Minimalism isn’t just a trend; more and more people are starting to embrace minimalist living to get real mental and practical benefits. Here’s how to become a minimalist family – 8 tips you can implement today.
8 Ways Even Large Families Can Embrace Minimalist Living
Minimalism is associated with lower stress, better productivity, and a higher sense of well-being. That makes sense. After all, clutter free areas equal less time cleaning, organizing, and making decisions. Minimalists often rave about the increased mental and physical space and enjoy a more meaningful life.
Embracing a minimalist life can be a challenge for anyone. It involves letting things go, and not filling up every square foot of your home. It also involves changing your habits to allow fewer items to come into your life in the first place. As with anything else when you have a large family, those changes are compounded even further since you’re changing the habits and belongings of many people instead of just one.
We’ve been trying to be as minimalist as possible. While we have along ways to go, we have made some progress and it sure does make life easier! I do believe it is possible to embrace minimalism as a large family. Here are 9 tips so that even large families can start a minimalist journey.
How to become a minimalist family
Start With Laundry
Many people in the home means a lot of laundry. Streamlining everyone’s wardrobe can make a big difference. Cull everything down to just what everyone needs. A few shirts and pairs of underwear and pants and one or two nice outfits is a general guideline to start with that works for most people. Capsule wardrobes are very popular for people living a minimalist lifestyle.
Consider sharing socks to go minimalist even further! Buying all plain white or black socks for everyone saves time matching them up. Depending on your kids’ ages, there might be other clothes they can share, too.
Even if you’re saving clothes for younger children to wear in the future, it should be stored away when it’s not being used. (Store by size!) The same goes for seasonal items like heavy coats, and sweaters.
Keep Artwork In Check
Artwork and projects can really take over in a large family, so start decluttering. The fact is, keeping everything is just not practical – even though it can be painful to get rid of kids’ creations! One compromise is to take photographs of projects before discarding. That way, you have the memories without the clutter. Aim to keep only the most extra special pieces. Simplify your life by keeping only a few quality items.
Your family will be much more empowered to keep clutter at bay if there are good systems in place to do so. You will save time and money if you can find items quickly when you need them. Consider implementing some of these in your home:
- Set a standard. When surfaces and storage spaces are free of clutter, make it known that this is the standard. When these places begin to build up with junk again, start decluttering.
- Donate bin: designate one place for items that can be donated to a local thrift store and set a reminder to bring those items in regularly. A box in the garage, for example, is one idea.
Embrace a Minimalist Lifestyle
One of the most difficult aspects of minimalist living is letting go of items, particularly those with an emotional attachment. Consider the big picture and look for ways to encourage a minimalist culture in your family. This includes habits and ideas such as:
- Enjoying items for awhile, then letting them go.
- Thoughtful gift giving, rather than exchanging items just for the sake of it.
- Learning to “make do” and use what’s available instead of acquiring specialty items.
- Valuing relationships, freedom, and time more than things.
- Reduce waste by making more meaningful purchasing decisions.
If possible, live in a small space. Today’s houses have really gotten out of hand and we really don’t need so many square feet to live a meaningful life. In addition to huge homes, lots of families fill up a storage unit or two too! Smaller homes will you save money by being cheaper to purchase or rent, and heat and cool too. Decluttering for minimalist living will save you money. Letting go of storage units will also save you money.
Learn How to Cook
It’s possible to cook delicious from scratch meals without owning every appliance under the sun. I’m a big believer that good knife skills and cutting board will serve you better than so many different gadgets you could spend your money on. Instead of investing in all the latest and greatest kitchen items, get a good knife, a good cutting board, and a good dutch oven. Then take a class and learn how to use them! Here the 13 items I find most useful in my minimalist kitchen.
Share Common Items
There are certain items that serve well as community items. Every family is different, of course, but look for ways you can cut back on duplicate items. If you never go on family bike rides, for example, maybe your family can get away with having just one of each size. Electronics can often be shared. Everyone in your family does not need their own television or shampoo bottle either.
Use Color Coding
For items that do need to be specific to each person, color coding can be a lifesaver. Having a color assigned to each person helps everyone stay accountable and organized. Dishes, towels, backpacks, water bottles, and electronics are all examples of items that can be color coded. You can buy items that are those colors or use colored stickers in the meantime.
Large families may need to declutter more frequently, simply due to the larger number of people but also due to moving through ages and stages at a higher rate. Baby items need to be stored or donated once the baby grows out of them, for example.
Have a declutter day: every month, plan a declutter day. Everyone can go through their papers and other items and donate or discard anything that is no longer needed. You might find that your family needs this declutter day more or less often, but once a month is a good place to start. Declutter can become a full time job if you let all the things build up, so set a good strategy.
Embracing minimalism as a large family might seem difficult at first, but it will ultimately make your life so much more peaceful and joyful. If you’re wondering how to become a minimalist family, these tips are a great way to start!