Minimalist living can be a great way to live your life and of course if you are single, it will be a challenge to ease into it, but if you have a family, it might seem near impossible to get them to start living the minimalist lifestyle without practically pulling teeth. Here are some tips for getting your family to come on board with your minimalist goals.
How to Ease Your Family into Minimalist Living
Have a talk with them. Share with them how much living this lifestyle means to you and be honest about what it will mean for them. Give them a chance to ask questions and air their grievances and really listen to them. Do your research and be able to answer questions they have. Be aware that this may be really hard for them and in a way, they may go through a grieving period.
Start with small changes. Frugal living is a great way to do this. Cutting back on things such as spending money on new clothes, buying extra food that is unnecessary and skipping some purchases will help them understand practically what it will mean when you go totally minimalist.
Allow them to decide what changes they are willing to make right away and make it a family affair. For instance, maybe your husband is willing to give up trips through the drive thru for his lunch break and instead take leftovers for his lunch. Giving your family some control over what they will be giving up will help them feel like you are not demanding they change overnight.
Try to get them excited about living this way. For instance, most kids love the idea of being earth friendly. Explain to them how, tangibly, a minimalist lifestyle will make mother nature happy. Explain to your spouse that a minimalist lifestyle will leave more room in your finances for other things. Make sure to have plenty of good reasons on hand to get them to see how this change will be a positive one.
Go into it slowly and expect setbacks. Going from a consumer-driven lifestyle to a minimalistic one is a huge step for most people and if you plan on doing it for the long run, it is important you understand it is a process and some members of your family may need extra time for adjustment. Expect that there will be times when they aren't willing to give something up just yet and be flexible. Remember, minimalism is very personal and for some people, something you consider and extra in life is a need to them.
Model the behavior you hope to see in them. The best way to set the pace is be the example. When giving up something, do it with grace and without complaining. Let them see the joy it brings you and the simplicity it brings into your home.
Don't think you have to be extreme. It is important to remember that living this lifestyle is so personal. What is minimalist to one person or family may seem too indulgent to another. Don't compare yourself to others and don't force your family to live the way you see other family's living.
What are some ways you eased yourself or your family into minimalist living?
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