We all tend to keep buying and accumulating things. Have you paid attention to how much garbage we generate? Besides the items we send to the dump or recycling facilities that were bought for food consumption, the rest could stay inside our household FOREVER, if we let them. So, how do we ensure our home keeps its minimalist feeling when we have children that need things constantly and outgrow their clothes every few months?
Set up a Budget
First, you need to avoid getting more stuff inside your minimalist home. Set up a budget category for children’s expenses only, and stick to that spending every single month. Be realistic for each stage of your children. This budget should include toys, clothes, formula, diapers or anything that is only purchased for your child. Take a look at my Budgeting 101 post.
Clothing: Minimalist wardrobe
2 weeks of everyday outfits is more than enough for a child, or an adult. It works very well because you can do laundry every weekend, for example, and your children can wear the load washed 1 week ago. A few simple rules:
- When an item is thorn or has a hole and you can’t fix it, replace it with a good quality one if you expect to use it for a long time. If you child is young and you expect the item to fit only for 1 season, buy a second hand one.
- If one item comes in, the old item has to go out. Sell it, donate it, gift it or dispose of it.
Does your house look like a circus? You are not alone. Every single parent feels trapped in a mountain of toys at some point.
Save them for later: Most likely, your child will receive a lot of presents on birthdays or Christmas. Kids do not need to play or to open every single present on the day the present was gifted. Save some presents for upcoming months so your child has something new to play with. Kids get bored with toys very very fast.
Hide and Rotate: You don’t need to have all your toys out and visible all the time. Save half of your kid’s toys in a small storage container and put them away in a closet. After 1 or 2 months, replace the toys that your children don’t play with much, with the ones you put aside. Repeat this every couple of months.
Just like toys, put some books aside and rotate them!
Swap with Friends
Instead of buying and buying plus accumulating new things, ask your friends if they will be interested in making a lending club to swap toys and books for the kids! You can use them for 3-6 months and then return them to the original owner.
Declutter your home
Aim for some areas within a room with empty spaces. For example:
- Clothes that don’t fit your child anymore and you plan to use for your next baby, should be stored in the basement and should not take the space in your kid’s dresser. Same with toys that your child has outgrown.
- Clothes that don’t fit your child anymore and you don’t want to keep, should be sold, gifted to a friend or donated.
- Check out my Decluttering for beginners post!
Every item should have its own space
- Toys should live in a bin. There are countless options on Amazon! The bin should live in a specific section of a room. Toys do not live on the floor, bed or couch.
- Every single piece of clothing has a spot as well.
Clothes and toys are the main pain point for parents and their minimalist home with children! Just a few of those are enough for a child to grow happy.