BOSTON (CBS) – Since the start of the recession, many families have been boosting their savings and cutting back on spending. That change in behavior has helped some families discover a simpler, and in many cases, happier way of living.
Jimmy and Tobi Nguyen have simplified and de-cluttered their lives and as a result, playtime is more fun and more comfortable for their young daughter.
“Previously, she’d walk into her room and there’d be so much stuff, she wouldn’t know what to play with,” Jimmy said.
Paula Ebben reports
They purged her room of all but a handful of toys and books and now they say she plays much more creatively with what is left.
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Educating and parenting expert Kim John Payne said kids can become easily overwhelmed by ‘stuff.’
“When we overload our kids, when there’s just too much, too soon, too sexy, what happens is it actually disadvantages them,” he said.
Payne believes eliminating some of what you have instead of adding to it actually helps your child and your entire family.
“It isn’t exclusive to economic background, to ethnic or racial background. It is really something that parents are looking for across the board,” Payne said.
There are even some groups that meet regularly to support families looking to live simpler lives.
“It’s OK to let go of all this stuff and to de-clutter. Your kids don’t need 150 toys,” said group leader Rae Lee Pierce.
According to Payne, toys rarely fill the needs of kids or their parents.
“[Parents] were buying a lot of stuff out of feeling of wanting to connect with their kids,” he said.
But, he believes that when the buying stops, the children connect with the parents instead of the products.
The Nguyen family has taken the idea of simplifying beyond the toy box. They have cut back on their schedules and changed the way they organize their household.
“Simple things, like we each only have two towels,” Tobi said.
Their de-cluttering is an ongoing process. The Nguyens weed out more stuff every month and they do a big purge twice a year, usually after the holidays and after school gets out.