When I was pregnant with my first child, I was determined to not give in to a home over-run with a mountain of plastic toys. My child was going to grow up with educational toys made with natural materials.

Fast forward ten years and five little kids later, and I feel like my life has been immersed in all things bright and plastic.

It’s one thing to have a home full of life and people – I love that. But I have experienced the dark side of a home full of unnecessary rubbish- think drawers overflowing with random toys and disjointed pieces that belong who-knows-where.

My husband and I are not, and have never been perfectionists. But despite being laid back most of the time, we both long for some kind of semblance of order in the chaos.

I know I’m not the only one in this boat, so let’s journey together toward reclaiming a little simplicity in our homes. Let’s teach our kids that less is more, that it really is better to give than to receive, and to only keep what we all truly cherish.

Over this 4-part series entitled ‘Mini-malism’, we’ll explore all of these themes together and I’ll let you in on the journey I’ve been on.

It all started about six months ago, when I was, again, amidst a sea of plastic toys, when something in me finally snapped.

I was hunched down picking up some random pieces of a toy for the hundredth time – and I began to compare in my mind the hours I spent tidying countless toys compared to the MINUTES my kids had actually played with them.

So I decided once and for all to finally sort through cupboards and drawers and toy kits and baskets. I gave away or threw out mountains of plastic toys and I’m never, ever going back. Of course, this kind of militant clean-out can’t just be done once. If we hope to live with less mess, it’s going to mean we don’t only have to deal with the current state of our cupboards, but be far more mindful of what we bring into our home in the future.

We were on holiday recently and we took only a few toys: Lego blocks, colouring-in and activity books, a few board games and two puzzles. Every day, our kids spent many happy hours totally engrossed in these toys – and the house stayed relatively clutter-free and easy to tidy. I came home with a new resolve to live with less – not to take away from my kids, but to help them enjoy what they do have.

Watch this space for the next article in this series!

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