on buying numerous items that may offer little value, we should aim for fewer high-quality items that are meant to last for an extended period.

Investing in higher quality products may involve paying more upfront, but, in the long run, it can save us time and stress and have better environmental impacts. This concept is not only true for clothing items but can also be applied to various products ranging from toys to electronics.

When buying high-quality items, it is also important to pay attention to aspects such as durability, versatility, and functionality. Whenever possible, choose items that are meant for specific purposes rather than choosing different tools that perform the same function. This way, you can reduce clutter, increase functionality in your home and also save on costs.

Another essential benefit of opting for quality over quantity is that it allows us to be more intentional, thoughtful, and less wasteful. It also helps inculcate a sense of appreciation and value for the items in our lives.

4. Limit screen time and set boundaries around technology use, encouraging kids to spend more time outdoors or participating in activities that promote creative thinking and physical activity.

In today’s modern age, technology has become an integral part of our lives, including our children’s lives. While technology can offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to be mindful of its impacts and set boundaries around its use.

As a minimalist family, we can aim to limit screen time, reduce the use of technology, and help our children connect more with the natural world and engage in activities that promote physical activity and creativity.

Studies suggest that excessive screen time can negatively affect children’s physical and mental health. Therefore, it’s crucial to set boundaries around screen time and encourage children to engage in more active and creative activities. This can involve organising a screen-free day where the whole family can participate in outdoor activities and explore nature, read books together, engage in board games, or pursue creative hobbies like painting, drawing, or playing a musical instrument.

Encouraging outdoor activities can provide opportunities for children to burn off energy, improve physical fitness, and promote overall well-being. It also helps children to appreciate the natural environment and connect with their surroundings.

Moreover, technology can be addictive and distracting, affecting children’s ability to focus and engage in creative thought. Therefore, as minimalist parents, we should strive to be more mindful of our children’s screen time and focus on ways to encourage them to think creatively.

5. Create routines that simplify your daily life, such as preparing meals in advance, having designated spaces for items and cleaning up frequently.

Creating routines to simplify our daily lives can help us reduce stress and enhance productivity. Establishing simple routines can make our lives more manageable, leading to less chaos and clutter and more time for the things that matter.

One way to simplify our routine is to prepare meals in advance. By planning and prepping meals ahead of time, we save time and money, avoid food waste, and ensure that we eat healthy and nutritious meals. Meal planning can involve cooking food in large batches and storing it in the fridge or freezer for later use. This way, we save time and energy while ensuring that we eat nutritious meals.

Another way to simplify our daily routine is to have designated spaces for items. This can involve organising our living spaces in such a way that everything has a place, reducing clutter and improving overall tidiness. We can utilise storage solutions like shelves, baskets, or organisers to keep our items in specific places, making it easy to find what we need when we need it.

Cleaning up frequently is another way to simplify our routine. By spending a few minutes each day tidying up, we avoid clutter buildup, save time, and keep our living spaces clean and organised. We can involve the entire family in cleaning up by assigning tasks to each person.

Creating routines also helps prevent decision fatigue. When we form habits, we don’t have to spend valuable mental energy on deciding what to do next. Instead, we can move through our day subconsciously doing what we need to do.

6. Teach kids to appreciate the little things in life. Encourage gratitude by taking time each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for and modelling appreciation for the simple pleasures in life, such as spending time with loved ones or enjoying a beautiful sunset.

It’s essential to appreciate the simple pleasures in life and cultivate gratitude in our children. Teaching our kids to appreciate the little things in life can lead to a more fulfilling and happy life, centered around experiences rather than possessions. Encouraging gratitude is a powerful tool that can help our children develop a positive outlook on life and enhance their mental well-being.

One way to encourage gratitude is by taking time each day, as a family, to reflect on what we are thankful for. This can involve having a gratitude journal, where each family member writes down three things they are grateful for each day. By focusing on the positives in our lives, we become more aware of the blessings around us, and it can help us keep our perspective in check.

We can also model appreciation for the simple pleasures of life, such as spending time with loved ones or enjoying a beautiful sunset. Encouraging our children to take a break from technology and observe the beauty of nature can help them develop an appreciation for the world around us. We can take walks together in the park, go on picnics, and explore new places, encouraging our children to pause and take in the beauty of the moment.

We can teach children to be grateful by reminding them to say “thank you” when someone does something kind for them. Showing gratitude for acts of kindness, no matter how small can help children develop a positive attitude towards life and foster positive relationships.

How To Be A Minimalist With Kids

Embracing a minimalist lifestyle with kids can bring a sense of calm, clarity, and contentment to our lives. As a minimalist family, we can focus on what truly matters, and let go of material possessions that do not serve us well. By simplifying our lives and creating routines that help us stay organised and productive, we gain valuable time and energy to focus on experiences and relationships that bring us joy and fulfilment. Teaching our kids to appreciate the little things in life and cultivating gratitude can help them become mindful and grateful individuals who can enjoy a more meaningful and purposeful life. Ultimately, minimalism is more than just a trend; it’s a mindset that can inspire us to live our best lives and help us leave a positive impact on the world.

If you enjoyed this post – How To Be A Minimalist With Kids do head over to my page My Minimalist Home for more inspiration and don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for daily minimalism inspiration!

Scroll to Top