How can I get simplicity in life

Minimalism: the happiness of simplicity

Courage to swim against the current

Advertising on television, in magazines and on posters suggests that inner satisfaction depends on what or how much one owns. This longing for happiness leads us to buy more than we actually need.

But is that what advertising is trying to sell us? Are we actually happier when we have a lot?

A Western European owns around 10,000 items on average. That's a lot. If the amount of property makes you happy, we as Western Europeans should be among the happiest people on earth.

Actor Jim Carrey once said: "I hope that everyone can get rich one day and then have everything they ever dreamed of, so that they can see that this is not the answer. "

 

When simplicity makes sense

Some parents find themselves at some point in a stressful and exhausting daily routine from which - with the exception of the longed-for annual vacation - there seems to be no way out. Most parents have 3 jobs that they pursue: their job, the household, and the children. In this three-pronged everyday life, many lack the time to relax, time to breathe a sigh of relief and time for themselves. And especially with small children, the “household” job often becomes a mammoth task. You can't keep up with tidying up and you feel like in the Sisyphus legend: no sooner have you tidied up the apartment or house properly than the mess starts all over again. There is so much “stuff” lying around every day. The few storage areas are just as crammed as the appointment calendar. And on top of that, you put yourself under high pressure of expectation because you want to be perfect and only want to offer your children the best - but you are repeatedly confronted with your own failure.

Do you know that? Then it is time to regain some more of the simplicity of life and free yourself from unnecessary burdens. This burden can be external - the sheer excess of objects and appointments - as well as internal - the burden of perfectionism and / or feelings of failure.

 

Discover what is important to you

The decisive factor in the trend towards minimalism is not simply abstaining from consumption. The key is to rediscover what is important to you, what is essential, what makes you happy. Only with this self-knowledge can one consciously renounce what none of this is. And some will discover that everyday life is less exhausting when you travel light: if you have the courage to be simplistic.

 

Simplicity as a lifestyle

Minimalism doesn't have to be an ascetic lifestyle of deprivation. It just means embracing simplicity and creating a little more space internally - and externally - for yourself. To make life a little easier for yourself. It also means arriving in the here and now, calming down and enjoying the simple things instead of constantly chasing the latest or the best.

With children, it means that you don't always have to pull off the best entertainment program. That you don't have to overwork your schedule, you just have time to just be family: time to play, time to laugh, time to chat, time to rest, time for stories, time for aimless walks or for spontaneous moments of tickling attacks , Pillow fights and cuddles.

Simplicity means stopping wanting to be a superhero mom or dad. It means renouncing perfectionism. As a mother or father, you are just yourself: you love your child from the bottom of your heart. And the more satisfied, relaxed, relaxed and happy you are, the more the whole family atmosphere changes for the better.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do little things with great love. " (Mother Teresa)

Can Simplicity Work With Children?

Yes! Because children are designed by nature to find happiness in simplicity. Have you ever attended a forest kindergarten? There you can see how children play enthusiastically with the supposedly few things that the forest has to offer them without getting bored: mud puddles and stones, pine cones and fallen tree trunks, sticks and leaves - all of this stimulates their imagination and invites them to discover, Explore, romp, climb, do handicrafts and play. The children of a forest kindergarten not only get along without “modern” toys: They are absolutely happy with them.

However, when adopting a simpler lifestyle as a family, there are two things to keep in mind:

1. Find a healthy mediocrity

It is not good for children if they feel that they are disadvantaged in comparison to other children or that they never get what they want. But just as little is it conducive to their development if they always get everything they want and lose the appreciation for what they already have, since they constantly want something new. As a parent, it is important to strike a good balance between too little and too much


2. Buy more consciously: Quality and durability

Minimalism is only possible to a limited extent with children. It is not uncommon for you to have to change your child three times a day: the yoghurt ends up on the T-shirt, the pants are full of dirt after visiting the playground, and learning to be free from nappies does not work so well either. You wouldn't get very far here with five minimalist outfits in your wardrobe, but what to look out for is good quality in what you have. Because if you rely on cheap goods, you quickly “wear and tear” and have to buy the used clothes - which not only harms the environment, but ultimately also harms your wallet.

I'm writing from my own experience: Hardly any of my wild boys' pants survived longer than a few weeks - the fabric on the knees was worn through too quickly from romping, crawling, sealing and playing on the floor or the playground. Even jeans that I bought at the discounter turned out to be less durable. The only pants in my boys' wardrobe that still have no holes in their knees despite extensive use are pants from sigikid.

Children don't need tons of stuffed animals either. But they need soft toys that are durable, that can be washed in the washing machine, and that can accompany them throughout their childhood. That is only possible with good quality.

Minimalist parents do not buy as little as possible - but they buy as consciously as possible: Durable toys of good quality and children's clothing that neither discolor, shrink nor wear and which is so comfortable that children like to wear them often.


3. Tips on how even mucking out becomes easy

Some parents have so little time in their everyday life that even the thought of mucking out can become a burden: When should you find time for this, please?

The same applies here: Make it as easy as possible for yourself. For example like this:

  1. Walk around the house with a laundry basket once or twice a month. Fill the laundry basket with all the "stuff" that has become superfluous: things that are either no longer needed, or things that you or your children no longer enjoy. This mucking out with the laundry basket does not take long and can also happen "in between". You can do it while your child is taking their afternoon nap, while dinner is baking in the oven or just spontaneously when you unexpectedly have a moment and are full of action.
  2. For each of these "mucking-out activities" you should only plan one specific area:
  • Adult clothing
  • Children's clothing
  • Shoes and bags
  • toys
  • Books
  • Desk, papers and documents
  • decoration
  • Memorabilia
  • etc. It is best to start with things that are not associated with a certain emotionality (such as kitchen drawers or desks). When you are practiced in your judgment and have confidence in your ability to make decisions, you can also tackle the emotionally more difficult areas.
  1. Or you choose a specific area of ​​your home every time:
  • Shoe cabinet
  • Pantry
  • Sock drawer
  • bathroom
  • writing desk
  • kitchen
  • Cloakroom / hallway
  1. Then the "stuff" is sorted out:
  • What can be thrown away?
  • What can be given away / donated?
  • What can be sold
  1. The most important thing about this approach: Sorting and disposing of things should be done on the same day - but no later than within the next 3 days. Otherwise there is a very high probability that things will simply stay where they are.
  • Throw away what is no longer usable on the same day.
  • Put the things you want to donate / give away in the trunk on the same day or the next morning so that they can be delivered to the recipient as soon as possible.
  • Put the things you want to sell right away on the Internet or put them in a place where you can collect the items for the next flea market
  1. Don't forget to include yours every now and then "Clearing out" the appointment calendar and to think about where you can create a little more free time for yourself / your family.
  2. Over time, there will be more space in your home and you will feel lighter and more comfortable. There will be less lying around. There will be less to tidy up, and tidying up itself will be easier because there is more space and everything is clearer. But as long as you have young children, you should put perfectionist ideas about order as another superfluous ballast of yourself. According to the quote: "Good mothers have sticky tables, full laundry baskets, dirty windows and ... happy children! "

 

"Happiness is in us, not in things."

(Siddhartha Gautama Buddha)