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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?