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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Minimalism for Moms

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I recently read an article that a mother of four kids has only one tub of toys for all her kids. She never has more toys in her home.

It is pretty amazing to only have one tub of toys for FOUR kids, and I’m sure this strategy isn’t suitable for everyone. For instance, I like to have things organized and separated by categories, so that the kids can find the different types of toys they might want.

I have found that my three kids are much more likely to play for extended periods of time (even up to many, many hours) if things are organized.

That being said, I strongly support having less stuff. My kids have easily collected random toys and other items they don’t really use. The volume of toys sometimes seem to be excessive, so much so that I have felt like all I was doing was cleaning and getting stressed by the mess. I even think my kids were experiencing more stress than they probably should have since I would be on them frequently about cleaning up and nagging them about why they seem to make so much of a disaster in the whole house.

I tried to make a rule that the toys had to stay in just the play area or in their bedrooms, but the mess didn’t disappear. Even when I’d spend an entire day on organizing their things, in no time at all, the disaster zone would be back.

So, what is the answer? Although there definitely is not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, I think it really can help to implement minimalism in your home.

Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist states the following about minimalism:

“It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”

“The Minimalists” provides this inspiring statement on minimalism:

“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

What does this all mean for moms?

As a mom, wouldn’t it be nice to live with more clarity, with more purpose, and with more intentionality. Wouldn’t this be a great alternative compared to the messy, chaotic, disorganized life we often fall into?

Wouldn’t it be great to fill life with things and experiences that add value to our lives rather than having a life that is scattered with distractions, stress, and annoyances?

I’m sure all moms can relate to wanting to find freedom from the stress and overwhelm that life brings at times. Moms can also relate to wanting to increase their own and their family’s happiness and well-being.

So, you agree, but what should you do about it?

Try taking baby steps. And give yourself credit for those little (but really big) accomplishments.

DO THIS: Grab a grocery size bag or maybe a trash bag if you’re feeling really motivated and fill it up with stuff to throw away. You can start in one room or just in one area of a room or you can just walk around your house until the bag is full. Then, go throw that bag in the trash or in your dumpster.

DO THIS, TOO: Grab another bag and fill it with stuff that you don’t want to throw away but that you can part with and give away. The trick with this, though, is that you really need to give it away. Donate it or put it in a yard sale. Don’t keep it around or else it will just get mixed back into your home.

Remember to keep things that add value, beauty, and peace to your life, but be willing to let go of your attachment to things.

Minimalism for Moms

Heather Gilmore

My name is Heather Gilmore. I am so happy to be able to have a space to share helpful insights and resources to other moms out there. Being a parent is hard work and I hope to be able to give you tips and strategies to make it at least a little bit easier and more enjoyable. We love our kids but any mom knows that they can also be exhausting and overwhelming at times, as well. I have a master's degree in social work. I work as a children's therapist. I am also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and work with children with autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, I am a freelance writer specializing in topics related to children and families. I have my own company called Hope Family Resources which provides resources in person and online to help families find greater hope, health, and happiness. See my site and learn more about me at: or email me at [email protected] I have also published books on Amazon. Search for "Discpline and Parenting Strategies for Kids with ADHD," "Have Peace: How to Have Peace in Your Busy, Chaotic Life," and "Sibling Rivalry: How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry so You Won't Have to Anymore,"

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APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2016). Minimalism for Moms. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Oct 2016
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