Less Things, More Time: How Embracing Minimalism Transforms Parenthood

Rushing to Rest
A parent’s life is often filled with chaos, clutter, and endless to-do lists. How do we find the time to do what we would rather be doing, to simplify our lives, reduce stress, and create more meaningful connections with our children? The catch is to have fewer things.
How is this connected? you wonder…

Less is More
Enter minimalism and decluttering – a lifestyle movement that is gaining popularity among many groups, from influencers to parents, who are all seeking a more intentional and fulfilling life. Let’s explore the concept of minimalism, its benefits for parenthood, and practical tips on how to embrace this transformative lifestyle.

You may have heard that to be a minimalist, there is a magical number of possessions you are allowed to own. This is inaccurate, and ignores the entire picture –minimalism is not merely about getting rid of physical possessions; it is a mindset that encourages us to focus on what truly matters.

…a minimalist focuses on being
being someone who returns to the natural order,
to the default state of thriving with less.

The Minimalists

Streamlining Parenting
So how does living a minimalist lifestyle impact a parent’s life for the positive?

  • Reduced Stress: Clutter-free living spaces lead to a calmer environment, allowing parents and children to thrive. Less time spent on cleaning and organizing means more time for quality interactions and self-care.
  • Enhanced Focus: With fewer distractions, parents can devote their attention to their children’s needs, fostering stronger bonds and deeper connections.
  • Financial Freedom: Embracing minimalism helps parents prioritize spending on essentials, leading to better financial stability and reduced financial stress.
  • Environmental Impact: By consuming less and making mindful purchases, minimalist parents contribute to a more sustainable future for their children.

Practical Ways to Start Minimalising

  • Start Small: Find a method that speaks to you, such as Marie Kondo or Margareta Magnusson’s Swedish Death Cleaning.  Or, if you want to dive right in, begin decluttering one area at a time, such as a child’s room, and gradually expand to other spaces in the house.
  • Set Clear Goals: Define your vision of a minimalist lifestyle, then share and discuss it with your family. Encourage everyone to be involved in the process; having everyone on board is way easier than making this a solo mission.
  • Organize and Prioritize: Donate or sell items that no longer serve a purpose in your life. Keep essential items that are useful and being used, hold sentimental value, or bring joy and beauty to your life.
  • Adopt a “One In, One Out” Rule: For every new item brought into the house, remove an existing one to maintain a clutter-free environment.  It has to be about the same size… a wild example, but don’t get rid of three pencils after buying three sofas!
  • Encourage Conscious Consumption: Teach your children the value of experiences over material possessions. Embrace boredom –this will nurture their creativity and imagination.  It may feel easier to simply buy something new, but making the effort to engage in activities that nurture their free thinking is priceless.

Say yes to this transformative approach, and create a nurturing environment that fosters stronger connections with your children, allows for reduced stress, better finances, and almost non-existent cleanup time. We’re all down for that, right? Remember, minimalism is an individual journey, and it looks different for everyone.

What Are You Waiting For?
Ready to embark on a journey to a simpler, more focused parenthood and life? Then start the first step today. Look for a support network and likeminded folks in local parent support groups or accountability communities online so you can find inspiration, share experiences, and practical tips. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the goal of minimalism is not to reduce our possessions to that perfect number, but to get rid of the noise that stands in the way of creating memories and nurturing our relationships with our children.

BONUS MEDIA: This clip features an interview of Amy Irene, a working mum who has embarked on a journey of mindful minimalism. It is our hope that this helps anyone considering minimalism, as it isn’t about being a perfect minimalist but about making the concept attainable and suitable for every (unique) individual.


MUSIC: Cheery, calming music to help open interview that fades as interview begins in earnest.

[00:00:00] CC: Hi everyone, Cathie here with my friend Amy. She’s a very busy working mom who’s moved from one state to another and has an adorable toddler as well. I’m really excited to discuss the subject of minimalism. What initially sparked your interest in minimalism, and how would you define it as it works for your lifestyle?

[00:00:14] AIP: My best friend started out and then got me into it. She’s really shown me the benefits of minimalistic lifestyle and how it really helps with your mental health, just to have your surroundings be clean and decluttered and not have as much to deal with on a daily basis, since you’ve cut out so much of that clutter my husband and I always talk about more is less is what really defines it for me. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re really working on it.

[00:00:37] CC:  Can you give an example of how you started incorporating it into your life?

[00:00:40] AIP: Since we’ve moved, we have this really big storage unit full of boxes and random stuff. We’ve started going through that and trying to decide what are things that we really need, what are things that are maybe junk or things that we can just really do without? So we’re starting there so that when we eventually move into a new house, we won’t have to move quite as much.

CC: It’s like starting fresh.

AIP: Yes, exactly.

[00:01:01] CC: You talked about figuring out the value of something. How would you strike the balance between minimalism and the sentimental value of certain items?

[00:01:08] AIP: I’m a very sentimental person, so finding that balance is a little hard for me. There are some items that are really, really important, and I don’t feel the need to take those out of my life, such as I have an antique sewing machine for my grandmother. That’s something that’s very important to me. It’s sentimental to me. It’s something that I use. And when I say, I remember my great grandma and our special times together, so that is an item that I wouldn’t get rid of. But there are other things that aren’t quite as special. So when I was younger, I would save everything. If my dad gave me a candy, I would save the wrapper so I can clean out all that kind of stuff out. Things like, oh, this is a nice gift from a friend years ago, but I don’t really use it. Maybe I’m not even friends with that person anymore. Those types of things can be cleared out, even though I used to really enjoy them. But maybe I’m not using them anymore. It’s not something special from my grandparents or close family members, so that’s kind of how I make that distinction.

[00:02:00] CC: How do you envision minimalism influencing your child’s life and upbringing?

AMBIENT CLIP 1:  Baby cooing and playing in the tub.

[00:02:04] AIP: So I really hope to have an influence on her in that she doesn’t feel the need, like I do, to keep everything. It’s a slippery slope, and I would love to show her that you can keep the things that really mean a lot to you, the things that you need, and maybe some things that you want. But keeping all the clutter and little tiny things and everything that you’re not using or that are just taking up space can really impact your mental health, physical health and emotional health just to have all that around. And I would like to show her that you can live a more minimalistic lifestyle and still have a full life and have the things you really like and want.

[00:02:35] CC:  Have you ever gotten rid of an item and did you feel any emotion about it? If so, how did you deal with that and did you get to a good place?

[00:02:42] AIP: I know there’s been some stuff that I’ve decided to part with, that were maybe sentimental to me as a child. And one of the things that I did to help myself deal with that is I take a picture of it. So obviously pictures on my phone are not minimalistic, but when I take a picture of it, I know I can always go back and look at it and remember the memory that has really helped me let go of some things that I would otherwise have not been able to really let go of.

[00:03:05] CC:  So that ties into challenges and obstacles. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle. How would you go about overcoming that?

AMBIENT CLIP 2: Trinkets being rifled through and making little clinking noises.

[00:03:12] AIP: Me and my husband love to buy little trinkets. We have a lot of collectable items that were special to us from different trips we’ve gone on and different things like that, and even like, oh, there’s a pile of papers. I have a hard time sorting them and being like, what can I get rid of? What can I save? And I really just end up mentally checking out the sentimentality and the fun of buying little things, getting overwhelmed with having too much stuff and having to go through it and make those decisions, are obstacles that I face.  To overcome those challenges, focusing on one area, one box, one bin at a time, that helps me stay focused and try not to get overwhelmed with all the other boxes I have to go through. I try to collect things that are a little bit smaller instead of huge items. It’s still clutter, but since it’s a part of our lives that we love to do, if I collect things that are small, they fit into a smaller space. They’re easier to store when I want to switch something. Also, just being mindful of when I’m going to buy something like is this something I really am going to enjoy for a long time? Or is it something like in the moment I just am excited about? That’s kind of how I plan to slowly overcome my challenges.

[00:04:15] CC:  Fuller wallet, tidier spaces, better mental health. Where else do you think minimalism might impact your life and wellbeing in a positive manner?

[00:04:20] AIP: Mental health is a big one for me because sitting in a mess, it makes me way less productive. It will increase my productivity in other ways too, because I’m not going to be spending so much time cleaning up the same mess over and over again. I can take the time to do something else. Cooking, or taking a walk or reading a book… spending time with my daughter. It’s just going to really open up a lot of time to do other things.

[00:04:41] CC: What advice do you have to those who are interested in exploring minimalism? Do you have any resources that you think are particularly helpful or inspiring?

[00:04:49] AIP: Don’t feel like you have to go through and get rid of everything all at once. Start small. Once you get started, you do get really excited about it and you feel that fresh, clean feeling that you’re getting and in your mind, it really starts getting exciting and you want to continue. Find Instagram accounts that have inspiring quotes or ideas for decluttering, talking to a friend and getting that accountability and sending pictures to each other of before and after and how excited you are… those are the types of things that always help me.

[00:05:16] CC: Thank you for sharing your story and your journey with us, Amy.

[00:05:18] AIP: Thank you for having me.


Intro music: Royalty-free music from the built-in Filmora library.

Brown, L. (2024, January 17). Top 10 royalty free music sites to download free and Legal Music. [2023]. https://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editing-tips/royalty-free-music-sites.html

Ambient sounds: Baby cooing in tub AND rifling through trinkets courtesy of Amy Irene P (my interviewee!).

Time best spent together: a snowy day family walk… — Cathie Maud, Jan 22, 2024

Are you ready? Let’s do this!


Embarking on a minimalist lifestyle requires some research; the internet is an excellent tool for this. — Cathie Maud, Feb 4, 2024

Benefits of minimalism: 21 benefits of owning less. Becoming Minimalist. (2019, October 29). https://www.becomingminimalist.com/minimalism-benefits/

Bright, M. (2020, January 28). Can you even define “minimalist parenting?” SheKnows. https://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/2152764/minimalism-parenting/

Home Page – konmari: The official website of Marie Kondo. KonMari. (2024, February 1). https://konmari.com/

Margareta Magnusson. (n.d.). https://www.margaretamagnusson.com/

Millburn, J. F., & Nicodemus, R. (n.d.). The Minimalists. https://www.theminimalists.com/

Susanna, Gilbert, S., & The Minimalist Vegan. (2023, December 31). Minimalist tips for decluttering your home. The Minimalist Vegan. https://theminimalistvegan.com/minimalist-tips-for-decluttering/

Millburn, J. F., & Nicodemus, R. (n.d.). The Minimalists. https://www.theminimalists.com/

This post was originally seen in a separate multimedia format as coursework for JOUR 2061: Introduction to Multimedia with Thompson Rivers University.

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