We weren’t unschooling then. Nor were we living independent lives. We hadn’t started thinking about minimalism at that point either.
Our (slow) journey towards minimalism has probably been going on for around 2 years now, shortly after we moved into our current house. Despite it being a big house, we feel we are slowly moving towards our goal of living with less.
I’m not sure if we’ll ever be true minimalists, our aim is to own only what we need and use. We have discarded of loads of stuff and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hard with a family and we can’t be as minimalistic as we would truly like, but we are making positive steps forward and always looking to improve.
There have been no tears of the parting of items. Our older boys have been quite happy to get rid of almost all their belongings. This does not include their laptop or xBox though!
What You Really Need For The First Six Months
I thought it would be worth highlighting what we have bought and set up for our new baby and what we believe is all that is really needed (for us, at least):
- about 10 baby vests
- about 10 baby grows
- car seat
- nappies + wipes (started on disposables, but have just transitioned to cloth nappies)
- changing mat
- baby carrier
- baby bouncing chair
- mattress / floor bed
- Ikea Leka baby gym – bought 2nd hand for £4 #win
We haven’t bought a cot. For sleeping the baby has her own room with a mattress on the floor, Montessori style. I currently sleep with her.
Nor do we have a changing table. The top of a small Ikea Expedit will do and the 4 boxes that fit into the Expedit is all the space the baby will have to keep her belongings. We currently have 3 of the boxes/shelves filled up:
- with her current sized clothes
- clothes that don’t fit her yet (mostly presents)
I hope to keep this to 2 boxes in the future so that the two bottom shelves can be kept for suitable toys/activities as she grows.
We will buy stuff as she gets older, but we will consider whether it will really add value to our lives. For example, a walker or a donut ring is next on our list this will help free up our arms, time and bring joy to our baby. Also, the baby gym we have is not really an essential, but our baby currently enjoys it and it gives my arms a break for a few minutes
The Minamlistic Rules We Are Trying To Stick To
As we become much more conscious consumers, we are trying to stick to rules to help us decide what and how to buy, they are:
- We will buy 2nd hand where possible
- We will buy high quality so someone else in the future can get use out of it too
- In addition to the high quality aspect – where possible we will focus on simple wooden toys. We are desperately trying to avoid (cheap) plastic.
- We will not hold on to anything that will no longer be used. For example, we have already given away our daughters first size clothing.
- When we buy something it has to have a place to live – otherwise it doesn’t get tidied away and creates mess.