Keeping a minimalist home with kids can be challenging, but rewarding. Here are some simple strategies to create a home with less toys and more creativity.

Create a Minimalist Home with Less Toys and More Creativity

Most minimalist parents strive to find a happy medium when it comes to their kids’ toy clutter. They want their kids to be kids but don’t think having hundreds of toys is the way to go. So how do you create a minimalist home with fewer toys and more creativity? Here are some practical, simple-to-execute strategies for building a more creative play environment for your kids.

The Benefits of Fewer Toys

In an article written for Psychology Today, a study of kids and toys was discussed. Read the full article. Here is a quick breakdown of the findings:

  • Fewer toys meant better interaction.
  • Kids played longer with fewer toys.
  • Creativity was enhanced with fewer toys.

It’s no surprise that fewer toys meant more creativity for kids. After all, the benefits of less clutter have proven to reduce anxiety and depression in adults. Get my FREE Toy Clutter guide with The Gentle Art of Letting Sh*t Go eBook.

Toy Downsizing Tips

If you have younger kids, downsizing toys is relatively simple. It’s when the children are a little bit older that you might face some power struggles. There are two basic questions to ask when deciding what goes and what stays:

  • Do they play with this?
  • Does this enhance more creativity?

As parents, it’s important that we’re honest with ourselves about what is not being played with and what is not increasing their creativity. It can prove to be difficult for parents who attach a financial value to the toys in their home. “This cost $50, I’m not getting rid of it!”

While this monetary struggle can be difficult, it could also prove helpful in future situations when you find yourself tempted to spend significant money on a toy.

Keeping a minimalist home with kids can be challenging, but rewarding. Here are some simple strategies to create a home with fewer toys and more creativity.

Before getting organization tips, tackle these simple decluttering moves to clear clutter and create a minimalist home in 10 minutes or less.

Encouraging Decluttering

There are different things you can do to encourage decluttering depending on your child’s age.

For older kids:

  • Set a timer and make a game out of finding unused toys to donate.
  • Make a list of favorite toys and then encourage them to let go of anything that didn’t make the list.
  • Before Christmas and birthdays, remind your children that if they want new toys, they must make room for them by downsizing some that they currently have.

For younger kids:

  • Secretly store toys that don’t get played with often in closed bins and put them away where the child can’t see them. Give it a few months, and if the items are not missed, donate them.

Say Yes to help

Here is a little tip that will be a bigger pain at first, but will help you simplify the cleaning process as your kids get older. Let them help when they are young!!

Yes, they might make a bigger mess but when kids offer to help or are excited about cleaning, feed into it, so that they will be used to it as they age.

Consider a reward

A lot of people don’t like paying for cleaning that a kid should do anyway, however, even offering a dime or 15 minutes of screen time can be a great way to reward helpful behaviors and will hopefully instill the habit of cleaning in them. Read: How to Teach Kids Money Management

If Christmas burnout gets you before the tree is even up, here are 5 things to declutter to create space for a more peaceful Christmas.

Use the One-Bin Method

When it comes to picking up toys, my biggest recommendation is to forgo the complicated toy shuffling systems, or hyper-organization that you might see in classrooms. It rarely translates to the home and will most likely cause you more money, time and heartache.

Instead, opt for the old fashioned toy box approach and have one bin for all toys to go into at the end of the day.

Not only does this make tidying easier for your kids, but it can also set a boundary around how many toys they are allowed.

For example, you could set a household rule that if a toy bin starts to overflow, it’s time to get rid of a few things. This can be a great visual for kids to see what “too much” looks like and a practical system for you to manage clutter accumulation.

Enhancing Creativity

There are several standard toys that help promote creativity in kids. It may be a good idea to keep these toys on hand or to encourage them in the future. There are also other areas to play or explore that can be extremely helpful in promoting creativity in your children.

Toys for creativity:

  • Legos
  • Barbies
  • Crayons
  • Play-Doh — here is a great homemade recipe
  • Books
  • Paints
  • Dress-ups

Keeping a minimalist home with kids can be challenging, but rewarding. Here are some simple strategies to create a home with fewer toys and more creativity.

Out-of-the-Playroom Playtime

Remember that playtime doesn’t just have to be in a playroom or even with toys! Letting your kids play in the mud, help with gardening, baking in the kitchen, or even helping with dishes can keep them busy, and you are sure to have fewer toys and more creativity.

Don’t ever underestimate the importance of teaching your children basic life skills. Not only will they benefit as adults, but one-on-one life lessons help them grow more creative and independent while they are young.

Great ideas for out-of-playroom playtime:

  • Baking — Check out baking kits at KidStir.
  • Cutting fruit (butter knives work).
  • Matching Tupperware lids.
  • Scrubbing dishes.
  • Cleaning the car.
  • Folding laundry.

The options are endless when it comes to toy-free learning. Sometimes you just have to get creative.

Keeping a minimalist home with kids can be challenging, but rewarding. Here are some simple strategies to create a home with less toys and more creativity.

Participating in Creativity

If you are hoping for a home with fewer toys and more creativity, make sure your kids know this is a good thing.

More than anything, your kids want time with you, so don’t deprive them of that luxury. There are so many ways that you can play with or be involved in their learning without them feeling like it’s learning.

10-Minute playtime activities:

  • Read together — Did you know reading for 6 minutes before bedtime is shown to improve sleep?!
  • Superheroes on a timer — Play dress-up with your kids and set a timer. Go all in, and when the timer goes off, pretend the story is “to be continued…” This makes kids feel like they are in their own movie and it helps build anticipation for your next playtime.
  • Their pick — Ask your kids what they want to teach you for 10 minutes.
  • Make dinner — Have your kids crack eggs, stir the bowl, or even preheat the oven. You could even do an amateur cooking class with Gobble meals! Gobble prepares meals in advance and sends all the stuff right to your door. Putting these gourmet meals together only takes a few minutes and it’s something you and your kids could do together without you needing to put in a ton of effort! Click here to see 15-minute dinner ideas!

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How to Create More Creativity with Less Toys in a Minimalist Home
How to Create More Creativity with Less Toys in a Minimalist Home

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