How to be a Minimalist Mom

Minimalism. The word often evokes strong emotions on both sides of the fence. Either you’re all in and can pack all your belongings into a tiny house, or you’re a Why-would-I-even-try-when-I-have-so-much-stuff kind of person. I’d love to offer a different approach.

Now, I’m 100% for KonMari and the Minimalists. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed their work. I’ve narrowed down my belongings to things that spark joy. I’ve done the packing parties. However, I don’t think you need to sort through your entire home this week and toss out everything you don’t adore. Not only is this not sustainable, it’s just plain impractical for an everyday mom.

Who has the time, with kiddos running crazy through the house, to unload the entire kitchen and haul carloads of unwanted gear to the nearest Goodwill? And if you’re like me, your spare time for minimizing is limited to about 10 minutes – after catching up on dishes or laundry and before baby wakes up from a nap and wants to nurse!

Here’s what I am suggesting: just slowly start to let things go.

Tomorrow when you get dressed for the day, quickly scan your clothes and pick one shirt that you never wear at all, that has holes in the front, that’s 3 sizes too small. Remove it from the hanger, find an empty box, and start a “Get Rid Of” pile. Put it somewhere you’ll easily see but that is out of reach of little fingers (somehow my children always discover the items I plan to donate and decide they want to play with it ALL).

My “Get Rid Of” pile is generally on top of my washing machine, next to the garage door. Why? Looking at it every day reminds me to continue scanning my house for things I don’t need. It keeps me from piling things in the back of my closet that will inevitably be forgotten.

So wherever it is, designate your pile. Then as you live your Momming life today, tomorrow, and the next day, just gradually add to the pile. Those clothes in your son’s closet that are too small, but not nice enough to save for baby #2 (or #3 or #4) – throw them on your pile. That extra coffee pot from college that you replaced and never use – straight to the pile. The third and forth cheap corkscrew you bought on vacation because you forgot to pack your nice one – yep, on the pile too.

Whether you have time for the major minimalist purging now or not, this slow daily habit of tossing what you don’t need is the only thing that’s going to sustain a long-term minimalist lifestyle. Make it a habit. You’ll be so glad you did!

It may not look Instagram perfect at first, but one thing at time, consistent de-cluttering makes significant progress. It is so worth it!

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