Minimalism with kids
By Lakota

December 31st, 2019
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My husband and I try to practice as much minimalism as possible. We are nowhere near perfection and we still have more things than we’d like to, but like everything else in life minimalism is a journey for us. We feel it’s really important to teach our kids a more minimalist lifestyle at a young age and keep it in our conversation often especially around holidays and birthdays. So how do we do that?
Minimalism with kids
Every year before each major gift holiday, whether that’s a birthday or Christmas we go through all of our toys bins thoroughly and get rid of all the toys that might be broken, the toys that are never played with or toys with missing forever pieces. We allow the kids to make these choices with our support and explanation along the process. We’ve tried sneaking these pieces out ourselves and that led to a lot of mistrust and hurt feelings which was why we decided they could handle the process and the choices. We try to donate toys that are still in good condition but just never played with which gives the kids a great feeling of helping other kids in need.
Minimalism with kids
We talk often about minimalism and how owning more things can sort of weigh us down. Whether that weight comes from the fact of the more toys we have the more we have to clean up or the feeling of having to buy and keep up on batteries for all the toys. We have a lot of ways to describe why owning too much can cause us stress and make processes more difficult.
Minimalism with kids
We lead by example. When we are at the store and our kids say “hey why are we getting more of these we already have some” we really take the time to listen and make a choice. We all try to keep each other in check and that includes us adults because consumerism can sometimes get ahold of us just as easily!
Minimalism with kids
We try to fix, the toys and things we already have instead of just replace. And we talk a lot about saving money for more durable toys to prevent breaking in the first place.
Minimalism with kids
My favorite tip is showcasing memories and experiences over toys and things. We remind the kids often that they can go out to dinner, the movies, bounce houses or more with their allowance money. We really feel this is important because things don’t last forever but memories do. It’s ok to pour our energy into memories because they won’t leave us unlike favoriting a toy that eventually breaks.
Minimalism with kids
Do you practice minimalism? Do you find kids find it easy or complicated?

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This post currently has 9 responses.

  • monique s

    Such a great concept and I am sure one appreciates what one has more when there is less vs. more.

  • Sarah L

    Experiences are always worth more than things. I love remembering the trips I took when I was growing up.

  • Christina Gould

    That teddy bear is too precious! I like your annual clean out. The toys have a way of proliferating throughout the y ear. Thanks for posting!

  • Dana Rodriguez

    These are great ideas. The earlier they learn this I am sure the better.

  • gloria patterson

    My niece sits down with her daughter before her birthday/christmas in her room. They talk about what is broken, what she plays with and what they can give away. Some times its hard other times Zay will part with a lot of things.

  • Peggy Nunn

    These are great lessons for everyone. I am proud that you are teaching your children that too.

  • Lauryn R

    This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing. We do this with our kids as well, right down to going through their toys and donating/getting rid of them. They love the idea of another child being able to enjoy the things they no longer play with. I also try to reuse and recycle things and give them new purpose rather than always buying new.

  • ellen beck

    Great article an very good tips. I a, afraid we are ‘weighed down’. We have been in our current home 30 years and have accumulated a whole lot. We are going to be moving in the spring, and are in the process of going through things! We have always reused and recycled / upcycled and that can become part of the things too- you end up with tons of parts and pieces although some come in handy.

  • Peggy Nunn

    This year we bought usable things that they would “use up” art supplies, crafts to make things. There was very little that would need to gotten rid of later.

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