When a woman shares that she’s pregnant, many people love to tell her to “get ready for tons of stuff,” or to “say goodbye to your organized home.” But being bombarded by stuff and having an overloaded house is not a far gone conclusion when you bring a baby into your home. It’s actually totally doable to live minimalistically with a baby!
This type of simple lifestyle has numerous benefits. One, it makes it way easier to babyproof and keep your home clean and organized. Two, it gives you more time to focus on what’s really important, like spending time with your family. And three, it saves you money, as having less stuff means you’re spending less money. When we think about what babies truly need anyway, it really comes down to love and affection, not copious amounts of colourful plastic toys.
Here’s some tips on how to adopt the life of a minimalist with babe.
Only buy items when your baby actually needs them. A major killer of minimalism is excitedly buying a bunch of gear your baby isn’t developmentally ready for. This gear just ends up clogging up your space. Instead, only purchase these items when your baby is showing a clear need for them. For example, there’s no need to purchase an elaborate play structure when your baby is 2-months old and barely crawling. You might find out your baby won't use this structure when it comes time for it anyway.
Live by the “something in, something out” rule. To keep your home decluttered, commit to donating one item for every new item that comes into your home. For instance, if you buy three new outfits for your baby, go through their clothes and toss three outfits they rarely wear, or that are too small for them, in a donation box. This is especially helpful around birthdays and gift-giving holidays.
Always have a donation box handy. Speaking of a donation box, always have one in an out of the way (yet easily accessible) area of your home. This is the place where you’ll stash an item when you realize it’s not adding value to your family’s life. When the box is full, you simply drop it at a local donation center.
Get creative with what can be a toy. You might have noticed that your baby enjoys the wrapping of a gift more than the gift itself, or items in the kitchen more than all those toys in the nursery. The gist: you can pare down your baby’s toys by replacing them with safe household goods that can double as playthings.
Keep baby’s clothes simple. It’s funny that even though baby clothes are tiny, they often end up claiming big sections of the home. And they also produce the most tedious type of laundry ever. Reduce these headaches by only keeping enough baby clothes to get you through a week or two. And until your baby can walk, skip the shoes.
Cut down on your own belongings. In addition to limiting the baby stuff you have, limit the personal stuff you have. To do, pick one section of your house one day a week (for example, your closet) and spend a few hours going through every belonging in that space. If something is broken, toss it or commit to repairing it. If it’s in good condition but doesn’t bring immense value to your life, introduce it to the donation box. After a few weeks you will have weeded out all the unnecessary items in your home.
While living minimalistically is a way of life that takes time to adopt, it’s a worthy endeavor. You can start slow by tackling one item on this list at a time, trying it on for size, and seeing how it impacts your life. Focussing on what YOU want and need as opposed to what other parents are doing can be extremely helpful in this area. Our guess is it will infuse your home (and mind!) with more calm and clarity, like it has ours.
Have anything else to add? Let us know!