Minimalism is more than a genre of fashion and design, it is a way of life and getting rid of your unnecessary possessions is only the tip of the ice berg. You have to live without the obsession of material things and commit to a simple, uncluttered life and environment.
Toy minimalism is essentially being conscious of the toys you buy and the benefits each one entails. Fewer toys will promote innovative thinking through imagination and cultivate sharing between children, while parents can count on a neater home and never stepping on a Lego block again. It’s best to ease your little ones into the major lifestyle change with these steps.
Step 1: Talk to Them
It’s easy to brush this step off because we often doubt our child’s logical thinking, but as human beings, they understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Explain that you’ll be purging the house not just of their toys but of your own possessions as well and stress on the positive outcome of this decision.
Step 2: Discard the Duplicates
Sharing doesn’t come naturally, it’s a skill we are forced to learn. While it may be daunting for families with more than one child, remember that the siblings will eventually learn to draw their own boundaries and set their own rules. More importantly, they won’t need two of the same rabbits when there is a whole zoo’s worth of stuffed toys to play with. This is also a good time to pick out toys that they’ve outgrown.
Step 3: Figure Out What to Keep Not What to Throw
Ideally, minimalistic living will decrease your dependence on material objects – you will be happier with less. How many possessions you get rid of won’t matter if your child is unhappy, so observe key toys or you’ll end up repurchasing a similar one when your child throws a tantrum.
Step 4: Test the Waters
Don’t get rid of too many things at one go. Organise the toys you want to keep and leave the remaining pile in storage first. If by the end of two weeks, there aren’t continuous demands for that one doll, you’ll know it’s safe to sell it or donate it to charity.
Step 5: Treat Them to Fun Outings
Accentuate the benefits of minimalistic living. Let them know that the toys they decided not to buy lead up to this outing and they will better comprehend that saving extra money enabled the whole family to enjoy a day at the arcade or the theme park.
Step 6: Walk the Talk
You can’t expect them to believe in a lifestyle you yourself have trouble committing to. When you’re out shopping with them, exercise caution before putting something in the basket. Ask yourself, ‘Do I need this?’ or ‘Don’t I already have a similar sweater?’ before you make your decision.
Remember to exercise patience throughout the entire process and follow the steps closely so that you can ease your children into the plan seamlessly. Decluttering their toys and the unnecessary possessions in your home may just result in a more organised and positive family!