Minimal-ish living doesn't mean getting rid of all your “stuff” - it means making the “stuff” you value work best for you.
💙 It’s saving you time, money and SANITY.
💙 It’s getting rid of the noise and excess.
💙 It’s having a home that’s efficient and simple to manage.
💙 It’s eliminating what’s preventing you from accomplishing your goals.
💙 It’s for both physical AND mental “clutter”.
It’s family-friendly, foundation-setting and efficiency focused - perfect for ANYONE who wants to bring what really matters to them to the forefront, but it’s especially valuable for busy, growing families. Spend less time on the mundane and more time on making memories.
Interested in minimalish living? Head to my Instagram at @thetidytot for easy-to-implement home hacks, and tips that you can try TODAY to take back control at home and gain back your valuable time.
As you and your family enter new life stages, it’s a great time to reevaluate your current systems and routines. Make sure your home is still working for you as you adapt to the new seasons.
This kitchen cabinet went from holding ingredients for my small Italian bakery business, then I closed that chapter (for now) and turned it into a feeding / eating / medicine cabinet for the kids. As they grow and our needs change, it’s now a snack and simple crafts cabinet (I keep the more involved stuff in the laundry room). Our kitchen is long and has a lot of storage; this is right next to our kitchen table, which makes it EASY to grab and give stuff to my kids. Keeping up with those snack demands is no joke.
A few weeks ago, I finally recycled the bottles that were STILL in here. The baby stage is over for my two!
I know this will change again soon. But it’s working well and serving its purpose for now. Don’t be afraid to make changes so your home is as functional as it can be for you.
What’s working best for you in your home right now? Tell me, so we can share ideas!
Self Care for Minimalists
Before this Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about taking care of OURSELVES - the person we should LOVE the most and care for the most, although as moms, it can sometimes feel like (and even be) the complete opposite.
“Self care” is a huge buzzword (in my opinion). It’s a great concept, but can actually be frustrating - so many moms try to treat themselves and think, “Is this self care? Am I taking enough/too much time away for myself?” It can be hard to get a “break” - we’re small business owners, I am a stay at home mom and the primary caregiver of my kiddos. BUT - there are still ways to indulge, even if you DON’T have the luxury to take a bigger chunk of time away from your every day.
The Timer Trick
⏰ THE TIMER TRICK ⏰
Works great for kids and adults alike…
On Instagram recently, I shared Jacqueline (@big.family.mom - check her out!)’s reel, suggesting (in a good way!) to be productive during nap/quiet time, instead of zoning out for yourself and then blaming others (kids!) that “I just can’t get anything done”.
Resting is great, but limit yourself so you don’t feel the frustration later - a timer is an awesome tool for this - I use it all.the.time!
Here are a few ways to use a timer when managing your home and family that will increase productivity (great for moms and older kids) and limit frustrations (great for moms and younger kids struggling with transitions):
⏰ Take a break
⏰ Limit screen time or other activity
⏰ Make a quick decision / avoid analysis paralysis
⏰ Challenge yourself to finish a task
⏰ Countdown to a new activity / transition
⏰ Establish a new routine or habit
Have you tried the timer trick?
No matter how much you stick to a routine or (loose) schedule at home, going out can totally throw you off - anything can happen when kids are involved!
It may sound counterintuitive, but being prepared with the RIGHT tools is an important part of minimalish living. Owning less and being more intentional ensures that you have things that add value to you and your family's life. Sometimes it's actually easier to have a few *extra* things you could need, especially when you're out with the little ones!
I carry my stocked backpack. Maybe you're extremely minimalist and only throw a diaper in your purse - but, how many times do you *wish* you had...
Math was NOT my strong suit. But minimalish math... I can definitely do that!
I recently talked about figuring out what to declutter - keep 20% and dump 80%. It may sound extreme, but that ruthlessness will keep clutter from creeping back (with maintenance, of course!).
Routines Help Kids Thrive
You can set your child up for success at home with functional areas for learning, play, care and relaxation, BUT - children thrive on routine. The “work” at home isn’t over when you declutter and minimize - it just started!
Your home can run at maximum efficiency when you establish good habits, routines and systems - simplifying and minimizing only makes doing this less frustrating and less stressful. It’s also easier to take care of and gives you time back in your routine to be more intentional with what you’re spending it on.
HELP. My child just WON'T.LET.GO.
🧸 Establish that when one toy comes in, one goes out [immediately choose one toy to leave when a new one comes in]
🧮 Discuss opening up their space to have more space to play [create a special area to display (fewer) toys beautifully (whatever this means to you!) - get your child excited to go to them]
👦 Talk about giving items that were once loved a second life to someone else who will love it too [donate, gift, sell]
⏰ Get them excited about having more time to play [and less time cleaning up or looking for things]
💙 Encourage them sharing WHY items are favorites [what's most loved about them and why are they special to your child?]
🤔 Discuss the importance of making choices [give them "the power to choose" one item versus another]
Play is the Work of Childhood
Mr. Rogers may have said it best, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
Children explore and learn about the world around them through play. And when we think of play, we often think of TOYS that drive those little explorers to absorb new concepts and provide some guidance.
Studies show that less toys equals higher quality play. The University of Toledo in Ohio studied 36 toddlers (ages 18 to 30 months) in free-play sessions with either 4 or 16 toys. In the groups who played with only four toys, toddlers played in more varied, advanced ways for longer periods of time.
Observe Your Child
So how do you approach minimalism with your children? Nervous? You don't have to be. The easiest way to figure out what you can minimize, declutter, organize and systemize is to OBSERVE. Something you probably already do all.the.time.
Teaching a child to let go gracefully and have a good relationship with their possessions is a learned skill that many young ones need help (maybe A LOT) with. By observing what they gravitate towards as you declutter, (their favorite types of toys, most-loved characters and things they go to frequently) you can do your best to avoid upset and hurt feelings. The goal is to avoid making them feel like you’re taking away, they’re “in trouble”, or you’re trying to get rid of their favorite things.