13 Minimalist Tips For Families
What exactly IS minimalism?
What minimalist tips would give you the confidence to do this with your family? Well, first, we have to address what "minimalism" really is.
Minimalism, by definition, isn't quite what one would think. How would you pass on a minimalist quiz? It actually references 1950s sculpture painting and avant-garde music. But even in these, it was the simplicity that mattered.
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In episode 17 of the Mama Says Namaste Podcast, I started a new series - The Minimalist To-Do List. Now when we think minimalist, what really comes to mind? Most likely not the art forms. We scour the web for a guide to minimalism, how to start minimalism, how to begin living a minimalist lifestyle, and more.
Joshua and Ryan of "The Minimalists" lay it out well here:
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.
I love this, and their concise definition below, as the real meaning of minimalism as we know it today. It's about so much more than just living in an Ikea house. It's a brilliant minimalist approach to all of life.
Ikea Isn't Everything...
When you say the word "minimalist", people immediately think Ikea (or maybe that's just me). We think of a stark white room, all full of feng shui and lush sheepskin rugs, a trickling fountain and candles. There is greenery and open space and a feeling of zen. Basically, go to Ikea. It's clean, simplistic, and gorgeous in it's sparseness. Everything has a purpose. I joke about how when Nathan and I got married, it was Cracker Barrel meets Ikea due to my love of holding on to everything. Now, we're not quite Ikea, but a bit more World Market than Cracker Barrel. The minimalism trend has hit more than just one store.
I love color - and my bohemian style definitely craves variety overload. But what I've found is my decorating style is so not what minimalism is really about. And that's why I can do a whole series just on this topic. It's deep. It's rich. And it is so much the essence of what is important to me, and what the "Mama Says Namaste" mission is.
Mama Says Namaste Mission:
To help families write their story with intention; creating awareness, grace and connection where each individual thrives. Not "one day", but today.
13 Minimalist Tips to get started:
Let me lay down the essentials of what minimalism is for me.
- If you are looking for a true minimalist lifestyle definition, you have to start with your family vision. Because this isn't just about being a minimalist woman or man - this is about your family. If you haven't yet, start with your family vision.
- It's about not taking in everything - just because it's on sale or super cool. Be careful about simply accumulating. Seek out what really brings joy, and cherish the one.
- Let go. Say no. A minimalist approach goes far beyond your home and really addresses your mindset. We have to flow. There are times it's better to simply say no, or be flexible with changes in plans. Allow for some white space in your life.
- When you are searching for minimalist decluttering tips, recognize it's not always an either/or. Look for "and" options so you don't feel like you are sacrificing.
- Create an environment that caters to all your senses - not just emptiness.
- Minimalist girl. Minimalist woman. Minimalist boy. Minimalist man. These can sometimes be a label that makes you feel isolated. It's okay to be a misfit. Actually, it can be quite nice.
- Simplifying your life may allow for more peace than you realized...maybe even so much so that you would (gasp) turn down free babysitting.
- Don't just focus on the outside. Simplify the inside. Pay attention to what you even put in your body. You are what you eat.
- Create boundaries in your relationships, and surround yourself with people who challenge you, support you, and lift you up. Foster your organic relationships and start reducing the toxicity in your life.
- Clear out the overwhelming things. We can have an immaculate house and still be weighted down simply by "Clutter of the Head". How many obligations and "to-do's" do you succumb to? How often are you a victim of circumstance or reacting to the chaos around you? Don't let the burden of overwhelm take you down.
- Prioritize your family. Not your things. Make your family your VIPs.
- Create a minimalist to-do list. This is your ultimate guide to minimalism. (And just so happens to be that fabulous pop-up you see on this page - go ahead - grab it now!)
- Redefine what "home" means to you. This was the first podcast episode in my Minimalism series. Here is what my daughter Clara said when I asked her a while back:
“Home is where you fill an invisible river of love, filled with adventures and salamanders, and even though it’s stormy, you feel safe.
The lightening is like a fire with marshmallows and the thunder is like singing in the rain."
Clara Logsdon, Age 9
Here are just a few more podcast episodes for powerful minimalist tips. All of Season 3 tackles clearing the clutter from your home, your head, and your heart.
I'm looking forward to this journey with you. Let's dig deep into minimalism in a way that allows you - and your family - to feel lighter, free, and focused on what you hold most dear.
If you're ready for a minimalism deep-dive, connect with me for some serious action steps to move from chaos to intention.
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