Once you get the hang of living the life of a minimalist, it usually becomes easier to choose purchases with intention. You’ll learn to trust your instincts and priorities when choosing items that will be useful to you and bring you joy. However, it’s possible to start gaining clutter again if you’re not careful. An easy way to avoid that is to follow the one out, one in rule. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you how it works. 

About One Out, One In
The premise of this rule is easy. One thing must go out of your home before you can bring another in. This maintains balance in the number of possessions you own and ensures you aren’t taken over by clutter. Some people prefer one in, one out. In this scenario, they must get rid of something after they’ve brought home something new. Generally, the items are in the same category such as clothing or kitchen gadgets. Both approaches work. However, I like to take a proactive stance by deciding to remove something and rewarding myself with a new purchase. It can be too tempting for me to skip the “one out” part once I’ve brought something in. 

The Benefits
The biggest benefit to this system is that it helps you to maintain the progress you’ve made with regard to decluttering. The hardest part is removing years’ worth of possessions and paring down to just the things that are most meaningful. You certainly don’t want to backslide and have to do it all over again. Another benefit to one out, one in is that it helps you to assess your priorities and to reinforce your purposeful decision making. Knowing you must donate or sell an item before buying something new forces you to evaluate that decision. You can save yourself stress, money, and time when you feel more secure in your purchasing decisions. 

Put It into Practice
This technique can be used in a number of ways. It often works best when you view your possessions as categories and pay particular attention to the categories that tend to be your most problematic. If you are a clothes lover, you should take care to always adhere to the one out, one in rule when deciding to add another item of clothing to your wardrobe. The same can be said for those who love jewellery, socks, toys for the kids, or whatever the case may be. Choose your top three triggers and strive to maintain a balance between your current possessions and any future purchases. 

If you put this rule into practice in your daily life, you’ll soon see that you’re even more determined to make decisions that fit your lifestyle. Your clutter won’t build up, and you’ll feel a sense of contentment with your things. This is the biggest game changer for me. Give it a try. 


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