The Top 10 Benefits of Being a Minimalist Family

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

There are so many benefits to embracing a minimalist lifestyle, too many for one blog post. As a minimalist working mom I struggled with helping my wannabe minimalist family understand the concepts, finally learning to lead by example and hope that some of it sunk in.

Over time, I’ve seen my children flourish in a minimalist home, I’ve watched our relationships grow into a happy and connected family. Like I said, there are so many benefits to becoming a minimalist, but after some thought, here are my favourite benefits of becoming a minimalist family.

1. Space

It seems obvious, but having less stuff creates more physical and mental space. Have you ever cleaned out a drawer, removed every last thing, and then found yourself not wanting to fill that drawer back up? It’s because open spaces are inviting and clean. Physically, we feel better in a space that’s uncluttered, neat and tidy. Calming spaces also take off the mental load that afflicts our daily lives, and this applies to children as well. When a kid has a calm and tidy room, there is more focus and space to play, and less crazy in my home. Minimalism can provide the space in our lives that you didn’t even know you needed.

2. More Time

The less stuff you own, the less time you spend on repairing, fixing, maintaining, and cleaning it. It also takes time to purchase items – planning, researching, driving – time that would be better spent spending time with your family! The less toys your kids have, the less time spent cleaning up, and the more time spent playing! The less stuff you have, the more time you can spend enjoying your kids and your partner. Time is truly precious, and minimalism can grant you that precious time for your and your family.

3. Saving Money

It sounds too good to be true, but minimalism saves you money. The less stuff that you buy, the more you can save! As a modern family it can be tough to save money when it seems that every last thing is costing us money – but as we trim the excess and learn to live with less, you suddenly have extra money that you can save with. Teaching kids about saving money is infinitely more important than teaching them to spend it.

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

4. Focus

Removing distractions in your life can help you concentrate on what’s important, and also help you focus on your family’s future. All the stuff that accumulates in our homes affects our minds, a messy space = a messy mind. It’s easier for the kids to do homework or be creative on a clean desk in a tidy room. It’s easier to work and read in a space that’s calming and bright. Minimalism can provide a clarity of mind for you and your family, at work and at home.

5. Experiences

The less stuff you have, the more time you have to experience fun things with your family. When your weekends become wide open you have the time to go on that road trip, the hike you’ve always wanted to do,  or just spend the day wandering your neighbourhood, exploring parks, window-shopping, and spending more time outdoors with your partner and kids. Bonus: instead of buying toys, books, and other stuff for presents, buy tickets to a concert or a play! Becoming a minimalist family can provide a ton of fun experiences for all!

6. Self-Confidence

As a mom, my life is much better when I’m embracing minimalism. I’m more confident in the way that I parent, in my relationships, and in myself. I feel more together. I know where things are (most of the time!), I am happier in my home and in myself. And as someone who works from home 80% of the time, it really helps me feel organized and focused, which brings about more self-confidence in my abilities to be a working parent. Minimalism helps me be a better mom, partner, and woman.

7. Good for our Environment

The less we consume, the better for our environment. Minimalism makes you think twice about all the packaging that goes along with the stuff we buy, suddenly reusable shopping bags and buying in bulk starts making more sense, not only for our wallet, but for all the extra waste we’re bringing into our homes. And when we’re done with an item, we start thinking of ways we can repurpose and reuse, gift or donate, before just throwing it out.

10 benefits of being a minimalist family

8. Productivity

With less stuff to worry about and clutter up our lives with, we’re suddenly able to do more of the things we actually want to do. That task you wanted to do forever but kept putting off, you can now do it. Embracing minimalism helps remove the overwhelm I always felt when thinking of “all the things I have to do”. Because now, I do the things I WANT to do, things that help serve my life and my family’s life, and not just meaningless tasks I needed to do. And you feel pretty good getting things done!

9. Relationships

Trim the excess, own less, and allow your relationships to grow. Spending more time with your kids doing fun, silly, and creative things will open you up and show your kids who you really are as a person, instead of a stressed out maniac (like I used to be!). And you learn more about the person your child is becoming as well. I read somewhere that you should stop becoming attached to the stuff in your life, and start opening your heart to the people in your life. Growing your relationships with your spouse or partner, family, and friends brings real value to your life. Minimalism helps you focus on people rather than things.

10. Life Lessons

Introducing your children to the concept of minimalism and being happy with less stuff is one of the most important life lessons you can give them. Consumerism is being rammed down our throats at every turn, but living a life that isn’t burdened by stuff and all the attachments of wanting and owning things brings true joy. Teaching your family that joy and fun isn’t found in the things we own (and that that stuff ends up owning us) is a HUGE life lesson. Becoming a minimalist family is step 1!

 

What are some ways that minimalism benefits you and your family?

 

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10 benefits of being a minimalist family

 

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How Minimalism Changed My Life (& Can Change Yours, Too!)

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

At the beginning of every year, we are so full of it, aren’t we?

Not only are we going to lose 20 pounds, incorporate a new diet plan (vegan/keto/atkins/whatever), become more calm and centered (meditate!), workout three times a week, be a better wife/girlfriend/mother, get that promotion or launch/expand your business, learn to speak Italian, and finally learn to keep our home clean. all. the. time. (Declutter!)

Resolutions, amiright?

And then what happens by the end of February…?

Do you even remember half of them?

Do you even know why you chose them?

What if we flipped that list upside down and started with the one crucial resolution that can actually change your life? Like actually, with real results!

For me, embracing minimalism changed my life, and is a contributing factor to my everyday life as a mom, as a wife, and as an entrepreneur.

Whenever I’m feeling extra frustrated or aggravated, or if I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed OUT, I simply take a look around. Not only is my head a mess, but so is my home. And suddenly the lightbulb goes off, and I realise that I’ve allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the clutter, again.

Minimalism isn’t a “do once” purge of all the excess. It’s a way of life that brings me calm, focus, and happiness. It gets rid of all the extra clutter to make room for what matters in life – not only in physical space, but also mentally and spiritually.

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

Do you feel overwhelmed right now? Have you felt stressed out recently?

Life is busy.

Add kids, a husband, work, and a social life (HA! what social life?) and it’s no wonder your New Years’ resolutions don’t become reality.

But what if you trimmed the excess, got rid of everything that doesn’t serve you, and had the time and space, both mentally and physically, to go after what you really, really want?

Becoming a minimalist isn’t about white walls and bare shelves.

Truly, I believe minimalism is an individual process that’s different for everyone, but there are common factors that can be prescribed to everyone:

  • Get rid of the things you don’t need, you don’t want, take up space for now reason, serve no purpose, things that you hate, things that you hang on to for “future use, maybe”, and things that you don’t use on a day-to-day, or week-to-week basis.
  • Clean up your digital life! Reduce the number of emails you have, reduce the subscriptions, get to inbox zero at least once a week, organize your folders, delete, delete, delete, (OR ARCHIVE AND BACK UP!)
  • Stop buying things. Stop online shopping. Don’t start a new and expensive hobby because everyone is doing it. Learn to live with less, learn to live with what you need, and refill accordingly.
  • Start saying NO. Your time is precious. Make sure it’s well spent.

Easy, right?

The most important thing is to remove that which does not serve us – in our homes, in our social lives, in our schedules.

Once you remove that, you make room for happiness. You make room for joy. You make room for passion.

You make space for all those things in your life that you think about, that you dream about, but you’re burdened by all the things that keep you busy in life.

Life can be full and wonderful!

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

I became a mom at 22 years old, it was unexpected, it was a surprise, and it completely changed my life. After my daughter’s birth, I spent years battling post-partum depression while trying to fit into this new role of motherhood, and trying to maintain an identity that I wasn’t even sure existed anymore. I threw myself into different passions all the time, I was a wedding planner, real estate agent, cupcake baker, hairstylist, retail salesperson, and I was constantly trying new things, but nothing stuck.

I wish I could go back there and give that young mom a hug. A huge hug that goes on for a little too long.

I wish I could tell her that there’s nothing wrong with her, and that it’s not her fault that “nothing is sticking”. It’s because she hadn’t found her true passion yet. I hadn’t found my true passion yet. I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life, and here I was raising a little girl with my boyfriend, while trying to still go out with my girlfriends and live a lavish life that I didn’t even know I didn’t want or need.

We moved 5 times in 5 years.

And with each move, we purged. We got rid of more stuff.

The first few times I was very sentimental with all of my “stuff” because I had spent a lot of money on these things.

But over the years, I realised that this “stuff” no longer served any purpose in my life. It wasn’t helping me in any way. It was time to let go.

To donate. To gift. To recycle.

Over the years, I realised that “stuff” was just stuff. I had purchased things to fill a void, not to fulfill any life dreams or bring joy to my life.

The me of the past had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of adulting to experience. They were hard lessons that I had to learn. Buying stuff doesn’t make you an adult. Having a full set of glassware doesn’t create a home. Spending money doesn’t equate to happiness.

We moved across the country with only a couple of suitcases.

The rest of our pared down stuff fit into ten large cardboard boxes and would be coming on a later date once we figured out where we were going to live. The funny thing was, once we found a space to live, and the boxes came down, there was only 1 box worth of items I wanted to keep.

I realised I was no longer weighed down by all the material excess – it did not. make. me. happy.

And it was only in those moments of calm and peace that I began to focus on my purpose as a woman, as a mother, as a wife.

How Minimalism Changed My Life (And Can Change Yours Too!)

I’m not perfect – no one ever is, no matter what their Instagram looks like!

I tend to find corners to throw junk in. Shove things away to deal with later. But it catches up to me, and I find myself purging and wishing I just followed my minimalist path regularly, rather than intermittently, but it happens.

But as time goes on, it gets easier, I promise!

I tend to be a bit more practical when it comes to minimalism. I’m not holding up objects to see if they bring joy to my life. I’m wondering why there’s a bunch of boxes sitting in the corner of my office, and I answer: because there’s no room to put it away, there’s no space for it. The subsequent process is to make a space for the useful things (file folders, printer paper), and get rid of the excess.

That’s all that other stuff to me is: excess.

If it’s not useful or doesn’t serve me in anyway, it’s gone.

And once that stuff is gone, it opens up my space and provides me a calm and peaceful surrounding to be creative. To focus. To work hard on things that truly matter to me.

Maybe those things are meal planning, losing weight, and learning Italian. Maybe those things are scheduling family activities and time-blocking my week.

Given the space and the opportunity, we can create a life we are truly happy in.

 

 

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How to Help Your Kids Declutter Their Toys

kids-declutter-toys

Do you ever look around your house and think – Where did all this STUFF come from?

It happens to the best of us. It happens to the ‘us’ that strive for minimalism in their daily life. It happens to mostly all of us. Especially when there are kids added to the equation.

I’m fairly diligent when it comes to purging toys and clothes, and donating or recycling them. I try to go through closets on a monthly basis to take out things that don’t fit right, I pull out toys that are no longer played with, but in all honestly, I usually do this alone.

Why do get rid of excess toys and clothes by myself? Because it’s easier!

There’s no children around to watch you get rid of their suddenly ‘favourite’ toys, their prized possessions that haven’t been touched in months… No whining about favourite t-shirts that are two sizes too small – it takes a lot faster to go through it quickly, throw it in a box, and donate it that same day.

But then it occurred to me that there’s no children watching me purge the excess stuff.

Kids do as they see – not necessarily what they’re told. They learn by watching. They see the example you set for them and they will follow it. Nobody likes to be lectured to and told what to do. And if the kids aren’t watching me remove the stuff that’s no longer needed, just hearing about it, how will they really understand?

 

So my husband and I decided to do a stuffed animal purge WITH the kids. That’s right, we decided to help our kids declutter their toys. Stuffies are always a sore subject to approach because they’re cuddly, cute, and usually in great condition so there’s no need to get rid of them. Over the years we’ve accumulated way too many and we decided to include them in the decision making process.

We started with over fifty stuffed animals. 50. That’s a lot for two little kids. We didn’t count them but we stacked them up on our sofa to the point where the stuffed bears and cats and dragons were all falling off!

Helping Kids Get Rid of their Toys

Help Kids Get Rid of Toys

When ALL the stuffed animals in the house were rounded up in one spot, it was easy to see that we had accumulated way too many stuffed animals! It became easier for the kids to comprehend this excessive amount and that we didn’t have enough space for ALL of them… so we asked them to go through them and pick their absolute favourites…..

Of course, that wasn’t easy. We went through a few rounds of “Keep – Maybe Keep – Donate”, and the process because quite difficult at some points. There were tears of sadness, saying goodbye to old friends is never easy, but we persevered past it, helping the kids to understand why we were doing this.

Helping Kids Get Rid of Toys

  • The kids had so many toys they didn’t even recognize some of them because they were stuck on a shelf. One way we described this was that with 50 toys, our kids didn’t have enough time to spend playing and loving all of them, but if you have 7 toys, all 7 of those toys will be super loved and super played with and happy!
  • We reminded our kids that this was NOT a punishment. In no way were they to feel like they had done something wrong to ‘deserve this’.
  • Less toys means less time searching for missing toys. Less toys means less time cleaning up their toys!
  • Some toys were very old and in disrepair. We thanked those toys for all the time they spent with us, we kissed them, we said goodbye.
  • Other toys were almost brand new and would be donated. We reminded our kids that those toys were going to get new best friends and would be happy in their new life.
  • Getting rid of toys didn’t mean that these toys had no value or purpose in our lives. We thanked the toys for spending time with us, we remembered who gave them to us, or what occasion we got them on, the fun times we had – and then we hugged them and said goodbye.

Having the kids get rid of their excess toys and choose 7 favourites was a difficult and lengthy process, full of emotions, struggles, and confusion. But they are so much better for going through this experience than not. I’m so glad we had the kids pick and choose their favourite toys and say goodbye to the ones who didn’t make the cut. I’m so happy we were able to help them emotionally through this process, and I’m glad it was a positive experience for all of us.

Helping Kids Get Rid of their Toys

In the end the kids got to keep about 9 stuffed animals each, and what was really strange was that they actually played with their toys. Not a single electronic device was played with that day. That for me is a success.

Do you feel that you’re drowning in toys? Do your kids have so many toys that they don’t even  play with most of them? Do you have more toys than space allows for?

Why not try to purge them with the kids?

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The Minimalist’s Guide to Spring Cleaning + Download #YesItsPinesol

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

Have you ever had your house up for sale? It’s all about keeping it in pristine condition just in case a showing appears! It can be stressful to keep a house clean all the time, let alone have it smell good, too! With spring finally arriving, it’s time for some spring cleaning – the minimalist way, because I love a nice, clean home, but I’m not about to waste all my time cleaning! Enter the Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning!

Our house has been up for sale for a little while, and if you follow me on Instagram, you might know all the drama that’s been happening lately! We received an offer with a quick closing (woot!), only for it to fall through (sad trumpets!) – c’est la vie!

The biggest stress of having a house for sale is keeping up with the cleaning, and making sure it’s in perfect condition for our real estate agent to show at the drop of a hat! That means not running out the door before taking a quick look around to see if there’s laundry piling up, toys out of place, or a messy bathroom. Or if it smells bad.

Did you know that when you use a decor staging company that the furniture kinda smells bad? Yeah. Like storage and plastic. Let’s just say I had to air out my house for a looong time for it to be tolerable, and even then I was a little unimpressed.

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

I feel like my house has to look pretty much exactly like these pictures, at all times. I know, it’s a lot of pressure. Not only does it have to look this good in real life, but it has to SMELL good and it has to be clean. A dusty house doesn’t show very well, and neither does a home with fingerprints on the wall or garbage smells.

After using the new Pine-Sol in Spring Blossom all over my house (and I actually mean all over), my real estate agent called me up and said “Whatever you used to make your house smell that good, do it every time – everyone loved it!” Pine-Sol is actually a multi-surface cleaner (not just for mopping!), and it cuts through tough stains, grease and grime. It’s a powerful cleaner with a delightful floral scent that I use on everything including kitchen counters, garbage cans, toilets, sinks, tile, walls, wood floors, and even our concrete floors!

 

To keep your house ‘show-ready’ or just give it a really good spring clean, check out the Free Downloadable Printable below! It goes through the three steps of my cleaning routine!

The Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

  1. Declutter
    Remove the excess. Get rid of clothes that don’t fit, anything that’s broken, unnecessary, unusable, or that you just don’t want in your home anymore. Give yourself a clean slate and remove anything that’s cluttering up your life.
  2. Organize
    Make a place for everything and put everything in its’ place. Now that you’ve removed the clutter, organize what you own and love. Take care of these things, show everyone in the house that this is the place for that. And keep it there. 😉
  3. Clean
    Now it’s time to clean! Everything extra is gone, everything is nicely organized, now it’s time to clean your items, your surfaces, and the windows and floors!

DOWNLOAD THE MINIMALISTS GUIDE TO SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST

And let me tell you one thing – for FULL DISCLOSURE – my house doesn’t always look as good as in the pictures. I promise you, my desk right now is a disaster and my closet is a mess, but you know what? It all smells like roses so I don’t care.

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

I get so many compliments on how nice my house smells, and so many questions on what I do to make it smell so good – is it perfume? essential oils? fresh flowers? candles?

And I tell them it’s Pine-Sol. The pink bottle.

Say what? Pine-Sol?

YES! It’s Pine-Sol!

The PINK bottle. Spring Blossom Pine-Sol. See:

Minimalists Guide to Spring Cleaning

So now we can be good-house-smelling twinsies. And download the free checklist so you can easily and quickly get your house looking show-ready, dinner party ready, or just have a nice clean home all to yourself!

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Pine-Sol for review, but my opinions are my own, honest and true. 

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5 TED Talks That Will Inspire You To Be a Minimalist

TED talks to inspire minimalism

via @shirleybeniang

The new year is full of resolutions and wide-eyed optimism. There’s this feeling that the slate is clean and it’s time to start fresh. If you’re a fan of decluttering or feel that a minimalist lifestyle might help you clear your space and your mind, then check out these 5 TED Talks that will inspire you to be a minimalist.

 

The Art of Letting Go by The Minimalists

The Minimalists of become rock stars in the Minimalism world and sit next to Marie Kondo who might as well be named the Queen. The Art of Letting Go is encouraging and gives a relatable story of their own lives and how Josh Millburn and Rick Nicodemus found minimalism.

 

The Ten-Item Wardrobe by Jennifer L. Scott

An interesting concept that Jennifer learned while living in Paris. She explains how minimizing your wardrobe and living with ten items can change not only your storage space but ultimately your life!

 

Sell Your Crap. Pay Your Debt. Do What You Love. by Adam Baker

I love this TedTalk because it comes from a place of that we can all relate to – we all have debt, we all have crap, and it’s holding us back. Adam’s story is inspiring and encourages us to all get more out of life with less stuff.

 

The Joy of Less by Kim Coupounas

Kim tells the relatable tale of the hunt for more and how it is never satisfied.

 

Less Stuff, More Happiness by Graham Hill

Graham asks if having less stuff in less room can increase happiness. He lays out three rules for editing your life.

 

 

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