What is Family Minimalism

What is Family Minimalism?

What is family minimalism to me and my family. 

When I first found out about minimalism I didn’t see any minimalist families.  Most minimalists I saw were single or traveling couples.  While traveling sounds like a lot of fun, the thought of bringing two young kids makes it a lot less minimalist.

I did a lot of research on minimalism.  Watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading a lot of simple living books.  Most of my research led me to decluttering and ways to simplify.

This is when I decided to come up with my own definition of family minimalism.  Family minimalism (for us) is keeping the items that you need, things that make you happy, and getting rid of the excess.

Let me break this down so it makes sense.

Items You Need

The items I need are obvious things.  For instance in the kitchen we need pots and pans, spatulas, cutlery etc.  The list goes on and on, but this is where getting rid of the excess comes into play.  When I first started decluttering I realized I had everything I need plus a lot of extra!  The kitchen was the easiest to declutter because it was easy to see we didn’t need 5 plus pot holders.  We didn’t need 30 plus cups.  Family minimalism is keeping what we need and use and getting rid of the rest.

I was able to declutter our cup collection down to about 10 cups for a family of 4.  Why 10?  My reasoning is if we have a party we won’t need to buy plastic cups.  This is where you will have to decide what is the right amount for you and your family.  Some minimalists might only keep one cup per person and that is great too.  It all comes down to what is going to work for your family as a whole.

Things That Make You Happy

Everything that you own you have to pay for and care for.  This is why I decided that I am only going to keep things that make me happy.  Before we became minimalist there were a ton of items that I kept because I felt like I had to.  I wrote a whole post on how to declutter without feeling guilty if you want to read more.  I kept all of my school yearbooks!  Twelve large books were stored in a box out of guilt.  In the end I decided to cut a few things out and save my senior year book.  After the decision was made and the books were gone I never regretted my decision.

One major reason I sought out minimalism was our ever growing amount of toys.  We had toys stored in our living room, the kids room, and almost every cupboard.  No amount of sorting or organizing would change the way my house looked with all of those toys.  My living room always looked like a play center and it was driving me nuts!  This is when I realized we were keeping toys the children didn’t play with.  Once I analyzed what my boys actually played with I was able to get rid of everything else.  We decided to store all of the toys in our boys room, anything that didn’t fit was decluttered.  Now my home looks much nicer and this makes me so happy.  (don’t worry, my kids still have plenty of toys)

Getting Rid of the Excess

My personal definition of excess is keeping a lot of stuff that I rarely or never use.  Before we decluttered I had 3 strainers in the kitchen, clothes that I might wear once every 3 years, and shoes that hurt my feet, just to name a few.  Decreasing the amount of excess did a few things for our family.

  • We save money because we aren’t buying things until we need them.
  • There is more room in our home.
  • Our house functions better because we don’t have to search for what we are looking for.
  • It is easier to keep our house organized and clean.
  • There are a lot less toys to be picking up and tripping over.

Benefits of Family Minimalism

There are so many benefits to living more minimal with a family.

  • Spending time on what really matters to you.
  • Not having that wasted time feeling after tidying your home.
  • Saving money because you aren’t trying to accumulate more stuff.
  • Knowing where everything is all the time.
  • Enjoying more experiences over things.
  • Removing the social pressure to look richer or have name brand items.
  • Loving everything you do keep.

The nice thing about family minimalism is you can make up your own definition and decide what amount of items works for your family.  Some people might visit our home and think we don’t look minimalist at all and on the other hand some people would say we have too much.  This is why it is important to decide what will work for you.  I decided to declutter slow and steady for a whole year.  After a year of decluttering I would revisit an already decluttered area to see if there were any other items that needed to go.  Almost every time I would find at least one thing that I know we hadn’t used for over 6 months.  I like to call decluttering and minimalism a journey because it takes time to see what you are actually using and what is just excess.

Minimalist Research

Here are some books and YouTube channels that can help to motivate your minimalist journey:

YouTube Channels:

Shannon Torrens: Check out my channel, I have a lot of videos about family minimalism and our decluttering journey.

Scandish Home: Noemi talks about her simple living family and how minimalism has simplified their lives.

Messy Minimalist: This channel is exactly like her name.  She talks about being a messy person while becoming more minimalist. She has a lot of videos about decluttering and shows exactly how she declutters.

Mini Mom: This mom shows her day and how they live minimalist with a family.

Abundantly Minimal: This lady does more sit down discussion type videos about minimalism and decluttering.

The Minimal Mom: Dawn gives tips and tricks on how to declutter and how to become minimalist.

Simply Mel: Lots of decluttering tips.

Small Changes: A large family living minimally. 

The Minimalists: Just like they are called, they talk about minimalism.

Books I Loved:

(Some of these are affiliate links, which helps support my blog, but adds no cost to you =)

The Life Changing Magic of tidying up: This book helps with the decluttering process with step by step instructions.

Minimalism: The title says it all!

The More Of Less:  Living with less.

Essentialism: This taught me how to get more done and not waste time.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: I wrote a whole blog post that you can read here.


What does family minimalism mean to you?

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