Whether you are a minimalist mom or an aspiring minimalist, Diane Boden offers actionable advice in her debut book, Minimalist Moms: Living and Parenting with Simplicity. As I mention in my book, The Art of Happy Moving, I am not a minimalist. I am your typical suburban mom with three kids and a house filled with items, although our family does relish decluttering, organization, and simplification. While I may not be a full-fledged minimalist (yet), I love Diane Boden’s roadmap to becoming a minimalist mom. Here are five tips from Diane Boden’s book that can help you simplify your life as you begin the minimalist mom journey.
Be mindful of your purchases
In Minimalist Moms, Boden describes the light bulb moment when she realized how much money her parents spent on items that now sit in their basement untouched. It happens to all of us. How many closets or attics or basements are filled with items that we no longer use? We spend money to bring these items into our home, but then we relegate the books or sweaters or knickknacks to soon forgotten locations. When you make a purchase, Boden recommends quality over quantity. You only need one nice pair of sandals instead of four pairs of flip flops you bought on sale that won’t last through the season.
Minimalist mom, minimalist child: Include your child in the process
Being a minimalist mom means practicing minimalism as a family. “When it comes to my personal experience,” explains Boden, “I say it’s never too early to share your family values with your children” (Boden, 30). Your children learn from you. If you talk about the joy of purchasing experiences over things, your child hears you. When your child sees an item she wants in a store, take a picture and add it to her holiday or birthday list. Your child takes her cues from you, so include her in the process at all ages.
Stay away from free stuff
You want to take the promotional insurance company key chain at the school fair because it’s there and it’s FREE! However, you and I both know the key chain will probably land in a junk drawer when you get home, never to be seen again. Instead, learn to walk away empty handed. As Boden says, “The next time you’re at a conference, the doctor’s office, the bank, a garage sale, or wherever else you may be handed free stuff, politely say ‘no, thank you’” (Boden, 80). Free stuff will only add clutter to your home, so leave it be.
Set boundaries on your screen time
Being a minimalist mom is about being present and enjoying a simpler life. Although it may be difficult to do, Boden recommends we set boundaries on our own screen time. “As minimalist moms, we not only need to clear out the physical things that weigh us down, but mental ones, too,” explains Boden. “Declutter the scrolling habit from your days and you will gain back time you never realized you had” (Boden, 122-123). Not only will you cleanse your mind, you can focus your attention on more energizing activities.
Slow down and live intentionally
With less clutter at home and less clutter in our minds, we can live a more intentional lifestyle. Take a moment. Enjoy your kids. Enjoy your partner. Breathe. Look around you. “When we embrace a minimalist approach to life, we give priority to what’s important to us – our family, friends, possessions, and hobbies,” says Boden (157). “To slow down is to remain present.”
With these five steps, you can begin the journey to becoming a Minimalist Mom. Diane Boden’s debut book, Minimalist Moms: Living and Parenting with Simplicity, offers step-by-step advice on how to be a minimalist mom in many situations such as how to declutter sentimental items or how to declutter your children’s artwork. She provides insight into how to handle minimalism during pregnancy and guidance on practicing minimalism during the holidays. Diane covers it all to help you create the minimalist mom life you desire.
Diane Boden is the voice behind the top-rated The Minimalist Moms Podcast where she spreads her ideas and interviews others in regards to living a life in the pursuit of less. Her goal is simply: think more and do with less. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and three children.