The Minimalist Family Lifestyle

min1In our fast-paced, technology-obsessed and career-driven society, it is becoming increasingly difficult to balance our time between all the important areas of our life.However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard if we are willing to shift our focus. Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life. Many parents falsely believe that minimalism is a lifestyle simply out of reach because they have children-as if the two are somehow incompatible. The principles of minimalism are completely within reach no matter how many children you have or where you live. And not only is minimalism completely possible with children, it is a lifestyle filled with benefits for them! Minimalism starts in your heart and mind. Once you change your mind and thinking, the changes in your surroundings can happen much easier. The first thing you should do is really figure out the simple life that you want. What does it look like? What does it include? How will it benefit you? Then, talk to your kids about your new family lifestyle, their roles, and what changes you are hoping for-for your entire family.

Begin minimizing your possessions first. Reduce your personal belongings and declutter. Once you have all personally downsized, move on to your shared family belongings. Remove the items they do not use, first. Minimalism is about paring down to only the essentials. It is about removing the things in our life we don’t need so we can focus on the things that we do. And while most homes are filled with things that are not needed, they are also filled with things that are not even used. Start by removing the clothes they no longer wear, the toys they no longer they play with, etc. Focus on the positives. Does their room appear tidier? Do they spend less time cleaning? Is it easier to find things? Can you notice less stress or less distraction? Are you more relaxed as a parent? Encourage each other with the positive benefits that you all notice.

Choose your purchases carefully going forward. You are absolutely still going to buy things going forward… you are just going to put more thought into your purchases than you did in the past. Replace “Do I want this?” with “Do I need this?” And help your children ask the same question. It’s one of the most important lessons they will ever learn. Treat them to fun experiences.

One benefit of minimalism is that you spend less and have more time on your hands. Use it to create fun, family experiences. Minimalism is not the goal. Minimalism is, after all, less about the things you remove and more about the things you add. The potential of minimalism lies in what you choose to pursue with your life in place of material possessions. Choose contentment and contribution. Invest in relationships. Grow spiritually and find purpose. Your life is far too valuable to waste chasing possessions and overscheduling, and your family will discover this life-giving truth as soon as you stop.

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