One In, One Out: 6-month Update

This year I vowed to keep clutter out of my house by following a “one in, one out” rule. Well, the year’s half over, and here’s what’s come in (and gone out) so far…

I said I wasn’t going to buy anything for myself this year, but then I discovered that most of my clothes contained plastic. So I became obsessed with replacing my wardrobe. Hence the 34 new articles of clothing! But beyond the closet, I haven’t bought anything.



My husband also added a few plastic-free items to his wardrobe and acquired a new hobby, a new headlamp, and a new hat at a soccer game (he wasn’t the only one!).



Our children got some much-needed shoes, several gifts (for birthdays and during our younger son’s hospital stay), and Quakes hats to match Dad’s.

So much love for this growing boy!
No better feeling than seeing our little one happy and healthy again.


As for the family: We had to replace our washing machine after several attempts to fix it and I got a few new household items (handed down from my mom). The only purchase I regret was a tiffin box (Zebra brand). I got it because I was getting grossed out by the nastiness at the bottoms of my kids’ cloth lunch bags and thought it would be better to have something I could easily wash in the sink. Long story short: the tiffin is nowhere near as convenient for school lunches but it is pretty handy for picnics, the beach, or any other situation where glass would be too heavy or is not permitted. It is very well made if you’re in the market, it just wasn’t something we needed.



And then there are the things that didn’t come in because we found an alternative or decided to do without.

  • Our tea kettle broke and instead of buying a new one we now use a saucepan to heat water for coffee and tea.
  • I resurrected my old baseball glove and found it to be a joy, although smelly and turning my fingers blue (it’s a blue glove). I looked at secondhand ones to replace it with but decided to stick to my true blue after all.
  • I almost bought a reusable plastic “airline approved” bag for liquids to avoid using a quart-size Ziplock, then thankfully realized that I would be checking my bags and therefore wouldn’t need to make liquids visible.
  • We were just about to buy another barrel for our overflowing, uncontainable compost when we discovered a new community farm in our own little town that will happily accept our scraps.
  • I needed a large glass container for water (new charcoal filter, no more Brita!) and almost bought a new pitcher. Then I realized I could use my jumbo pickling jar that I used just once for pickling!
  • And lastly, “Lizzy”, a wild alligator lizard my father-in-law found at the lumber yard. When she arrived, the boys wanted to run out and a buy a terrarium, but I had an old plastic tub that was on its way to Goodwill. Welcome home, Lizzy.

Water: a greater necessity than homemade pickles.
Farewell fragile friend. One less thing in the house!
Operation Keep It Minimal continues…