Why Your Family Should Try Minimalism – How To Raise Minimalist Kids

how to raise minimalist kids


Adopting minimalism when you have kids is a big commitment to make as a parent, and it probably won’t be easy. But that’s what raising children is: a commitment that’s not always easy. Sometimes love means doing hard things. Being a good parent means focusing on your child’s needs to bring value into their lives as they mature.

raising minimalist kidsRaising minimalist kids is one way to help teach your little ones good lessons as they grow. Parenting is the most important role in a child’s life, and making decisions as a parent that will teach your kids valuable lessons early on is crucial to their development.

Resources on the internet that tell you how you should or should not parent can be overwhelming for new and seasoned parents. The truth is that parenting is an individual journey. What works for you and your children may not work for your friends and their kids, and that’s okay!

Minimalism isn’t for all families, but it does have many upsides to child development that are worth considering.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I have learned many lessons about what truly matters to me through my 10-plus years of minimalism. Ultimately, the best approach to minimalism and how you raise your children is to find what works best for your family. A parent that sets a positive example for their kids and helps them find their way as they grow.
ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why Raise Minimalist Kids?

Why Raise Minimalist Kids

Choosing to be a minimalist with your kids might sound crazy at first. After all, why would you want to deprive your kids of the joy of childhood, of filling their room with toys, showering them with Christmas and birthday presents, or taking them out to buy new clothes for school?

raising minimalist kidsAre material possessions truly what kids need to have joy?

Maybe the intrinsic desire to always crave more is a learned behavior. In a world obsessed with consumerism, parents can feel pressure to buy their children as much as their friends’ parents and demonstrate their love by getting kids the next best thing.

This is where minimalism comes in. As parents, our children are watching us. They are learning how the world works by watching how we live. If they see us put value on money and stuff above all else, they’ll learn to value that too.

What if we teach our kids the value of the dollar without teaching them to idolize it?

By making the effort to minimize our stuff, reduce our debts, and shift our focus to intangible things like quality time and personal happiness, we’ll teach our kids to value those things too.

What Is Minimalism And Why Does It Matter For Kids?

What Is Minimalism And Why Does It Matter For Kids

A common misconception of the lifestyle is that minimalists believe having a lot stuff and spending a lot money is a bad thing. This isn’t the case. Minimalism does not claim having stuff and spending money as bad. It simply encourages us not to make those the most important things in our lives.

Minimalism is the practice of being more intentional in the way you view your relationship to your possessions, what you value most, and how you want to live.

Living a simple life with your family isn’t about getting rid of a certain amount of stuff, having a clean, crisp looking house, or saving every penny.

Minimalism is about the way you analyze what you own, value, and consume. You can become minimalist in your relationships, habits, money, what you own, and how you spend your time.

How Is Minimalism Beneficial For Kids?

How Is Minimalism Beneficial For Kids

When considering how minimalist habits can benefit our kids, lets consider the latest in parenting ideologies that best serve children as they grow up.

how minimalism benefits kidsAgain, saying there is one perfect parenting tactic is impossible. The process of quality parenting is dependent on who you and your kids are. It’s going to look different for everyone.

Yet, there are some things we know, psychologically, that our kids need in order to develop into happy, loving, ethically minded adults. Here are some practices we know help our kids grow and evolve in a positive way, and how being a minimalist parent can kickstart the following life lessons.

Minimalism Encourages Empathy In Children

Minimalism Encourages Empathy In Children

Emotional intelligence and empathy are fundamental skills found in good, loving people. Teaching your children to put themselves in other people’s shoes and consider other perspectives aside from their own is essential to teach at a young age.

Living like a minimalist can help increase empathy in your children as you encourage them to contemplate the needs of others. Talk to them about the reason donating their clothing, toys, and books is important. Enlighten them on the power of selflessness, of being satisfied with less to give others more.

Encourage your children to think about giving their things to others who may not have access to the same privileges they do and imagine the lives other kids may be living.

Offer Rewards Sparingly With Minimalist Kids

Offer Rewards Sparingly With Minimalist Kids

Refusing the temptation to reward your child for every single good thing they do is important for their psychological development as well. It helps to keep them from directly associating goodwill or morality with gaining something for themselves.

As a minimalist parent, striving to reduce the material rewards you give your child for doing things like their homework, the dishes, or going to the dentist will help them dissociate physical rewards from doing the right thing.

how to stop shopping

Living With Less Teaches Gratefulness

Living With Less Teaches Gratefulness

Teaching your children to be grateful for what they have is key in helping them develop into a loving, altruistic adult. Minimalism is an exemplary tactic for teaching gratitude to children.

Not only does the practice of living with less teach your kids to be more grateful when they do get gifts or treats, it can also teach them to consider purchases as a privilege. When you do buy new clothes, toys, or games for your child, talk to them about why those purchases are special.

However, be careful not to tie these rewards to achievement or to treat them as a burden. The goal here is to teach kids to be thankful. The goal isn’t to teach them to associate rewards with success, or to feel guilt when they receive.

Minimalism Fosters Your Child’s Imagination

Minimalism Fosters Your Childs Imagination

Due to the different stages of brain development, children are wildly more creative and imaginative than adults whose minds have completely developed. The concept of exploring their imagination, while foreign to adults, is second nature to children.

Minimalism is a great tool to foster the natural inclination toward creativity that already exists in your child. While it may be tempting to get the newest, flashiest toys and games for your child, it isn’t necessary to foster their minds.

If your children learn from an early age to make entire worlds out of paper, pencils, or rocks from the backyard, they will nurture and expand their creativity.

building good habits

Minimalist Parenting Teaches Self-Discipline

Minimalist Parenting Teaches Self-Discipline

Parents who refuse to give their children firm yet loving boundaries, while they may have good intentions, are actually harming the cognitive development of their children. Numerous psychological studies have demonstrated that children who are not disciplined become ornery, self-centered, and surprisingly unhappy adults.

minimalism encourages self disciplineMinimalist parenting techniques instill a sense of discipline, restraint, and self-control in children from an early age. The practice of becoming a minimalist, or evaluating what you value and working toward a life that intentionally centers around such things, is an act of discipline.

As you engage in the journey toward minimalism with yourself and your family, talk to your kids about why you choose to live like a minimalist. As your children listen and observe you, it can serve as a catalyst for their own journeys toward self-discipline.

The Value In Simplifying Your Life With Your Family

The Value In Simplifying Your Life With Your Family

Not only is minimalism beneficial to the development of your kids, living a simpler life with your family has freeing benefits for everyone involved. There are essential, intangible gains that adopting minimalist habits can give back to your family.

Minimalism Gives You Time Back

Minimalism Gives You Time Back

A common complaint amongst parents and working adults is their lack of free time, feeling like time is moving too quickly, or not having enough time in the day to get everything done. However, when you think about it, the way you manage and interact with time comes down to simple math.

getting a grip on a busy scheduleWe don’t have any less time in a day than our caveman ancestors, and they didn’t have nearly as many distractions to keep them busy — no phones, appointments, or meetings. You have 24 hours every day, and minimalist thinking allows you the freedom to reconsider the way those hours are spent.

Beginning to live like a minimalist may cause you to feel like you’ve gained time, but you’re really just repurposing your 24 hours. When you start to reduce and minimize the clutter in your house and your mind, you spend less time on things that aren’t important.

You’ll spend less time on social media, cleaning your huge house, dealing with all your stuff, and making small decisions like what to have for dinner. In turn, you’ll have more time for reading, going on walks, taking up new hobbies, and making memories with your family.

A Simpler Life Gives Your Family Peace Of Mind

A Simpler Life Gives Your Family Peace Of Mind

Life in the 21st century is loud and chaotic. As a parent, life is often filled with dirty dishes, huge piles of laundry, cleaning and organizing, and the general stress of trying to jump through all the right hoops and be the perfect role model to your kids.

This consumes your mental space because our minds can only process so much input. The things that fill our lives fill our minds, and the things that fill our minds become us.

Becoming a minimalist parent encourages you to reduce the amount of stuff you own and to be conscious and intentional with what fills your mental space. These practices go hand in hand.

When you start to get rid of your physical junk, the freedom you feel will inspire you to consider deep questions about intake and consumption. Being intentional and selective with what is actually worth your attention will bring peace of mind.

are you living a level 10 life

Minimalism Improves The Quality Of Your Family’s Relationships

Minimalism Improves The Quality Of Your Familys Relationships

Being a minimalist family isn’t just about decluttering your stuff, it’s about evaluating if what you allow into your life increases its overall quality. This includes you and your child’s relationships and social obligations.

happy familyMinimalism encourages you to analyze the value of everything that enters your life — everything you commit to. Beginning this practice in your own family might look like saying no to the PTA volunteer event you’re dreading or saying no to dinner with a pessimistic colleague.

This gives you extra time to deeply invest in your highest quality relationships. It allows you to put time into relationships with those who uplift you while teaching your children to do the same.

Minimalism Gives Your Family More Financial Freedom

An aspect of minimalism that isn’t talked about as often but is a huge benefit of the lifestyle is financial freedom. This goes back to our relationship with spending and consumption. Minimalism is not about encouraging deprivation — it’s about increasing the quality of your life.

Being wise with your finances is important, especially when raising a family. Thinking about your habits through the lens of minimalism allows you to realize what you actually need and what you don’t, reducing your spending and increasing savings in the long run.

How To Decide If Minimalism Is Right For Your Family

How To Decide If Minimalism Is Right For Your Family

Minimalism isn’t black and white; it varies from family to family. For some minimalist families, it looks like selling all of their possessions, moving into a tiny living space, and drastically reducing their spending habits.

For others, minimalism looks like keeping most of their clothes, toys, and furniture, while making a few changes in their day-to-day consumption.

There are many benefits of minimalism, but it isn’t for every child. Extreme minimalism especially isn’t for everyone. When assessing what type of minimalism is right for your family, ask yourself these questions before taking those first steps:

What Are The Non-Negotiables For Your Child?

What Are The Non-Negotiables For Your Child

Again, deprivation has never been the goal of minimalism. The goal is the exact opposite. Minimalism exists to increase your quality of life by cutting out the excess noise, not the things that are essential to your happiness.

When making the decision to be a minimalist parent, don’t jump to extremes too quickly. Consider the personalities and attachments of your children. For example:

Examples of Non-Negotiable Decisions

  • Are there certain things that could traumatize your child to let go of?
  • Does your kid love reading and need a full library?
  • Does your child have individual personalities for each of their stuffed animals?
  • Is your child deeply attached to memorabilia?
Understanding your child’s non-negotiables and working with them instead of against them is key.

Are You Viewing Minimalism Like A Magic Bullet?

Are You Viewing Minimalism Like A Magic Bullet

Minimalism has many benefits, but it isn’t a magic cure for underlying issues. While the lifestyle serves as a great gateway to peace and happiness, selling your possessions isn’t going to heal family wounds.

Viewing minimalism as an aid to your quality of life and not as a cure or magic bullet to newfound happiness is crucial.

Do You Have A Highly Sensitive Child?

Do You Have A Highly Sensitive Child

sensitive kids needsAbout 15 to 20% of children are classified as highly sensitive, meaning they have an increased sensitivity to sensory input. This can sometimes correlate with extremely gifted children or children on the spectrum.

If your child exhibits behaviors that classify them as highly sensitive, they may have keen attachments to particular toys, and a lot of change at once could be more difficult to process. Consider the specific needs of your child before deciding to make any changes.

Five Steps For Beginning Minimalism With Kids

Five Steps For Beginning Minimalism With Kids

I turned to Natasha Theresa for some expert tips on raising minimalist kids. Natasha is a mom, wife, and the content creator behind Mom Turned Minimalist. She fell in love with minimalism after feeling the pressures of parenthood weigh on her. After making the decision to pursue a minimalist lifestyle with her own family, Natasha began to feel an entirely new sense of ease that wasn’t part of her life before.

To get a look at what minimalism with kids looks like practically, Natasha shared these simple steps for parents who want to try minimalism with their kids for the first time:

Step One: Focus On Yourself Before Your Kids

Focus On Yourself Before Your Kids

Carve out some free time, grab a paper and pen, and write down your personal reasons for wanting to create a simpler life.

Write out what your values are and how living with less will help you focus on those values. If you’re raising your kids with a partner, ask them to do the same.

If you don’t know the why behind what you’re doing, it will be harder for your decluttering process to matter to you and, in turn, to your kids.

Natasha Theresa
“You have to focus on yourself first. Think about what things in your life you could work on and improve. You don’t want to force it onto your kids. Avoid making it a battle by starting with yourself.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

Step Two: Start Simple, Just Walk Around The House

Start Simple Just Walk Around The House

A mistake new minimalist parents often make is trying to get rid of everything at once. Trying to do this will likely feel overwhelming and could keep you from finishing what you start.

All you need to do to start is take a quick walk around your house and note a few items you never use, then get rid of them. Take baby steps to reduce the amount of stuff you own, and those baby steps will eventually become habits.

pro tip
“Start simple. Sentimental items are hard, you don’t want to start there. If I were just starting out, I would look around the house and ask myself ‘What am I not using that could be useful for someone else?,’ then pack it up. Send it out. See how you feel. Repeat.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

Step Three: Focus On One Room At A Time

Focus On One Room At A Time

After scanning the house for items you don’t use, expand your focus to decluttering each room of your home. Take another slow walk through your house and evaluate how you feel as you enter each room.

Is there a certain room of your home where the amount of clutter makes you feel more stressed? Find the room in your house that stresses you out the most, then focus only on getting rid of things in that one room. Do the same thing for the next most cluttered room and repeat until you have sifted through all the rooms in your home.

pro tip
“Look around your house and see what part is the most cluttered. Look for high-traffic areas and start there.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

If doing this is overwhelming, consider consolidating your clutter without sorting it. Maybe you aren’t ready to go through and get rid of all your stuff yet. Simply boxing or piling clutter and moving it elsewhere can improve the look of that high-traffic area, lift your mood, and motivate you to not give up.

Step Four: Explain Minimalism To Your Kids As You Go

Explain Minimalism To Your Kids As You Go

No matter how old your children are, they are old to enough to observe you. Your kids are always watching and listening to you and, in turn, learning your habits.

No child is too young to deserve an explanation. As you begin taking these first steps toward minimalism on your own, explain the reason behind what you’re doing to your kids.


  • Clean your room because I said so.
  • Sell your toys because I said so.
  • You don’t get a say in what we donate.


  • Giving toys that you don’t use to others shows kindness.
  • I spend time with you because I love being with you.
  • I love to see what you create, rather than buy something.

Especially if your kids are school age or older, they may not be initially receptive to the change or reduction in stuff. Understanding the why behind giving away their stuff will help them adapt.

Step Five: Let Minimalist Parenting Work For You

Let Minimalist Parenting Work For You

Keep in mind: the perfect minimalist parent doesn’t exist. Take it one day at a time, and don’t put pressure on yourself to make your life look a certain way. Remember that minimalism is more about the intent and motivation than the outcome.

Natasha Theresa
“Minimalism is different for everyone. Those things that you see online when you do a search — bare white walls, the perfect minimal aesthetic — that’s not reality, especially for a family with kids.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

Minimalism should work for you and your kids. It should remove stress from your life, not add more. Only you know your kids and your family best, so as you declutter toys, clothes, and furniture, don’t compare your process to other families or the minimalist standards you see online.

how to become a minimalist

How To Become A Minimalist Parent

How To Become A Minimalist Parent

Becoming a minimalist parent and simplifying your life with your kids has less to do with following specific steps and more to do with focusing on what you value as a family unit.

It’s possible that becoming minimalist can bring pushback from your kids or judgement from other parents. Identifying your family values can help you navigate these obstacles.

How To Determine Your Values As A Minimalist Parent

How To Determine Your Values As A Minimalist Parent

Determining your values starts with reflecting on your family. As mentioned above, working on yourself before forcing the new philosophy on your kids is key.

Natasha Theresa“Minimalism made it easier to get through the morning and spend more time focused on my kids. It helped to take away decision fatigue, and I could use my energy and brain power for other things.” – Natasha Theresa,
Mom Turned Minimalist

When you take time to identify your values and the reasons you personally want to become a minimalist, you can begin to create minimalist habits that reflect those values. Consider what your family needs more of.
Your goals and values could include a number of things, like saving money, spending more time on creativity, focusing on quality time as a family, becoming more vulnerable with one another, allowing more time for fun during workdays, honoring each other’s efforts more than achievements, and more.

A minimalist family is one that is intentional with what they let consume them. What habits does your family need to instill to live more intentionally as a team?

Kickstarting these habits doesn’t have to be some huge to do. Life changes can begin in the ordinary, daily actions you take with your children.

How Do You Get Kids On Board With Minimalism?

How Do You Get Kids On Board With Minimalism

The best way to get your kids on board with the transition to minimalism is to be open, honest, and collaborative. As mentioned above, the “Because I said so!” parenting method is quickly dying off, and for good reason.

Positive parenting psychology encourages parents to nurture democratic families. Parents are encouraged to be assertive yet loving parents who partner with their kids as they mature.

The best way to get your kids on board with minimalism is to be honest with them as to why you want to become a minimalist family. When kids are taken seriously, they listen, and are less likely to pushback.

How To Deal With Judgement As A Minimalist Parent

How To Deal With Judgement As A Minimalist Parent

Judgement from other families is inevitably going to be part of the transition. When you become a minimalist parent, you’ll likely get a lot of questions around why you live the way you live and if you are restricting your children’s happiness, and you’ll probably hear that classic line, “good for you, but I could never do what you’re doing!”

Natasha Theresa
“Our two kids were reading books at the table when we went out to dinner. That’s normal life for us. There’s not a need to entertain them all the time. We try to give them those tools themselves.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist
Respond to judgement the same exact way you’d respond to an unresponsive child: be honest. It’s a lot harder to be critical of your small amount of of material possessions or absence of presents under the Christmas tree when you tell them why you’re doing it. Who knows, you might inspire them to reconsider their values too.

Toys For Minimalist Families

Toys For Minimalist Families

The biggest question parents have to ask about when it comes to adopting minimalism as a family is what to do with all their kids’ toys.

When deciding to be a minimalist parent, it may be difficult to know which toys to keep or sell, whether or not certain toys fit with minimalist values, or how to talk to your kids about the process of giving toys up.

Tips To Minimize Your Kids Toys

Tips To Minimize Your Kids Toys

Studies surrounding the way kids interact with toys reveal that too much stuff can be problematic to the way kids play. When your children are surrounded by toys, they are less likely to engage in deep, imaginative play as they are overwhelmed by options. They just look for the next thing to grab their attention.

Minimizing your kids’ toys, books, and games allows them to engage more deeply with what they do have and encourages them to use their imaginations.

pro tip
“Create a toy library. Observe which toys your kids are using, and when they aren’t looking, put what they aren’t playing with in a bin to hide somewhere. See if they notice. Talk to them months later. Let them know you put the toys in a bin a while ago and ask if they’re going to use them. Usually, my kids agree to donate it.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

So how do you decide what to get rid of and what to keep? How do you make your children’s play life deeper, more creative, and more intentional?

Observe Toys Your Kids Play With Most
Observe Which Toys Your Kids Use Most

Notice what toys your kids spend the most time using. You don’t have to get rid of everything at once. Pay attention to what toys or types of toys your kids actually play with, as well as which toys sit around not being played with. Start there.

Minimaize toys together
Minimize Your Toys As A Team

When going through the decluttering process, talk it through with you kids as you work. Make sure they know you are donating and cleaning as a team, that selling their things isn’t a punishment.

Use the process of minimizing toys as a chance to teach your kids lessons on how giving away what we don’t need shows kindness.

Put similar toys together
Downsize The Number Of Items In A Set

Another way to start the toy minimization process is to declutter by category. Evaluate how many of each type of toy your kid has. If you own hundreds of blocks, reduce that down to 20 or 30. If they have 10 drawing books, let them keep one or two. If they have 50 dolls, keep 15. You get the idea.

Again, work with your kids on this, not against them. They may have a positive association with some types of toys and want to keep all the items in the set, and that’s okay.

Maybe they have different names and personalities for all of their stuffed bears. Maybe they love art and create a different type of art in each journal. Listen to their reasoning. Make sure reducing the quantity of items doesn’t reduce the quality of their play.

donate toys you no longer want
Put Everything In A Few Containers. Get Rid Of The Rest.

You can also go the route of giving your kids a specific spatial boundary. This is an easy way to make the process go quickly. Get several containers of whatever size makes sense for you or fits in your shelves and closets for your kids to store their toys.

Show your kids the storage containers and work with them on what to put in the bins. Whatever can fit in the containers is what they can keep.

pro tip
“It’s okay to let the process take time. If my kids aren’t sure about getting rid of a toy, we use the language ‘I’m not sure yet, can you ask me again later?.’ Then we encourage them to see how it goes for the next few months.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

Again, it’s important to make sure your kids know they aren’t being punished so they’re less likely to object or feel threatened. Talk them through your reasoning behind having a spatial boundary for their toys.

How To Keep Your Kids Toys Organized

How To Keep Your Kids Toys Organized

The process of organizing your kids’ toys before, during, or even after you declutter can be stressful. Any parent knows that the mess that comes form playtime is unmatched, even if you’ve already donated most of your stuff.

When organizing your kids’ toys, try these tips to help keep your house neat and tidy and give you a feeling of control:

1 Start A Toy Rotation System To Keep Things Fresh

Rotating toys is one of the most popular methods for organization amongst parents, minimalist or not. The concept is simple. Use storage bins to limit the number of toys that are accessible to your child at a given time.

Depending on how often you want to rotate things, put one-quarter, one-third, or even one-half of their toys away in storage bins that are out of sight. Let two to six months of play go by, then switch out the toys in their playroom with the ones in the bin.

Your child will feel the excitement of new toys without having to make any new purchases. This method also helps reduce clutter and keep toys organized by keeping less mess out at one time.

2 Have A Specific Place For Everything

This is a classic tip, but it’s pretty crucial to keeping your sanity as a parent. Create an expectation that every toy has a specific place that it belongs.

Try using labels for storage bins that clearly group toys together by type. Have separate bins for dolls, blocks, books, puzzles and games, electronics, or whatever categories make sense to you and your kids. Set the expectation that toys go back into their bin or designated spot when they aren’t actively being used.

3 Merge Organizing And Minimizing Processes

The organization and minimization processes don’t have to be separate. In fact, it’s pretty easy to combine these into one joint operation to expedite the process.

Explain to your child that you plan to spend time cleaning and organizing, which also means thinking intentionally about what we do and do not play with. As you clean cluttered, high-traffic areas and put toys in bins, ask your child how often they use each toy.

Create a donation pile together. Combining these processes will leave your kids’ playroom more organized and bring you less stress.

organizing versus decluttering

Is There Such Thing As A Minimalist Toy?

Is There Such Thing As A Minimalist Toy

New minimalist parents are not just curious about how to minimize toys — they also want to know what type of toys align with minimalist values. There isn’t really such thing as a minimalist toy. It’s not something you can go out to the store and buy.

Experts have weighed in on the topic at length, though, coming to the agreement that minimalist toys are defined the same way you define anything else under the minimalist umbrella: Does this add value to my child’s life when they engage with it?

Natasha Theresa“You know what kids truly need to learn and grow? A box. Just give them a box and some markers, and they can do anything with it because of their imagination.” – Natasha Theresa,
Mom Turned Minimalist

When deciding whether to keep or get rid of your child’s toys, ask yourself whether or not that item is increasing their quality of life.

Does owning that toy support positive traits like creativity, imagination, problem solving, curiosity, or fine motor skills? These questions are the best way to ensure your kids’ toys are helping them learn and grow.

Children, by nature, are astronomically more creative and imaginative than adults. Their ability to entertain themselves is their way of attempting to understand the world around them for the first time.

Nurturing this natural ability to create and find joy in the ordinary is huge for fostering their psychological development in a positive way. Focus on toys that expand your child’s mental capacity and imagination, and allow them to burn off energy and simply be a kid.

Toys that add value instead of just noise might include: arts and craft supplies, blocks and Legos, instruments, books, costumes, playhouses, outdoor climbing structures, or sensory toys like sand, playdough, and slime.

Gifts As A Minimalist Parent: Focus On Experiences

Gifts As A Minimalist Parent: Focus On Experiences

Focusing on experiences instead of material possessions is a critical element of becoming a minimalist parent. Gift giving with your minimalist family might look different than the traditional American idea of celebrations.

Instead of material presents, try to give your children homemade gifts or experiences of intangible value, like a day at the movies or a family pizza and ice cream night.

Doing this teaches your kids to not only crave quality time more than toys and presents, but it also teaches them to associate being with those they love and doing worthwhile activities in tandem with celebrations and holidays.

pro tip
“When my kids have birthdays, we focus on the experience of the birthday by doing fun things together with their friends. We tell parents on our invites that their presence is a present, but if you want to bring something, make a hand-drawn card. My son loves homemade cards.” – Natasha Theresa, Mom Turned Minimalist

It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to shift your focus with your kids to experiences. You can easily weave valuable time with your children into your day-to-day experience as a minimalist parent.
Removing clutter from your lives and focusing on spending time together can bring your family more joy than you might guess.

Handling Kids Clothing As A Minimalist Family

Handling Kids Clothing As A Minimalist Family

Other than toys, another huge aspect of becoming a minimalist family is dealing with your kids’ clothing. Clothes are a tricky thing to declutter, especially with young children who are constantly growing and need different clothing types in different seasons.

Here some tips and tricks for beginning the closet decluttering process with your own kids:

Decluttering Your Children’s Closets

Decluttering Your Childrens Closets

To begin minimizing your child’s closet, sit down with them and go through their wardrobe piece by piece. Ask your child this list of simple questions about each item you find to figure out what stays and what goes:

  • Do you like this?
  • Does this fit you?
  • Do you feel happy when you wear this?
  • Is this item in good condition?
  • Is this functional to wear at school or at home?

Work with your child to test if each item in their closet meets these criteria, then donate the ones that don’t. It feels tough to part with items that remind you of specific memories with your child, but there is no reason to keep clothing that no longer serves you.

Remember — memories aren’t tangible, and you can donate clothing and still remember the good times you had wearing it.

how to embrace a minimalist wardrobe

How Many Sets Of Clothes Do Minimalist Kids Need?

How Many Sets Of Clothes Do Minimalist Kids Need

A minimalist wardrobe for kids might look different than one for adults, as kids grow faster and need to replace clothes more quickly. What I did with my own minimalist wardrobe was pare everything down to exactly seven days’ worth of clothes.

With children being prone to messes and spills and growing quickly, you may want to be a little looser with that number.

Start With The Following Setup

  • 7–8 tops
  • 7–8 bottoms (skirts or pants)
  • 1–2 sweatshirts or sweaters
  • 2–3 pairs of pajamas
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 1 winter hat
  • 2–3 special occasion outfits
  • 7-8 underwear
Keep in mind that every kid and family is different, so if you don’t want to start out being this extreme with your child’s closet, feel free to adjust accordingly.



boys shirt
kids shirt
kids tops


kids pants
girls clothes
childrens pants

Jackets and Hoodies

kids winter jacket
kids coat
kids hoodie

Shoes and Socks

kids sneakers
kids slip on shoes
kids socks

Pajamas and Sleepwear

kids pajamas
kids sleepwear
kids sleepwear pajamas

Your Turn!

  • What are your personal reasons for wanting to be minimalist with your kids?
  • What steps can you take to teach minimalist ideas to your kids this week?

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