Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

Minimalism and Tater Tot

There is a societal expectation that once you have a child, you automatically need to buy more.  While there are some necessities that have to be bought, it isn’t absolutely vital to purchase one of everything at the store. It is my personal opinion that by consistently purchasing new things for little ones, it takes away their imagination and their curiosity.  We should encourage their desire to explore rather than to have an overwhelming amount at their fingertips.

So, without getting too high on my soapbox about consumerism, let me explain how my husband and I manage Tater Tot’s things with a minimal approach.


  • We do not buy something new for him every time we enter a store.  We don’t even go down the toy aisles.  I personally find those sections loud and overwhelming.
  • We try to find safe household items for him to explore and play with.  Kitchen utensils are great, but he has also played with ribbon, an empty wipes box, and a sensory board with items from a home improvement store.
  • I try to rotate what he has.  The more mobile Tater Tot becomes, the more areas he wants to explore.  I have moved several of his toys around between our living room (which is his main play area) and his bedroom.  He finds “new” things and loves them all over again.


  • This is really the same as the first rule for toys.  I simply don’t make a purchase every time I enter a store.  I look for items that he needs.  I am certainly okay with doing a little more laundry rather than having several outfits that he has never worn.
  • Right now I have a 1 drawer rule.  All of the clothes that Tater Tot currently wears, fit in one drawer of his dresser.  I realize that as he gets bigger, so will his clothes.  But for now, this keeps the clothing in perspective.


  • While we do plan (at some point) to grow our family a little more, I don’t plan to hang onto every last item of Tater Tot’s for future use.  There will be several books (he has chewed the heck out of some) and toys that we will let go.  There will be some clothes that won’t hang around.
  • As of right now, I have 2 storage bins for Tater Tot: 1 has clothes from newborn to 6 months and the other has newborn items such as burp rags and the crib bumper pad.

Sometimes, maintaining minimalism for Tater Tot is hard.  There are times when I think he would look so cute in that outfit or have so much fun with that toy, but then I consider his “lifestyle” and realize he has more fun going for walks, swinging, or playing in the pool.  None of that requires a new outfit or batteries.

Do you maintain a minimal lifestyle with your little ones?  I would love to hear how.

xo, Lauren

4 Replies

  1. Very good points here. Everybody seems to think that minimalism is realistic… as long as you don’t have children.

    As a mom, I know the first few months of having a baby can turn into a shopping frenzy! Do we really need all that stuff?

    My kids are now 8 and 10. I try to keep their focus away from stuff, because I know they will be happier in the long run that way. Even if it means complaints that I don’t buy them what other parents buy their kids.

    1. Thank you! The first few months definitely involved a learning curve. It’s my hope to instill the “less is more” attitude now so that Tater Tot doesn’t make the same consumerism mistakes I have.

  2. Mary

    My kids had WAY too many toys when they were young but one thing I did was offer to buy them a book or magazine every time we went shopping. I would rarely allow them to buy toys since they received so many as gifts but I feel by encouraging them to look at books in the store (and taking trips to the library) turned them into good readers and good students. One of my favorite photos of my kids is of them sitting in Barnes and Noble at the kids’ table looking at a Where’s Waldo? book and you can see both of their iPhones sitting on the table and they are maybe 18 and 15 yo lol

    1. Hi Mary! That is such a great memory to have. I hope to encourage that same love of reading for Tater Tot as well. He does have several books throughout the living room and his bedroom. I’m not planning to buy a lot of new ones for him though until he quits chewing on them! Lol.

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