Minimalism and Kids - decluttering toys
Begin the toy declutter
Typically when we think of minimalism and kids we also think of all the toys kids have, and the difficulty of deluttering toys. Can minimalism and kids work together? Are you able to declutter kids toys without traumatising them? You have begun adopting a minimalist lifestyle. You and your partner are on the same page, and making progress. But…you find that you are constantly tripping over toys that your kids don’t play with. Their toys seem like five minute wonders that they quickly toss aside to move onto the next. If you can relate to this situation and it’s overwhelming you, you need to take action, because minimalism and kids can work!
1. Start slow
Don’t overthink it, and just start- those are my biggest pieces of advice here. Don’t sneak around and get rid of stuff behind your kids’ back- that’s not what we want here. We want them to be aware and understand this process, so it’s better to go slower and wait for them to get on board than to lose their trust. Even at a very early age they will know which toys they would like to keep, and which they can part with.
You buy stuff with your time, not just your money. Less clutter equals less stress and more time. It’s as simple as that!
2) Choose outdoor time over screen time
It’s a habit you can choose to make. Technology is awesome and there’s a time and place for it, but it doesn’t have to be the only way to fill your kids’ time if you don’t want it to be. There is plenty of research on the adverse effects of too much screen time on children. Don’t let bad weather be an excuse to pull the iPad out either. If you live in a state with lots of freezing or scalding days, you have the challenge of getting creative and encouraging your kids to do the same! Nothing amazing comes easy. Sometimes you have to fight for what you want and make it happen like the warrior mama you are!
3) Play with your kids
Get outside, have a living room dance party, make up a game together… be the mum who plays and makes awesome memories! It is important though that you also let them learn how to entertain themselves. This is a vital skill that all children need to learn. Independent, active children grow up to be forward thinking and healthy adults. You are giving them skills for life.
4) Conscious consumerism
What kind of toys are you choosing to keep as you declutter? What kind of toys will you buy going forward? These are important questions, and ones that your children should also have input to as they get older. Explain why you are keeping some toys and not others so they understand. Also explain that as a minimalist family with kids, you need to declutter toys regularly.
As a teacher I choose to have things in our house that encourage my kids to use their imaginations, be creative or build things. Legos, art and craft materials, dress up costumes, things like that are so worth the space they take up and always inspire creative play. If you have things like this and your kids don’t play with them, declutter the rest of the toys, give it a week and watch what changes. When left to explore these types of toys you will find they learn to love them.
5) Lead by example
Kids learn from you by watching you – they learn by example.. When I implemented minimalism in the rest of the house and we started living this way in every area, my kids learned that this was just a part of our family and how we roll. Now they don’t remember anything else and it’s just the way things are.