Simplicity Parenting: Environment – less is more

by Renee

A little while back, I mentioned in a previous post that I was doing an e-course on Simplicity Parenting.

One of the advantages of e-courses is being able to take them at your own pace, in your own time. We are still getting reminders and journal prompts from the course, but I am doing it in conjunction with reading the Simplicity Parenting book. I am learning a lot, but I am taking my time as most of my time is taken up by Bea 🙂

One thing that I’d really like to simplify in our home is the environment. There seems to be clutter everywhere and it can get extremely overwhelming. It seems that no matter how hard I try to tidy up, clutter and chaos remain.

However, one area that we have succeeded in simplifying is Bea’s nursery. I’ve sorted her books and toys, and have only left out a few that she really uses and enjoys. These toys now live in a basket that we can both easily access. It’s also easier for me to tidy up – I just put all the toys in the basket at the end of play and cover it with a blanket. Hey presto – clear floor!

The following are points from the book that really resonated with me. They are very handy guidelines:

= Too much stuff leads to too many choices.
= As you decrease the quantity of toys and clutter, you increase your child’s capacity for paying attention and deep play.
= The child given less and less complexity will cultivate true powers of attention.

I have to say that Bea is definitely calmer and more focused if only given toys one at a time. This is encouraging us to be wiser in the choices we make regarding what we give her.

The following points are also good to bear in mind when assessing ‘keeper’ toys:

= beloved
= whole
= invite imagination
= invite the sense of touch
= healthy for humans and the planet
= can be quickly put away

My aim is to let this simplification trickle throughout our home environment – even if I have to start one tiny shelf at a time so that I don’t get too overwhelmed and frustrated. I will have to remind myself to only keep things that are useful, beautiful and loved.

After all, less is more.