Surely you’ve heard of minimalism, a current trend that encourages living solely with essentials to make the most of the present moment. It’s becoming more and more popular, whether for environmental or financial reasons, or simply to improve quality of life!
What is minimalism?
The basic principle of minimalism is to live in simplicity. Rest assured, that does not mean giving everything away and living between four white walls! The idea behind minimalism is to get rid of the clutter, either objects that bring us no real pleasure, things we have duplicates of, as well as toys that our child could very well do without. Detaching from our material possessions allows us to spend less time tidying up, cleaning, maintaining, shopping and thus, spend more quality time with our loved ones. Several studies have shown that decluttering the house decreases cortisol levels and therefore, stress levels.
Why choose this lifestyle?
Minimalism offers many benefits, both for adults and children. In her book: "Living Simply", Élizabeth Simard states that a typical house has an average of 300,000 objects. We bet that there are several of which you have completely forgotten their existence! Here is what is likely to happen to you after having carried out a good decluttering of the house:
You will have more quality time with your family
It is quite logical! The less housework to do, toys to pick up and things to buy, the more time we have for family fun. Your wallet will thank you and you may have the money you need for a great outing with family or friends.
Your stress level will decrease
A crowded room can be stressful for many. Seeing objects lying around and accumulating dust can cause anxiety in some people. You don't necessarily realize it, but stress increases with tasks that accumulate. In addition, when children are exposed to a large number of choices and possibilities, whether for toys, clothing or activities, they become more stressed and have difficulty managing their emotions.
Your children will become more creative
Children don't need a lot of toys to be happy. With simple equipment, they will develop their imagination more than if they are placed in front of a battery toy that does everything for them. In fact, having fewer toys makes children play more with them.
Your children will become more independent
If each object has its place in the house, it will be easier for children to find their way around. They will further develop their autonomy and routines will be simplified.
You will have more time to play outside
Having less leads people to enjoy nature and what it has to offer. Several studies mention that playing outside helps calm anxiety, stress and hyperactivity. Children also take more risks and become very creative, in addition to having a better attention span.
Where to start?
There is no magic recipe and everyone has to go at their own pace. You could decide to declutter room by room or choose categories of objects to sort like toys, books and clothes. Then you have to choose to either: keep the object, give it away, sell it or throw it away if it can't be used by anyone else. For the objects that we choose to keep, we find a specific place for them.
The important thing to not get discouraged is to go easy and take care of one room at a time. If you start to take everything out, from the basement to the second floor, discouragement could take over and slow you down in what is supposed to be a beautiful project. Cluttering a house can be very long, you have to be patient.
You can also involve your children in your project by explaining your approach. They may find it difficult to understand why you chose to declutter, but rest assured, you will quickly see the positive effects on your children!
Simplicity parenting : using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier and more secure kids.
Vivre simplement, Élizabeth Simard