Motherhood is bedrooms full of toys and stuff that we always clean up yet, are always still left with a mess. That’s just the life we are destined to live.
I’m here to tell you, mom to mom, that’s not true.
I started to simplify my home and motherhood experience about five years ago. This post is all about how my KIDS benefit from me choosing to simplify our home, having less toys, and minimizing their stuff.
I have to be honest, every time we have decluttered toys and things, there is this nagging feeling that I am depriving them!
Like they are going to be missing out on something in their childhood by me removing things from their rooms that have just been sitting there.
It comes from those lies we tell each other. Lies like that happiness lies in our stuff, and in the things we buy. Every time we have down our massive downsizes though the opposite happens to my kids.
They have NEVER told me they feel deprived, or like they don’t have enough toys. When I observe them they actually have a TON of benefits from having their spaces cleared.
They are more calm
Another lie we tell each other is that motherhood is loud, and chaotic. While obviously noise happens during play, chaos and toy tornadoes shouldn’t be your normal.
When my kids’ only have the things they truly care about and have less “stuff” just hanging around in their rooms – they are calmer!
Not only in their play, and actions but they have this sense of peace and ease in our home.
When we had a home full of toys, and things, and stuff it was disorganized and messy. Our thoughts, behavior and actions directly line up with our physical environment.
Have you noticed how when you walk into a spa you instantly unwind and just relax? That is how your kids’ FEEL when you create a space for them that reflects this.
They are more responsible and caring of the things they have
When our house was overloaded with toys and things, it was like no matter how hard I tried it was always a mess. No matter how many different organizational pins I added to pinterest stuff was always thrown into a pile. I learned that I cannot out-organize clutter, and that lack of organizational skills were not my problem. Too much stuff was.
They really weren’t even given a fair chance to care for their things.
No matter how strategic you get, you can’t organize clutter.
When your home is overburdened with toys, I have to tell you – that’s just clutter. Once we reduced the toys and games they had down to the minimum we were able to start caring for our things in a new way. Everything had a spot.
Games had their pieces and it was EASY to keep track of them. The degree to which they cared for their stuff increased because they could SEE it. They could take it out, play with it, and put it back exactly where they found it. Without trying to shove it into an already bulging closet or bin.
It can be hard to look at your toys and decide what stays and what goes.
They appreciate of the things they have, and don’t really expect a whole lot of unnecessary things
I will try to say this in the nicest way possible – so here I go. Kids can be entitled. Kids can think that adults are supposed to entertain them, or buy them things that entertain them.
My husband and I joke about when our kids were little and would see a commercial of a toy they wanted and yell, “I want THAT”. They didn’t even know what it was. Or why they wanted it. But if there was a commercial and it looked bright and colorful, they wanted it.
Same with the toy aisle. We have all seen or experienced ourselves a kid in a toy aisle begging for anything and everything they see on the shelf.
The problem with these toys is that SO many toys are one and done.
What I mean by that is you play with it once or twice and then its just a paperweight.. or for kids, I guess a doorstopper or something.
As my kids got older I started asking them what they would DO with those toys they were asking for. And most of the time they didn’t know.
It doesn’t make sense to buy something just because it looks cool for a minute. Or because your friends have it, or it's on sale.
They know, that when they get something it was meaningful to them and something that they really want to take care of and use. With this appreciation comes a new level of responsibility. Everything they have is purposeful and meaningful they genuinely appreciate it, and want to care for it.
Without excess toys and things they were given the space to create, collaborate and really play with each other.
They entertain themselves
I think one of the most valuable things a kid can learn, is how to entertain themselves. As adults it is SO important to be able to be independent, and have the confidence to rely on yourself.
When kids can play independently this is the adult equivalent of independence.
When their space is clear and organized, and they have the things they know they love and enjoy. They pretty much do their own thing, or join in with a sibling. They are able to play creatively, have fun, collaborate, on their own. Without my husband and I worrying about destroying things or being “bored”.
I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it was to have a house FULL of things I knew they could play with but always seemed to have “nothing to do” or “anything to play to with”.
So, while it may sound like we just send them to play and don’t interact with them that’s not the case at all. We will happily join them in a lego session or a board game, or building a fort or playing outside.
Whatever the case may be, we love to play with them. But we also LOVE to have adult time together as a husband and wife without feeling like our kids are terrorizing our home just trying something to do.
Without all the excess, I feel like I am able to be a more present parent and truly play WITH them and that feels great.
Social Skills and Relationships
Have you ever gone on, or invited someone over for a play date. You kinda brace yourself for the amount of chaos and mess you know is about to go down. The kids need friends and as a mom – you need adult conversation so you suck it up. Then brace yourself for the play date recovery. Or maybe you just don’t because you feel like your house is nowhere near fit to be having guests over. That’s not a way to live my friend!!
One of my absolute favorite side benefits of simplifying our home was seeing how it affects the relationships my kids have with each other, but even when they have their friends over its peaceful, and fun, and inviting and they genuinely have a good time together and enjoy each other’s company versus just kinda having a zoo session of toys sprawled and thrown and arguments and fights breaking out.
Plus, I will be honest it feels REALLY good to me, to know that my kids have a home they are proud and excited to bring their friends to.
I grew up embarrassed by the condition of my home, and I do not ever want my kids to feel that. I want their home to be a haven not only for them, but for the people that are important to them.
This one is kind of a given. When you have less things done for you, the more you have to create for yourself. So many toys are designed to DO things for your child.
Light up, sing a song, make a game for them. When you provide your kids with toys (or lack of toys) that demand imagination, creation, open-ended, building they are by default going to be more creative, innovative and collaborative.
They Play Outside More
My kids truly love playing outside in the yard. Weather doesn't bother them – they just dress appropriately. Fresh air and outside time is probably one of the best things for children, and when they have less things keeping them inside, the more the get outside to play!!
There are so many other small benefits that I have observed in my children as we have simplified our home and life, but I don’t want to overload you with every little thing. I would rather YOU take this step for your family and SEE the impact it can have on your life.
If this all sounds like what you want in your home, and need someone to give you the steps to learn HOW get into my free challenge – the laundry, dishes and toys solution!