Minimalism has changed your life, and now you’re expecting your first baby – congrats! So, how do you become a Minimalist Mum?
First, let’s be very, very clear. Children are anything but minimalist.
From the moment you discover you are pregnant the amount of things you need for this tiny human seems incomprehensible. It is.
They outgrow clothing and equipment at the speed of light and you wonder what to do with it all and why you’re always broke.
Oh, and the toys. PLEASE DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THE TOYS. I don’t think I have to explain this further, right?
By the time they reach pre-school it is not just the physical items that are mounting up. The amount of activities your child has to participate in escalates.
From Christmas shows, to bake sales and after-school clubs, time slips away and you quickly realise, if you hadn’t already, that there are simply not enough hours in the day to keep up.
This along with a job, family life, and housework to mention but a few, you start to feel like sometimes it seems like you’re running on empty and you wondered what you did with your precious minutes B.C (before children)
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Where does Minimalism come in?
Minimalism doesn’t mean sitting in a stark white room with a single chair and art print on the wall. I prefer to think of the term as living simply and intentionally. I have found this mindset has really helped with that chaotic feeling that I was regularly experiencing.
There are so many methods to cut the crazy and focus on what is important to you and your family. Changes in your home, your lifestyle, and spending habits, can all really have a positive impact on a hectic lifestyle. It will change your life!
There are three main points to focus on at the beginning of your journey.
1. Declutter & Simplify
You know that feeling you get when you clean out a messy cupboard that you’ve been meaning to do for weeks (months actually, but you know) Now imagine doing that with your whole house. Clear out everything you do not use, does not have purpose or that you simply do not love.
Seriously, do you even have time to make fresh pasta? Is there any need for the pasta maker attachment for you freestanding mixer to still be in your kitchen cupboard? Probably not.
There are many ‘methods’ of decluttering to better your life, including the most notable KonMari method, discussed in the book Spark Joy by Marie Condo. This is very popular among minimalists and discusses the Japanese art of tidying, asking yourself if every single item in your home fills a purpose or sparks joy. If you answer no to any, it’s gone!
You could begin with going through your wardrobe and ridding yourself of any item you have not worn this season or you simply do not fit into. This would be an excellent starting point and it would set you up for the rest of your minimalism journey. When your environment is free from clutter, it is amazing on what a positive impact this can have on your mind.
2. Plan & Organise
You can also use the concept of decluttering on your calendar. Take a good look at your schedule and decide what is essential and what you could perhaps say no to.
I found this step to be more difficult than the physical declutter of belongings, as deciding what and who is really worthy of your time can be complicated. But this is perhaps more important than removing physical things from your life. Because, well, just that. They are just things.
When you minimize your schedule and learning to say no, you get back the most valuable commodity you can ever have. TIME.
Turning down unimportant events or activities with people you may not feel deserve your energy is extremely freeing and leaves you time to spend doing what matters most with your loved ones.
It is vital to get. your. shit. together.
Planning saves a hell of a lot of stress on a day to day basis. As previously mentioned, the amount of information the average parent has to remember is astronomical. Your mind is constantly zig zagging from one thing to the next.
I have found it so helpful to use diaries, calendars, bullet journals, notebooks. Anything so I can ‘brain dump’ some or all of my thoughts into one place where I know I can look at and organise.
Brain dumping clears the mind of distractions and enables you to focus on your goals or tasks for the day. Make a list of activities that need to be done daily and rank them numerically in order of importance.
Make your goals achievable so it does not become overwhelming. The amount of pride you will receive crossing each little task off motivates you to conquer the next.
Organisation and planning is key in minimalism. Once you declutter you will in theory have less to organise and plan. So if you organise and plan the smaller amount of tasks you do have to achieve, life should (in theory) be a breeze.
For example; If you know you don’t have many groceries in the house, go through your cupboards and toiletries etc and write down exactly what you will need to buy.
I personally like to do an online shop when I have a spare 30 minutes as it saves me dragging the kids to the supermarket where no doubt some kind of tantrum will ensue. It’s about knowing what will make your life easier and actually finding ways to do this.
As you adapt these two steps into your life, you will see a huge change in your mentality. After decluttering, you should now realise what in your home and around you is important and to not bring things willy nilly into your house. No nick-nacks to clean, no unused kitchen appliances, no fad equipment for your new hobby that will last all of nine days.
You will save money.
Hopefully you are being more mindful with your budget and limiting what items are coming into your home. You know what activities are important to you and bring value to your family. Everything else is cut loose and you will start to see some extra disposable income hanging around.
This has been pretty life changing for me and has changed my whole attitude on money. This extra cash could be saved for a wonderful experience such as that vacation you have always dreamed of. It could also be put to use in your home, or to invest to grow your income further. Invest in yourself by studying that course to better your career. The possibilities are endless and you truly discover this when you stop trying to do everything.
I hope these three tips help you find it easier to become a minimalist mum.
Check out my list of 25 Mum tips to make your life easier for some more motivation to kick start your Minimalist journey.
Are you a Minimalist Mum? What did you find difficult when beginning to live a more simple life? Leave a comment below 🙂
Keep going Mama, you’re doing great!