Last year, I blogged about my zero waste habits quite a bit, and mentioned I have a 1-in-1-out document on my computer to be accountable for my consumption. This year I have decided I am not done minimizing, so I am doing a 1-in-2-out rule. This means that for every (non-consumable) item I bring into the house, I must part with two items I already have. Ideally, the items I give up will be along the same category lines as the item I am bringing in (one book for another, for example), but sometimes that isn’t always feasible.

I keep a box or bag (or whatever I can round up) in my office, and add donation items to it regularly. With a 1-in-1-out rule, I realized I may be doing this FOREVER. But if I’m getting rid of things at twice the rate I am bringing them in, I may eventually be where I want to be. It’s a rather fun, creative exercise.

Just last week, my basement tenants (my brother-in-law’s family) moved out and into their new home. This means we acquired an additional 1,500sf, 3 bedrooms, another bathroom, and a kitchenette, for our use. This is a RIDICULOUS amount of space for our wannabe minimalist family of three, I know. (Someday I will post about why we are in the big home we are in, and may not leave it for a long time, despite my wanting to drastically downsize.)

In the past I’d have already been making a gigantic shopping list of stuff to fill all our new space, obsessing over how I want to decorate it. But I have evolved as a responsible consumer. We have plenty of stuff already. We moved a lot of furniture and other items from our upstairs living area, office, and bedrooms downstairs. Yesterday, we purchased a couch for our living room (since the couch and loveseat moved downstairs). My husband also really wanted a TV, and something to warm up the space, so we bought a TV stand with an electric fireplace. So while we did purchase a few big items, my goal is not to buy a single other item for the basement for at least 60 days. In addition to my 1-in-2-out document, I will be keeping a 60 day list. We may find we need a few other things eventually, but I want to live with what we already have for a while and really decide, as well as take the time to find what we may want/need secondhand. But my 1-in-2-out rule will still apply. There is really no need to accumulate more, just because we have the space.

In 2016 I got rid of so much stuff; and only 17 days into 2017, I’ve gotten rid of 67 items (and counting) just by going through our storage area! One day I may have a smaller home (I hope so!) and we will have to half our possessions again, which would be ok with me. While we still have plenty of useful stuff, I am not attached to much of it at all. I’m loving all the breathing room in our home these days!


2 thoughts on “1-in-2-out”

  1. Sounds like you are headed in the right direction! I alternate between one in one out, one in two, out, and what I’m doing currently, which is purchasing one non-food, non-medication item a week. I also do a major culling once a year or so. I am looking forward to hearing more about your minimalism journey.

    1. Perfect! The one or two out is really the best way for me to not accumulate more; not just for the obvious numerical reason, but because it makes me question and evaluate every purchase carefully. I have opted not to buy SO many things because of this. And I can’t even recall what most of those things are. Just goes to show how few our actual needs are. Thanks for the comment!

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