Have you tried to be a minimalist?

Ok, so I really like the idea of being a minimalist. I already love the idea of everything having a place, and everything being in its place. I am that mom that answers the never ending questions of, “Mom! Have you seen my shoes…” or jacket, etc. with, “Did you put it away?”. But how can you be a minimalist with a son or daughter who has autism??

I enjoy asking myself, “Have I used this in the last year? Or does it have sentimental value?” And if it doesn’t pass I like reselling or donating it. But how do you pull this off with a child who keeps a running inventory of everything he has ever owned in his mind!?

Seriously, passing clothes down from mr. L to mr. C is not usually easy. It can be a process of physically showing mr. L how his clothes don’t even fit him anymore, and occasionally items can’t be passed down. It’s too upsetting, stressful and not worth the fight. So sometimes things just have to quietly go away, or be replaced by something as similar as possible. But that’s just clothes!

Toys are a whole other ball game. I can gather up and set aside a bag of toys and 3 months later when I think I’m almost out of the clear mr. L will ask for a specific hot wheels or Thomas train… and if by rotten luck I got rid of it there can be weeks of crying until I just go get him another one. Yes, this has happened.

So I’ve done different mantras; does it bring me joy? Can I live without it? And my go to- have I used it in the last year? Is there an autism mantra I could use??

I think my family would benefit from living a more simple life. Less clutter, less cleaning, more free time, and more experiences over piles of stuff. Even mr. L could benefit, because I know when the toy room has a cleared floor, he can spend hours laying out train tracks…. But he needs the space to do it. And personally I would rather meet some financial goals and vacation goals then get more stuff.

I read that if I keep asking myself, “Do I really need this?” at home, I’ll be better about the same question at the store and I like that idea.

So how do I tackle this better without upsetting my kid who “needs” all his things? Tips? Tricks? What mantra did you use? Let me know in the comments! ✌️ Thanks!

23 comments

  1. I’m always trying to consolidate. Before birthday and Christmas and hanukAh I would make my daughter donate the like amount of toys as to what was on her list. I also made her go through all her stuff twice a year. If it was something I didn’t think she used, I would put it in the closet.if she never missed it it was donated. I’m always minimizing though! Currently doing that now

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could do this, but my children just can’t seem to be reasoned with. Even if I play the, “it will go to a child in need” card, because then they just get sad that other kids don’t have toys 🙄😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always ask myself how much work I will have to do to buy an item, and if I am going to get at least that much worth of joy out of it. If not, it’s a no go.

    It’s my preventative measure.

    Sure, it’s cute, but if I don’t have a use for it, I shouldn’t buy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like living minimally now but I also when younger would return to things not used for years over and over. Certain things we would get out once a year for a few months then get bored again. I also would’ve been aghast if my mum had told me she got rid of something just when I was excited to play with it again haha. You want to feel in control of your own things.

    Maybe you need to just be minimalist with yourself, and also going forwards with the kids, but put up with the stuff that they already own. Hope that helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was super helpful. I like your advice to just be minimalist for me and going forward with the kids. But letting them keep the things they already own.
      I agree, letting them have the control over their things is important.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool :). I can imagine that being hard though once you have your mind set on minimalism haha. I also put things away religiously now, and get anxious if I don’t, thanks to losing so many things in my life! And spending sooo much time looking for a them. I also hate mess or disorder anyway. But nobody could ever make me do that when younger xD.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For myself, I use the “first this then that” approach. If I want something new, I have to get rid of a “that” I choose. I even used this method for some handmade pottery I asked for for Christmas. I made a choice of what I would get rid of before I ordered the piece. The drawback is I have not yet gotten to the thrift store with the items I decided to part with. LOL. I will though, once I finish putting away Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I swear hoarding is a genetic trait. I have seen 2 generations before me doing what I was doing. My husband is the exact opposite and spent 2 years retraining me to see the beauty in less stuff! We’re definitely not minimalist, but you’re completely right that I can enjoy more time with my family when I’m spending less time cleaning up. I’m extremely lucky that my child is young enough that I can start out his life with this mind space. I have absolutely no advice on how to help your son with Autism cope with decluttering, but I’m sending you all the good vibes that you will find a way on this journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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