Minimalism is now something that I try to implement in my own life while living with my husband and daughter. While on this journey, I hope to influence them through my new way of thinking, but I also try and be careful to not force it on them. Anything being forced on someone can’t be an enjoyable experience.
So I while I wish I could go through my husband’s closet and get rid of everything on the right side because he literally never opens it, and it’s filled to the BRIM, I stop. That is not my stuff, and that is a boundary that would be disrespectful to cross.
And, don’t you know, this past weekend he DID go through his closet! Three garbage bags later his closet is way less crowded and I know he feels better. He even “found” some sweaters that he wore the other day. What’s found is now new and ready to be enjoyed. I’d like to think I influenced his new desire to declutter, but I won’t take all the credit – He did the work.
The other thing I try and be careful of is moving or getting rid of my daughter’s belongings. Now, while I do have control over her things since she’s only two years old, I still want to be considerate. That, and I got caught when I put a baby doll upstairs (one of two) and the very next day she asked for the “baby doll with the pink outfit and pink headband with the pretty flowers on it.” Not kidding. So I’m getting creative.
I tried a little experiment the other day and paired down a shelf that is usually full of toys for her to play with. Instead of several toys I left only two. A Lego train and a horse trailer with its horses.
The second she entered the room, that shelf caught her eye, and she has played with it every night sense.
The Ability to Discover More With Less
The fact that everything was cleared except for the two toys made it easier for her to look at without being overwhelmed.
She was able to see the two toys more clearly, thereby giving her the ability to imagine the play then engage.
When all of the toys were there, I believe she was overwhelmed by all the options, giving her little self a sense of discomfort and angst. Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but nevertheless, by evidence of my little experiment, it’s proven that less toys have allowed her to discover more.
Less Stuff, More Relaxation
Since this success I have implemented this in her bedroom as well. Her bedroom is especially important to me to minimize because this should be her most peaceful area to promote relaxation and then sleep, because goodness knows we need all the sleep we can get at this age.
I still have some work to do but so far I have gotten rid of a table that once sat beside the rocking chair, and I replaced it with two flat bookshelves to hold just a few select books and a floating shelf to hold her oil diffuser and noise maker. It creates a more open space for her and feels lighter.
Still a Journey
This is all such a learning process and a journey I find myself on. Each day I have a new idea of what minimalism can be and what it can look like for me and my family. I hope to instill some of these values into my daughter’s perspective so that she can also reap the benefits in her adult life.
For now though, I’ll just keep trying to help her by moving a few toys that she’ll probably ask for the next day.