My hubby and I listened to a few episodes about clutter-free parenting from Kim John Payne’s podcast “Simplicity Parenting” on our drive home from the lake this weekend. Wow! Did we ever have some inspiration and drive to reduce the clutter in our 2 bed, 2 bath apartment! I spent a good portion of Sunday afternoon letting go and reducing some of the excess my family is blessed to have and give away for someone else to use.
Why does “Clutter-Free Parenting” matter to me?
This concept of “clutter-free parenting” is a new one to me but is so fascinating! Wouldn’t we all benefit from more time and less stuff in our lives? I know I would.
As discussions around the podcast happened between my husband and I, this sweet man of mine shed light into why this resonated with me so deeply. There has been a consistent theme in my own parenting, marriage, and life of my own quickness to live in anxiety, stress, and/or fear. Compared to most people, it doesn’t take much for me to feel overwhelmed and stuck- like I can’t move forward until every last thing on my list is done completely and perfectly.
Clutter is a trigger for this anxiety. When I enter a room that’s clean, organized, and simple, I feel peaceful and ready to do what needs to be done. I am 100x more likely to sit quietly and read my Bible and actually LISTEN and ponder for a while in a place that’s not overfilled with stuff or out of order. This is the type of home I want to create, steward, and keep. Not just for me and my own ability to be fully present, but for my husband and my children too.
After Pictures of a Simplified Nursery
In my son’s room, we were able to let go of many things that were not “useful or loved ” (a phrase from the podcast). This even included letting go of his changing table! In the space we are in now, it makes much more sense to have a changing pad and basket of supplies tucked under the crib instead of a whole table. Letting go of these things was liberating. I didn’t do the Marie Kondo practice of “thanking each item.” However, I did find it helpful to thank God for His provision of each item we used and are letting go of. Now, it will be a blessing to someone else!
His room is not at all a “Pinterest-y” room-but it was never meant to be that. It is a room where I hope my son will feel free to explore and create. It will also be a place that is calm enough for him to sleep in too. These are pictures of the room now-I forgot to take before pictures, so you just peeked into the ending place. This room will probably change again in the next few months. However, I’m proud of the work so far in making this space work better for our family and our values.
What I Learned From The Clutter-Free Mindset
I don’t endorse or hold true to everything that is discussed in the Simplicity Parenting podcast, but I do think there is a lot of wisdom in the overall message. It reminds us of the chaotic, loud world our children are growing up and of the high importance to prioritize quietness, connection, and space for creativity in our homes. This does not come from stuff. It comes from relationships with our families and time to cultivate them.
What About You?
I am a newbie in learning about all this-but I am eager to change my own habits and home to keep a peaceful haven for my loved ones. What about you? What are your goals for the space you live in? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your stuff? Please drop a comment below and share your thoughts!
Resources on Clutter-Free Parenting:
- pt.1, pt.2, and pt.3 of Kim John Payne’s interview with Laura Forbes, author of “Clutter‑Free Parenting: Making Space in Your Home for the Magic of Childhood”
- “Becoming A Clutter-Free Family, Pt.1” -Focus on the Family Podcast with Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist blog