1. I am so lucky to have a partner who is also more naturally inclined to be a minimalist. Mr.TA’s mom is a hoarder (and I do not use that term lightly), so he’s always been very averse to any clutter. Honestly, he’s better at minimalism than me!

  2. Marie

    I went through a Kon Mari-ish burst a couple years ago that took me about a year to get through. It took so long in part because I was trying to be intentional in making sure any discards found a new home instead of ending up in the dumpster. Because of how much time and energy that process took, it made me SO MUCH more intentional on what I now allow into our house!

    Is our house perfect and minimal? Heck no. With a three month old baby I’m still working on decluttering (I’m looking at you gigantic box full of baby clothes we did not ask for MIL). I think I’m always going to have to be working on being intentional on what comes into our home. I fight for that because of exactly what you said: the less excess stuff I have, the more time I have for the important ‘stuff’ in life and that’s my family.

  3. I love the book Simplicity Parenting because every time I re-read it, I’m reminded that less is more. My 8-year-old is loathe to get rid of anything, especially Legos (we buy him 2 sets a year, for his birthday and Christmas, but other people give him so many sets!!) so I have learned to strategically place (aka hide) many sets, and then when he goes in his room, he is delighted at all the space and inevitably plays more with the few toys that are there. Like you, I have a very hard time minimizing their books. They read them all, so if I take some away, they miss them. But I think I’ll try Simplicity Parenting’s advice and rotate a few at a time. That way they can focus on the few books that are in their rooms, and I can rotate them every quarter or so. Plus, library books! We’re not very good at consistently going to the library. Thanks for the inspirational post! I’m going to find some boxes now! 🙂

  4. It was SO much easier embracing a minimalist mentality at 1.5. They don’t know about anything anyone else has in an abstract sense and they’re happy with whatever you give them (ahem, recycling) to play with.

    I miss those days.

    As they grow and become more aware of things that people have and perhaps enamored of them, it has gotten more complicated to keep the message of minimalism one about conscious spending choices and avoiding clutter and not about deprivation. At least it feels more complicated. JB is now old enough to understand part of it, but not all of it. It’s still a worthwhile endeavor,.it’s just gotten harder.

  5. As ungrateful as it sounds, I’ve donated huge bags of new and second hand stuff, especiaĺly toys, to the charity shop. A 3 month old just doesn’t need 17 rattles. As he gets older, it will become harder as Revanche points out, but having some control now will hopefully make it a but easier as he gets bigger.

  6. I like less stuff and clutter as well. I found that it was much easier when my son was younger and didn’t really understand that toys come from the store. Now that he’s 4, he wants ALL the toys. Of course we say no sometimes and sometimes we buy him stuff. But it’s hard to get rid of his old toys now that we have another boy because he can play with some of it when he’s older. Ultimately I still plan to go through the stuff and donate or throw away because it’s entirely too much stuff. And a lot of it came from the 2 birthday parties he’s had as well as Christmas gifts.

  7. I love that you noticed he plays more with less. I’m not a mother, but I volunteer at a once a week thing for preschoolers. They were throwing toys at each other, and one day I got so exasperated that I took all their toys away. The creative games that they decided to invent (sans blocks knocking me in the head, praise!) were so sweet. I really enjoyed watching them explore their minds. Now, I didn’t strip them of toys permanently, but I asked the director to limit the things in our classroom, and that’s helped infinitely!

  8. My son is turning 3 in a few months and he’s getting more aware of his surroundings which expanded his interest from books to now toys, clothes and even the shoes he wears. It was so much easier when he was HP’s age. He only loved his books and all we had to do was borrow them from library and read it to him. It cut down on the clutter because we would just rotate the books we had for him instead of having stacks of them if we had kept it.

  9. Brilliant Post.

    I love your observation that ‘The more stuff my son is surrounded with, the less he plays.’. i think thats true of we adults too, isn’t it?

    I agree that there are absolutely benefits in enjoying the things that you have instead of thinking about ‘adding more to the mix’.

    we can always add stuff.
    but we cant add time.
    I remember a time not so long ago that my partner and i would meet friends for Saturday brunch (early, like 10am). As we all went our seperate ways everyone would enquire as to how the others were spending their days. everyone without exception were off to meet other friends or undertake some exhilarating out door activity. Our responses, for many months, was ‘we are going shopping’. and the response back was always ‘what, again’?

    admittedly we were about to embark on a long holiday in three very different climates in different hemispheres (at the height of both summer and winter) but it left us feeling very flat and ready for the holiday.

    when we came back we launched in to both decluttering and focussing on creative or physical pursuits (i took up daily yoga and blogging, my partner returned to playing soccer and all the training that entails)

    focus on doing stuff rather than having stuff is the way to go.

    if ‘stuff’ doesn’t add to the experience, its not open for consideration.

  10. Buckeyecub

    No kids myself so can’t speak to being a parent. I was raised by parents who were trained as educators ( early childhood and high school). We had alot of books around, this started my lifelong joy of reading. We also went to the library alot. I was always checking out up to the limit of books and read all I checked out. They rarely used library when they were kids and wanted me to enjoy it’s value. If you son is enjoying and using the books and you have the space, I don’t think they need to be purged. When he is old enough to read books once and done encourage him to get them from the library. You can help him to understand how some items are bought/kept and some are borrowed If we loves reading he will soon see that the library is the best way to feed the habit.

  11. Rooibosandrose

    We are having our first in July and the amount of baby stuff everyone says we’ll “need” is giving me mass anxiety already. Loved your post and looking forward to giving my kid oatmeal boxes and simple things to play with. We purposefully bought a smaller house and do not want it filled with all mannersof stuff. I am not a minimalist with books and am a ok with that. I’m looking forward to fostering my kids love of reading. A good friend of mine is a librarian and I’m looking forward to making the library a weekly stop of mine. I read a ton already and can’t wait to have a reading buddy. ❤️ Thanks for the great posts!

    • Libraries are honestly the best! Obviously you know this already, but you will appreciate them differently as a parent. It’s my son’s favorite place!

  12. I definitely noticed a big difference in my siblings’ approach to their children. The American Midwest living sibling has rooms full of stuff for the 15 month old. The European living sibling has so few toys that the playpen would not be crowded with the nibling and all their toys at once. That nibling is also 15 months old. European nibling plays more with the parents and positively adored the thick paper from my airline ticket. The European housing is also cleaned much faster since there is just less stuff in the way. It is inspiring, for sure.

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