The large family minimalist.
I am a minimalist by nature. Chuck commented years ago that if it were up to me we wouldn’t even have furniture…just a couple of pillows on the floor. My response? Think of how easy it would be to clean! My friend Sara and her husband recently renovated an RV and now live in their tiny home with their two children. I’m just a wee bit jealous. Recently I was daydreaming about a minimalist lifestyle and suddenly I realized all the ways in which large families naturally live a minimalist lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.
The Large Family Minimalist can live with:
Let’s face it, no parent can watch six or ten kids every moment of every day. This form of large family minimalism allows kids to have the freedom to explore the world, stuff a goldfish in their wallet and wear their sister’s dresses. Want to teach independence? Have a large family.
Minimal Time in the Bathroom.
Truth: if you live in a large family you will learn to take two-minute showers, brush your teeth in 45 seconds or less and don’t fix your hair in there I need to use the toilet. This also has the bonus benefit of allowing you to use less water thereby saving the environment. You also learn to be flexible about where you evacuate and how to survive on a single roll of toilet paper.
Minimal Money Spent on Haircuts.
Not only will you learn to cut your children’s hair because who the heck is going to pay $8-10 a head for ten kids, but I can almost guarantee with less supervision (see above) your child will learn to cut their own hair.
Minimal money in general.
If you family is large enough, you too can experience less money. From smaller allowances and a nonexistent retirement, you can learn to get by on less, stock your freezer and manage hand-me-downs efficiently.
Minimal dinner leftovers.
Food and the large family. Anyone who grew up with half a dozen or more siblings can surely tell stories of there never, ever being leftovers. Years ago when we still had a small family of only 7 or 8 kids I was talking to the mother of 10 children. She was telling me about her and her husband’s weekly date night. She explained how she would buy a bag of fish sticks or chicken nuggets and tater tots, get out the calculator and divide the number of kids by the number of processed chicken and fish-like pieces. Yep, leftovers are rarely a problem in large families. On the bright side? You don’t eat mystery meal or have to deal with “Mom’s Special Casserole” at the end of the week.
Minimal Square Footage Per Person
The average family home was not built to house a dozen or more people. In a large family, you learn to manage with less square footage per person. This is great prep for life in China, apartment living, or a calm, comforting padded room. In fact, as a parent of a large family, you might just find yourself in a bedroom so small it fits your bed. And nothing else. I prefer to think of our room as a sleeping pod. It makes me feel ever so productive and worldly.
Minimal Pairs of Matching Socks (while simultaneously owning enough socks to start a monopod revolution).
Socks. We have no shortage of socks in this house. We have wool socks and cotton socks. Knee socks and crew socks and ankle socks. Superhero socks, sports socks, and Bombas socks. The only thing we are lacking is matching socks. In a large family, you quickly learn: two socks equals a pair.
So there you have it. You had no idea large families were actually minimalist, did you?
Did I miss any large family minimalist areas? Let me know in the comments.