Why Simplicity Parenting May Be the Solution to Your Family’s Clutter, Chaos, and Disconnect
by Kate Saffle
A month ago
What would it look like for your home to have just enough and never too much stuff? Where all the loved toys have a home, the kids’ rooms stay tidy, and there is even time for family game night or cooking dinner together? Can you imagine a life with less obligations and responsibilities, with plenty of white space on the calendar for spontaneous family picnics or a true day of rest?
Our family culture today is built upon the pillars of “too much”: too much stuff, too many choices, too much information, and too fast. If you’ve ever longed for a simpler way of living, if you’ve ever looked at your family’s calendar and felt dread, and if you feel like the kids’ toys keep multiplying, there is a solution. I know, because my family and I found ourselves in this situation four years ago and radically overhauled our lives. The busy schedules (both ours and our kids’), the overstuffed home that we spent all of our free time cleaning and maintaining, and the yearning for more quality time together were a warning sign that we had lost sight of what mattered most to our family. Inspired by the book Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, we made a leap of faith to chart a new direction.
Paring down to the essentials
We sold our house and too much stuff, headed cross-country to a little beach town on Lake Michigan, and moved into a dollhouse-sized brick home that only had room for the essentials. We traded overwhelming obligations and responsibilities for impromptu sunset beach picnics and all-day Saturday hikes. We sold 75% of our belongings so that our new home, even at half the square footage of our last, had room to breathe. Committing to a slower childhood for our kiddos, we put up boundaries for screen-time, overstimulating activities, and protected their right to a simple and relaxed childhood.
What should have felt like concessions and loss instead was the most positive gain our family had ever experienced. Simplicity Parenting’s core message recommends simplifying all aspects of the family home and schedule, protecting the innocence of childhood, and strengthening family rhythms and rituals.
In a nutshell: Simplicity Parenting is the antidote to the weariness so many of us feel from raising kids in the modern, technological age.
As a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach now, I regularly see families struggling to swim upstream against the onslaught of too much stuff, technology, and information. They know in their hearts that there must be a better way to do family life and they long to live again by the values that once guided their days and home. If you also feel this way, you’re not alone! What I do know is that one month of serious simplification and intention can drastically turn around the family home and create space for your values and dreams to take root and flourish once more.
Is Simplicity Parenting right for you? See if any of the following sound like your situation:
Your kids’ rooms are stuffed to the gills or maybe you have an overflowing playroom. The kids seem bored with their toys and the messes are driving you nuts! Holidays and birthdays are overwhelming because you’re out of room for new toys and don’t know how to stop the inflow.
You feel like you spend most days in your car driving your kids to school, their activities, their playdates, etc. Family dinner? You’re lucky if you can squeeze around the table occasionally for a meal and thank goodness for drive through coffee and meals!
You long for just one day where there is nothing on the calendar and you can spend quality time together as a family. Instead, you spend your free time trying to juggle everything. You wonder why it’s so complicated and exhausting to raise a family today.
Your child’s behavior is worrying you and you can’t put a finger on why she is more anxious/worried/acting out/withdrawn, etc. You miss the happy and free-spirited toddler she once was and can’t figure out how to help her get back to that place.
Raising a family isn’t how you dreamed it would be and you feel a disconnect between your vision for your family and the reality you’re currently experiencing. Your heart aches for deep connections and making lasting family memories.
The simpler way to raise a family
Imagine walking into your home and seeing clutter-free surfaces, simple kids rooms where toys can be easily put away, and room to breathe. Or a family calendar with plenty of free time to be together. Simplicity, ease, and greater connection are within reach for your family, I promise! Practicing the Simplicity Parenting method will help you create a calmer and more peaceful life and home, and I’ll show you how through upcoming articles in this series. You CAN have the home and family life your dreamed about at the very beginning of your parenting journey, and it starts now. Make sure to subscribe to the Basal Baby newsletter for more in the Simplicity Parenting series.
What’s your biggest struggle in your home right now? Share in the comments below!