While we have more than enough stuff to live in comfort, we are in one of the tightest stages we have ever been in in our 11 years of marriage. The worse since having kids. Yep, it was a choice (to come to Canada), and we knew that things would be uber tight until we got jobs, settled in, etc, but nonetheless, we have learned to spend a lot less, and in many ways, do a lot more.
Doing more with less includes the kitchen (freezing, meal planning), our wellness (essential oils, diy of most personal items), but also with the kids! Lucas (husband) likes to say that "Great is good's worse enemy". And he's right. Sometimes we want things to be great, perfect, magazine looking, and that keeps us from doing good, and creating just as awesome memories and moments.
In this case, the fun is probably even more awesome, because since this cost me nothing, I'd just take it apart if they didn't play with it. Here are 2 examples of kid entertainment that literally cost nothing at the time they were made.
We had bought a lack coffe table last year when we moved here, but the kids quickly started jumping off it and as much as I love Ikea, lack tables are _not_ designed to be jumped off. I brought it out, cleaned it, and stuck two lego bases (we already had) on them with double sided tape. Bang! Lego table for nothing. Hours of fun, creativity and easier clean up, right there. Of course I could have gone all pinterest and bought the street plates, the side buckets, the hangers, the perfect boxes to fit under the table... but besides not affording that now, it was completely unnecessary to offer oodles of fun.
So we have a tool bench that was a hand me down when we moved here (seriously, LOVE all things hand me down! We never would have bought this!) and the kids absolutely love playing with it. T loves tinkering with kitchen stuff... from bowls, to spoons, to little food, so those things combined got me thinking she would like a play kitchen. I did some price searching but couldn't even make myself consider investing in one. I'll tell you why... 1. The space this stuff takes up. 2. It is what it is and when they don't want it anymore you're left with this huge thing just sitting there. 3. They're small. I know that sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but they are big and small at the same time. They are bulky, so, big. They are not spacy enough for kids to play around or side by side, so, small.
Anyway, the lego table diy gave me an aha moment! Let's do the same with a lack side table we have sitting in the basement. I asked at our church group if anyone had some kitchen toys, and we got toy pots and pans, toy food, toy plates... all the works. Some paper and my silhouette cameo later = awesome kitchen!
The kitchen was played with for a full day -- no other toys came out, cause they were having so much fun they didn't even remember the gazillion other toys they own (is it just me or do toys reproduce when we're not looking?).
Doing more with less. Minimalism is a trend now, which means I finally have the "quotes" for what I've always believed in. Have less stuff = cleaner, tidier home. Have multipurpose stuff = buy less in the long run, have cleaner + tidier home.