6 Tips for Minimalist Living with a Newborn

In the past four months, I’ve had a baby, officially launched a new business, and moved into to our new little house with five days notice. If you ask me, that’s a lot of life changes and having a lot of stuff doesn’t make that process any easier. While I was pregnant I started the process of downsizing and moving into the minimalist lifestyle. Now, this was a lot easier said than done when I was also prepping for a baby. But in the last half of the year I’ve learned a lot about streamlining and creating a minimalist lifestyle for me and my entire family, and I’m so excited to share my tips with you!

Having a new baby? Don't get caught up in a whirlwind of STUFF! See our 6 tips for living a minimalist lifestyle with a newborn and having only what you need!

Make a Mood Board

Before we even found our new house, I created a mood board for how I wanted this space to look. This not only included colors and themes, but gave me a really good sense of what exactly I would and wouldn’t need in the move. Our new house is tiny - around 800 sq feet - so I knew there wouldn’t be room for any extra crap…baby stuff included. Making a mood board really helped me streamline my buying process + take stock of what was really necessary for our family. 

Keep Receipts

If you’re still pregnant and prepping for your little babe, be prepared for an influx of stuff. As thoughtful and lovely as it as that people want to buy things for your newborn, they don’t often take into account that you’re trying not to clutter and tend to buy lots of “cute” things. Again, so thoughtful, but a little derailing when you are trying to downsize. Keep receipts for all those extra gifts and see if you can exchange all those little things for one larger item you actually need for baby. 

And if you can’t return it? Donate! There are plenty of people out there who don’t have access to all the baby items they need, so if it has been gifted to you and you don’t want it - don’t feel an obligation to keep it!

Play Keep or Toss

Some people swear by it, some people make fun of it, but “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” really worked for putting me in the right mindset when I began my downsizing process. Asking myself “Does it bring me joy?” while holding the items in my hands really put it into a realistic perspective. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in 6 months, it goes. I can honestly say I haven’t missed a single thing I tossed over 8 months ago. 

Evaluate Your Baby’s Needs

Some of the downsizing will come after your baby arrives. As first time parents, we were peppered with “oh you have to buy this” or “your baby can’t live without that”. But the truth is, every single baby is different. The things that ended up being lifesavers for us (you can see which items those were here) might not be the same for your little one. We also discovered his needs as he grew and required more. So yes, we did have to purchase some things - like a swing - but it fit in with our needs and available space. You’ll find pretty quickly what works and what doesn’t for your baby, so just remove the clutter.

Keep Your “Why” in Mind

I think a lot of people are interested in a minimalist lifestyle because it’s trendy, but I appreciate it because it removes stress and confusion from the home. When you have only what you need your entire home feels more in line with your intentions and you can focus on what’s really important to you. Start with why you want to downsize to a minimalist lifestyle and keep that at the forefront throughout the entire process. 

Learn how to say “No, thanks”

In addition to receiving gifts, I’ve found that when you have a baby people just want to give you stuff. And by stuff, I mean hand-me-downs. This can be great, but it can also add to your clutter really quickly. Before you accept, think about if you really need it and will use it on a regular basis. You don’t have to take it just because they are offering, especially if it’s something you’re going to have to store for awhile. We have a 4 month old and a friend tried to give us all of their 2T clothing - to which I politely declined - not because I didn’t appreciate the gesture, but we don’t have the space or the desire to store more stuff for two years before he can actually use it. 

These are just a few tips to help get you started. It's an ongoing process - I'm definitely still working on it - but once you’re on your way, I promise it’s actually very simple and you’ll be absolutely in love with the result!

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