What is minimalism for families?

Look, I know you're not new to decluttering, or minimalism, but sometimes when you focus or learn about something, you lose track of the finer details of keeping up with your day to day life, let alone decluttering or reducing your consumption. 

Next thing you know, you're too overwhelmed and bogged down and think you’re the only one who hasn’t “figured it out” yet. 

Don't worry, that's what this blog is for. Also, trust me, you are NOT the only one who hasn't quite figured this out yet. Most people haven't actually.

I will explain simplicity for families, not just minimalism, and why you need to know all about it so you can make your home peaceful, creative, fun AND easy to clean up. 

What is minimalism for families?

At its simplest form, minimalism is the word most of us recognize and strive for because it is known. it's like calling a tissue a Kleenex. It's a tissue but we all know the brand “Kleenex”. The idea of minimalism is that you have less stuff and therefore, also less overwhelm, mess, burden and stress. But for families specifically minimalism can feel out of reach. 

And that makes sense— when you have more people in your home, you will automatically have more stuff. Being a minimalist seems like something only afforded to those without children, and a high disposable income to be able to get things as needed. Which is why I prefer the term simplicity instead. 

Simplicity is attainable. It means reducing things down to their smallest viable form. We learned this concept in math… why 18/36 when you could simplify it and just call it ½? This is what simplicity offers families, the concept itself is really just minimalism… simplified. We’re distilling it down to what works for us, rather than a large jargony concept trending accounts promote on Instagram but don’t really apply to our real lives.

Do you want to learn more from me about how to declutter your home down to the simplest form for you and your family? Decluttering Simplified does exactly that with a step by step plan and support to help you make decisions based on your real life, not some arbitrary minimalist standard. 

Why Should You Care About minimalism for your family?

I'm all about letting people live however they want and however works for them, and I can't make you care about minimalism or simplicity, but let me give you some truth bombs real quick to show you why this might be worth your time as a mom.

Minimalism, or simplicity is important because:

  • It reduces your daily stress, burden and frustration in your own home. 
  • When you declutter you create better consumption habits not only for you, your children and their future selves, you also help shift our culture away from consumerism and materialism which has gotten pretty harmful. 
  • It makes your home, and life more peaceful, fun, creative and makes your job as a parent so much easier. Instead of taking your frustration out on yourself or your kids (because no one ever helps clean up) that becomes a doable task for all of you, and allows you all to play, create AND clean up, easily. 

Important: Don't think that minimalism and simplicity mean you have nothing fun and will never get to be creative again. It’s actually the opposite because you have TIME and energy to actually DO the things you have been wanting to do. Instead of feeling stressed about pulling out crafts because there is already a mess, or having too many projects started already. Or having to clean up before you start – whether that is cooking, exercising, or even just relaxing on the couch. 

The truth is, having less stuff to manage gives you more time for doing and being. 

Clutter in The Home

How clutter affects you and your family, is just as important as understanding what exactly minimalism is and why it's essential.

Let me give you a real-world example:

So many families have way more dishes than necessary, and it leads to unmanageable amounts of dishes. 

This post particularly is interesting to me because we are also a family of 7, who eat all of our meals from home. Some of our kids are in school but parents with kids in school know that’s really not as much time away from home as people think… summers, breaks, and days off aren’t that much different as far as our dish volume goes.

And it’s 100% because we practice minimalism, or in my words, simplicity for our dishes. 

Simplified dishes for large families (not minimalism)

When I started Motherhood Simplified as a family of 5, we had a set of 6 daily dishes. One large plate, small plate and one bowl per person. This gave us enough of a buffer to get through most days without needing to run the dishwasher and we wash pots and pans immediately after meals. Because it’s a good habit to have, but also because we don’t have enough pots and pans NOT to. It is a self correcting scenario.

Now as a family of 7 we have a set of 12 dishes because that’s how many dishes come in a pack. We still have to run the dishwasher at least daily (usually twice) in order to have enough dishes for all of our meals. And it works. 

We can’t fall behind and it by default helps us maintain good habits. 

I am sure you have many questions about this like what about guest dishes? What about cups/water bottles/sippy cups? 

And I answer it all in this mini course, super simple routines that work. I share all of the nitty gritty details of how to simplify your dishes and kitchen based on your needs and family size, but also laundry routines and morning/nightly cleaning routines. 

Check out Super Simple Routines That Work right here. 

Tips for Minimalism and families

Raise your hand if you are still not sure that having less stuff will make your motherhood simpler Be honest! 🙋‍♀️

That's no problem; here are some extra concepts for us to break down:

Mindset shift #1:

You probably think that having less will mean you will be deprived in some way. Or you will need something and not have it. You will get rid of something and not be able to replace it. Or you or your kids will be missing out on something by having less.
Understandable, because we live in a consumerist society full of expert marketers. They use tactics that make you fear not having enough and being deprived.
Your real power comes from knowing if you ever have a need, you will be able to have it met. Whether you get creative, use something else, ask a friend or realize it really wasn’t that big of a deal to begin with. And your “need” was really more of a minor inconvenience or FOMO. 

Mindset shift #2:

You think that having more stuff, makes your life easier. Having back ups for if you lose something is simpler, but let me show you why that’s not true, especially if you have a lot of kids.
I have 5 kids. That means 5 sets of snow gear. 10 gloves, 10 boots, 5 hats, 5 snow pants, 5 jackets. If I got backups for everyone, or even half of them I have massively increased the money I am spending, the space I am taking up, but also the mental load of having to deal with kids “losing” things, when really they just don’t want to find it, or did not put it back like they were supposed to. Taking their back ups, and then losing those back ups. Me getting frustrated that we can never find our stuff, and my kids are “irresponsible”.

Having one set per kid requires them to keep track of it, to put it away appropriately and to dry it immediately when coming in.

Now, I am not saying you have to do it my way, but I am highlighting how often we think having more will make life easier, and it really does the opposite. 

Here’s an invitation to help you simplify the stuff you have and create simple and sustainable habits around your home with my mini course Simple Routines That Work.

Super Simple Routines That Work specifically supports you with laundry routines (and stuff), kitchen routines (and stuff), and your morning/nightly routines and habits with your family. Minimalism is focused mostly on what you have, simplicity adds in the sustainable behavior around it all.

Key Takeaways

Let's wrap this up, shall we? The key takeaways to remember from this post are that minimalism for families is really beneficial. And often misunderstood to be something that is too out of reach for the average family, and it’s not!

Motherhood Simplified exists to show families how to declutter and simplify their homes and lives. If you want to take on the title of minimalist, then go right ahead! But it’s not required.

Pssst, don’t forget, you can also check out my Super Simple Routines That Work course. It includes laundry routines (and decluttering), dish and kitchen routines (and decluttering), and morning and nightly routines. 

This mini course makes the day to day life simple, so that you have the time and freedom to go do as your please the rest of your day!! 

Click here to get Super Simple Routines That Work now.

Oh, and come say hi in the Facebook group and join the Motherhood Simplified crew!


Even if you have little time, energy or day to day support