Keeping Tidy in the Chaos: Can Minimalism and Parenting Mix?

Minimalism has provided many people with a simpler and more fulfilling life… but is it possible to be a minimalist and a parent? What about all the things that come with a baby?

Minimalism is the practice of living with only the things you need or truly enjoy, and saying no to the rest. This can be practiced in your home by only keeping the items you regularly use, and it can also be practiced in your mental and social life… cutting out the “clutter” of activities and interactions that do not serve any real purpose or bring you joy.

Here are a few ways you can use the principles of minimalism to keep things tidy, even in the chaos of adding a new person to your family.

Choose Multi-Functional Items

It can be overwhelming to choose all of the baby items you’ll need in order to prepare for your new addition. One way to cut down on the clutter is to focus on items that can grow with your child and be used for multiple purposes.

Swings that convert to toddler rocking chairs, cribs that convert to big-kid beds, and convertible car seats are some of the bigger items you can use to limit how many items you need in your home. Even small items can be multifunctional, however! Keep your eyes out for any baby products that can be used for several different purposes.

Experiences Over Things

When you have children, your home can suddenly become a popular for toys and gifts from enthusiastic family members. If you are working to limit the amount of stuff that comes into your home, try making suggestions of the kinds of experiences you and your child might enjoy instead!

Baby + Me classes, memberships to your local zoo or children’s museum, or even money to start a college fund are all ideas you could suggest to family members who want to know what they can bring for the baby.

Everything is Temporary

If the idea of all the things that come with a baby starts to make you feel stressed, try to remember that everything is temporary. Clothes get outgrown, cribs turn to beds, and one day you won’t have seventy-two burp clothes laying around your home. Eventually, children can actually help you clean and do household chores.

While it is certainly easy to slip into a state of chaos or mess while you are transitioning to parenthood, it doesn’t have to stay that way. If minimalism was important to you before having a baby, give yourself some time to adjust and adapt to your new life. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get back to the way you used to do things.

If minimalism is something you are exploring in hopes that it will bring a little calm to your new life as a parent, start small and stay consistent. You’ll find that cutting down on clutter becomes second nature as you focus on the mindset of only keeping things that contribute to your life in a positive way.

Bethany Robin

Bethany has been blogging about the struggles, pitfalls, and just plain insanity of parenting as a millennial since her oldest was born in 2015. She's also worked extensively as a doula and has four children of her own, including toddler twins.

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