Simplicity means something different to each person, to each family, and within that unique family, simplicity can have so many different facets. Simplicity and minimalism in the home is much more than just throwing things out (although decluttering is key for simplifying at home for our family) there are so many other ways that you can live a lighter, more simple family life. Simplifying usually means cutting down on something or eliminating something. This can make room for something better. But 'something better' doesn't have to be a physical object, that 'something better' can be as simple as the gift of time, breathing spaces in your day, time to nurture yourself and your family.
Minimalism to me doesn't mean just 'stuff' (or lack of stuff.) It is a way of living. One way we live a minimalist life is by having a simplified rhythm to our week in the hours after school. Miss K leads a busy life going to school five days a week. To try and balance this out I make sure I pare down her schedule to an absolute minimum and don't over-load her with extra-curricular activities or after-school play-dates.
Although clubs are offered in Miss K's school, she doesn't attend any of them as I feel that after just over six hours at school in any one day, it's time for her to be at home. She doesn't need any more time at school. She needs the opportunity to relax, play, just be a child away from the pressures of school life.
I have made the conscious choice that Miss K doesn't go to any after-school play dates as a rule. I feel she needs to be able to spend time within the family home, we save play-dates with school friends until the holidays. This way she is revived and full of energy and able to enjoy playing with a friend, rather than feel low on energy and unable to play so well because it's the end of the school day.
We have always cut right back on extra-curricular activities for Miss K right from when she started school and by maintaining our simplified rhythm to our week in the hours after school, we have been able to make room for that 'something better' for us. We have given ourselves time to supplement school life with elements of Waldorf-inspired education into daily life. By fiercely protecting segments of time, we are, in turn, protecting our own family life, opportunities to connect and honour our relationships with our children, time to just be.