SummaryMom of six, Elizabeth Turajski shares how minimalism brought more peace to her homeschool. Could a simpler, slower lifestyle be just what your family needs?
Recently, the internet became abuzz with talk of a new movement called minimalism.
Minimalism, as I understand it, is a lifestyle that centers around reducing one’s possessions and slowing one’s schedule in order to focus on what is important in life.
While this lifestyle can easily become hedonistic, causing people to view their own personal happiness as the goal of their lives, I personally have found that it helps me live my vocation as a Catholic homeschooling mom in the following ways.
1. Help with organization
It allowed me to drastically reduce the time I spend tidying my house and organizing my stuff.
Before I became interested in minimalism, I spent a lot of time cleaning my house, particularly decluttering. I would care more than my kids did that their toys had all the pieces and were stored in the right spots.
I would clean and fold clothes that my kids didn’t even like or that didn’t even fit them anymore. Frustrated, I donated boxes upon boxes of rarely used/worn toys and clothing. This has freed up much of my day that was previously spent either tidying up or reminding the kids to do so.
2. Increased productivity
It makes my homeschool day more productive.
In the past, I bought a bunch of supplemental material that looked interesting and worthwhile for my kids to use.
I would spend my precious free time organizing all the cool homeschooling books and supplies that I bought.
Needless to say, I became overwhelmed by all the “cool stuff”, and homeschooling felt so much more difficult than it needed to be. Inspired by minimalism, I sold unused homeschool books that seemed cool or seemed like things I “should” use, rather than stuff I wanted to use.
My goal is to have only the books that my kids need, will need, or that we enjoy reading/studying as a family on our school bookshelves.
As I work toward this goal, I look back on the things I had purchased and don’t know how I would have ever used all of them. In fact, I think it is beneficial to my kids that they don’t have to use all those materials.
They are less overwhelmed with fewer books and projects, and we can spend more time thoroughly discussing, reviewing, and memorizing their required work.
3. Acts of charity
It provides an opportunity for my children to grow in charity.
When going through their toys and clothes, I explain to the kids that anything they don’t want will go to kids whose families don’t have the money to buy them.
While at first some of my kids were resistant to getting rid of anything, since then, they have come to me with items they would like to donate.
4. Peaceful household
It brings more peace to my household. This is by far the greatest benefit.
By reducing the amount of toys and clothes my children have, we have freed up space in their rooms for them to play together and have friends over.
By decluttering our schedule, we have created more time for the activities that are important to us, like fellowship activities with families in our parish, the boys’ baseball team, and my daughter’s choir.
Now, I am able to have a least a little bit of free time each day during which I am not driving or cleaning, which has greatly reduced my feelings of being overwhelmed, which in turn, brings more peace to the household dynamic.
Minimalism is not for everyone, but embracing a simpler, slower lifestyle was just what my family needed.
Has your family tried some form of minimalism? Share in the comments!