I spent countless night-time hours last year ridding our house of clutter and non-necessities, and it’s finally just right! Starting now, I want to keep it that way by not accumulating anything.
By saying “No, thank you.” to freebies.
By sharing my feelings about gifts with my family and friends.
By trying to fix things that break, find alternatives, or do without.
By not buying things we don’t need.
By creatively using things we already have, or borrowing, instead of buying.
I know this will be easier said than done, and that we’re bound to acquire some new items this year, so…
If one thing comes in, one thing goes out.
If my husband buys a new shirt, an older one goes to Goodwill. When we give our kids a new birthday toy, a less adored toy is donated. If someone gives me a non-consumable gift, I’ll find a new home for an equivalent possession.
I think it’s a solid plan for an achievable goal, and I whipped up this pretty little chart to help me keep my word. If one thing comes in, one thing goes out.
There are, of course, a few exceptions…
1. Collections: (Not mine of course!) Our younger son collects patches from our travels, our older son collects pins, and my sister-in-law and I buy them a Christmas ornament every year. These incoming items will not require an item to go out.
2. Small trinkets (namely given to our children) can slide in under the radar if they fit into an existing container. A plastic dreidel from a holiday party can go in the “winter box” and come out every December. Silly sunglasses from a birthday party can go in the dress up bin.
3. Scrapbooks: I’m down to one family Shutterfly album per year, and of course those will accumulate… slowly.
4. School work and art will get stockpiled in a designated place all year, then we’ll sort through it and decide what to keep and what to recycle. The idea is that our kids each end up with just one “childhood box”.
If you’ve been thinking about decluttering, but just haven’t gotten around to it, this “one in, one out” plan would be a good way to start; so you can stop accumulating more stuff… until you make time to tackle what you already have. It’s not easy, but it’s liberating!
Stuff, Please read the sign on our door: KEEP OUT!