3 Easy Steps to a Minimalized Teen Closet

When you decide to minimize the things you own, in order to “live with less and experience more”, there can be obstacles.  Getting your teens on board with giving up a large sum of their possessions would constitute “an obstacle”!


It goes without saying that before the minimizing process begins it’s important sit down as a family and discuss your “why”.  Let the kids know why you’ve chosen to downsize your belongings. Focus on the positive! Perhaps it will include more opportunities to travel, or allow for an investment in the family boat you’ve always talked about. I don’t know what it is for you, but a universal change that will occur with a simplified space is it will be MUCH quicker and easier to clean! What teenager doesn’t love spending less time cleaning?


Once you’ve established your why and communicated it clearly to your teen, if they are like my cute little rugrats, they still may not be motivated to dig into the project of minimizing.


These 3 tips will help get them well on their way to a simplified closet:


  1. MONEY TALKS: Several secondhand stores give cash for gently used clothing items.  When my son learned he could walk out of a store with extra cash in his pocket for items formerly taking up space in his closet, he was thrilled to give up his goods.  As an added incentive, I often include a few items from my closet. He can keep the proceeds of anything they take. It saves me the hassle and I’m blessing my kid.
  2. GARAGE SALE FOR ONE: Any clothing items can be donated to a local charity or Salvation Army.  For your teenager, if the knowledge of knowing that his clothing is going to help someone less fortunate is incentive enough, then by all means, let that be enough.  However, some of MY kids need a little extra nudge. I offer them garage sale prices for any items they are willing to let go of. It’s worth it to me to give them fifty cents to a dollar for items that will ultimately get us to our end goal: a simplified closet.
  3. BABY STEPS: The underlying goal here is to teach your teen how to live a more simplified lifestyle.  The goal is NOT to strong arm them into giving up half their possessions because momma got a great idea to become a minimalist.  That never ends well & surely doesn’t produce the results you were going for. Some people naturally have a harder time letting go of things.  It’s okay to have a “maybe” pile that the child can’t decide if she’s ready to discard yet. Have her pay attention to those 5 shirts for the next 3-4 weeks.  Once that time is up, revisit those items and ask her if she wore them during that time. If she uncovers, on her own {promoted by you}, that her shrits were never worn or weren’t as comfortable as she remembered when she was giving so much up initially, she will be more likely to let them go.  Self-discovery is such a great teaching tool for teens. It far outweighs the effectiveness of “you’ll do this because I said so”.

I have used all of these tips with my 4 teenagers and have found them to be very effective.  I hope they are useful for you too. Try them out, then check back and let me know how it went.


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