Why minimalism for moms? One word is “overwhelm.”
Mommas know the overstimulation is real. We’ve got so many things going on as moms. We are keeping little people alive, cleaning up messes, cooking meals, washing clothes, teaching lessons, working on projects, and trying to keep everyone prayed for healthy and strong.
We are trying to filter through a myriad of noise and chaos to be able to find peace and calm and focus on what’s really important.
Maybe you’ve seen videos and posts on minimalism and have decided it’s not for you or you’re never going to get there. I encourage you to still read this post. Even if you’re not ready or want to go full-on minimalist with your home and life, that’s ok. YOu don’t have to label yourself as a minimalist mom to receive the benefits of minimalism. I wouldn’t be considered fully minimalist by the gurus out there. But let me just tell you implementing some minimalist tips is a great way to change your life and home for the better like by leaps and bounds.
What Is Minimalism Anyway?
I like what Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist says. His short answer is “Minimalism is owning fewer possessions.”
That seems straight forward but minimalism is about so much more than that. What Becker says next is, “It is intentionality” and I love that. To me being more minimal is not trying to get your belongings and house down to nothing, only having white walls and a pristine living space. We know as moms setting unrealistic expectations will only cause more stress. It is about intentional living and about building your life and home from the ground up It is about fewer things and fewer distractions but a fuller life. Simple living at its best. It’s about being a better mom at the end of the day.
“At its core, being a minimalist means intentionally promoting the things we most value and removing everything that distracts us from it.”Becoming Minimalist
As moms, we want to be able to promote what is important to us and our families in our homes and lives so we can eliminate excess stress and distraction.
There is so much in our society that tells us life is about more. More accumulation, a more packed schedule, more hustle. And also that we’re not enough and never will be.
But what if, just what if we are enough? What if God put us here for such a time as this? What if we could cut out what distracts us from our purpose and live peacefully in it instead? Let me tell you, with God, you are more than enough.
In this post, we will look at a few simple ways that we can become more minimal and less overwhelmed with a simpler life. Simple does not always mean easy. But we can take it a step at a time focusing on one thing and then another. I can tell you from experience that the rewards far outweigh the effort.
Becoming more minimal is about less overwhelm and more joy. So let’s look at a few areas to consider: decluttering your physical space, decluttering your digital space, decluttering your schedule, and decluttering your mental space.
Decluttering Your Physical Space
We’re starting with this one because it has a huge impact and getting this handled can lead to making the other areas easier.
I moved abroad years ago with 3 suitcases. Whittling all of my life possessions down to those three suitcases was hard and there may have been some tears. But it was good to start something new and push myself to grow.
As time went on however I began to re-accumulate. I’ve gone through my things many times since then but every time I feel a renewed sense of purpose. And there are fewer things for me to go through now as I try to keep up decluttering regularly.
When you have children it can be harder to declutter. Also if you have a spouse who is a pack rat and not on board. There are still however many things we can do to make our spaces feel fresh. We can be an example to inspire the rest of the family even if it takes time. I feel like going and cleaning some things out right now just thinking about the way I can breathe easier every time I do.
Here are some top decluttering tips from Minimal Moms:
- If it’s not serving you get rid of it.
- Keep a low inventory.
- Start with one small area at a time.
- Get help from someone you trust.
- Don’t organize clutter. Get rid of it.
- Give your categories a boundary.
- If it’s not a clear yes then it’s a no.
- Create a declutter checklist.
- Answer your why.
- Start with the place that drives you most crazy.
- One in and one out.
- Feel the feels.
You may also want to check out:
Your children will be more creative with fewer toys and the space to play. Especially for young children a lot of toys can lead to overwhelm and boredom. Decluttering makes their everyday life better too.
Decluttering Your Digital Space
Maybe your home is not that bad but how’s your digital space?
Confession. I was trying to save a YouTube video the other day to my “watch later” playlist and it said my space was exceeded. They allow for 5,000 videos. 5,000! Did I really have 5,000 videos in my watch later playlist? Apparently so. I sorted them by oldest and there were things I saved years ago that were just not a fit for who I am now and what I want to watch and learn. So I started deleting them. Now I am determined to make a regular review of these things a way of life.
That is why we need to go through a decluttering process again and again especially as busy parents. We change, our family changes. Our goals and passions change. To make the space for that we need to let go of the old ways and things that don’t serve us. Make a way for new things and you may be amazed at how many new things come!
My digital space needs work. When it comes to decluttering your digital space here are some areas to think about:
- Email and inbox folders.
- Music and video playlists.
- Online or digital photo albums.
- Old Pinterest or inspiration boards.
- Old computer files. I love CleanMyMac to help with this.
You can also use Gemni which is a program by the same company as clean my Mac and that helps you find similar and duplicate photos to remove.
To make tedious tasks like this easier set a timer and work in short spurts.
Mentioned in the video:
Leave Me Alone App to get rid of unwanted emails.
Spark Email App to prioritize and organize emails.
For decluttering your computer:
Check your downloads folder and trash unwanted items. Move others to their appropriate folders.
Run Clean My Mac and check system junk, mail attachments, Malware remover, and uninstaller for apps and programs you no longer use.
Decluttering your smartphone:
- Camera roll- check media types and work through each one. Don’t forget screenshots and screen recordings as these are often things you want temporarily and take up a lot of space.
- Empty the camera trash.
- Delete unused apps.
*Warning: Be careful to not delete anything you want. I don’t want to be blamed.
Bonus points: Put a new fresh background image on your desktop and mobile background. Vision boards are a great idea to inspire you.
Decluttering Your Schedule
Do you ever find yourself saying yes to things without thinking only to feel resentful about it later? This doesn’t feel good and it is not kind to others because we are overcommitting and not doing things with the right heart.
We need to train ourselves to say, “let me get back to you on that” to give time to think or, simply “no I have other commitments.” And it’s ok if those commitments happen to be your health and family.
That does not mean we never say yes or help others. Helping and serving are so important. We just have to remember that saying yes to something means we are saying no to something else. We need to prioritize.
Especially with kids, much of society expects us to go go go and be involved in everything and have our children involved in everything. But here’s the thing… we all need time to just be.
There are things we just have to do that may not be our dream things. It’s ok to schedule those in. The point is to save space for what matters to you and cut out the excess. Stop overcommitting yourself and your family to the point that there is no time to think or dream or even dare I say listen to the voice of the Lord.
Schedule in time with the Lord, that quiet time that is so needed. And if you feel too busy maybe some priorities need to be shifted around. And I know it’s hard but ask for help. Trade watching the children with another mom, enlist some grandparents, find someone to help you get that time if that’s what it takes.
Decluttering Your Mental Space
Decluttering your physical environment, your digital space and your schedule will go a long way in helping you clean up mental clutter too. Mental clutter is when we have too much going on in our minds causing us to feel overwhelmed. It can be worries, stress, feeling overly stimulated, and just having too much to do. Moms can be especially prone to suffer from this.
Putting some systems in place to tame mental clutter can make you feel so much more peaceful and centered as you go throughout your day.
Write It Out
Simply writing stuff down can go a long way in helping you release mental clutter. It’s a good idea to keep multiple ways to write stuff down. You can have a to-do list in a central part of the house where you write any tasks that you remember you need to do. This frees up space in your mind allowing you to relax a bit. You need it to be tracked so you don’t have to try to remember it.
Another method is journaling. You can just free flow and let go of stress this way releasing the things on your mind you are overwhelmed by or worried about. I especially recommend prayer journaling.
Speak It Out Loud
You can pray out loud, talk to someone you trust, or even talk out loud to yourself like you are telling a friend when no one is around. Sometimes just talking through something, even if it is you and the Lord listening, is so relieving and enlightening. If you need a professional then seek wisdom in finding the right person.
Put Sytems In Place
Oh for the love of all things systems!!! When you have the proper systems in place you are far more able to keep up the things you need to get done and clear physical, mental, and time space.
Some areas that you may need to create a system:
- Admin, work from home, and email.
- Cleaning, laundry, and chores.
- Weekly and monthly resets.
- Morning and evening routines.
Systems are so helpful. Find ones that work for you and your family. But know that all the systems in the world cannot heal us like Jesus and God’s Word can.
Meditate On God’s Word
When we feel overwhelmed it can be really challenging to just sit and listen and be but we need that time so much. You can look for scriptures that you find comforting and take minutes throughout the day to stop, ponder, and meditate on God’s Word. It’s the living Word and truly this can be life-changing.
Give It All To Him
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:6-7 KJV
The Lord can give us wisdom about what to keep, what to cut out, and how to handle the things we need to. He is our strength. We can ask Him and put our trust in Him.
A clutter-free home with less stuff is just one part of the idea of minimalism. Letting go of material things to focus on the most important things in life will help us grow in so many ways.
We can take simple steps to get there and make mom life easier and better. Quality time with our family can improve, and our mindset and outlook can improve. We can enjoy the short time we have at home with our children more. We can even gain peace of mind.
I’m preaching to the choir here as they say as I need this constant reminder too. Mommas know there is not a lot of extra time to accomplish our dreams and goals. So if you have tips on decluttering any area, leave them in the comments to help our momma community out!