One in. One out. This classic organizing rule is one of the best ways to stay organized once you’ve gone through an organizing project. After you spend time organizing, you want to stay organized, right?
Sounds good in principle, but how does it actually work?
I’ll admit to a smidgen of retail therapy last week. I popped into TJ Maxx on the way home and found the prettiest blue cashmere sweater. Ever since my winter trip to Australia, I’ve really come to appreciate the softness and lightness of cashmere for packing. It cost just under $60, so I brought my new blue beauty home.
I already had in my mind another blue sweater that I don’t love. Sure enough, I found that sweater in the very highest reaches of my closet, which is a sure sign that I haven’t been wearing it.
Sure, the sweater is a different color blue and a different style. It could even be a completely different color or item of clothing entirely. But once I had my hands on it, I was able to be honest that I hadn’t worn it in over a year because it’s lightly stained around the neck, and it wasn’t all that flattering to begin with.
Look, I know this is a first world problem, to be sure. Most homeowners in the US are fortunate enough to have more clothes in their closet than they could wear in a month.
But we’re talking about staying organized.
Sure, I could justify it and say that I’m going to hang onto the old sweater because I could still wear it at home, or wear it while cleaning out the garage. I could think that perhaps one of my friends would look good in it. Or maybe I could even use the knit fabric for a craft project. But really, none of those is going to be as satisfying as looking in my organized closet and only seeing beautiful garments that I love.
I want you to feel fabulous in absolutely everything that you own.
One in. One out. The new blue cashmere is in. The old stained sweater is out.
Now, this took just a few minutes. In fact, this took waaayyy less time to actually do than to tell you about it.
This works all over your home, like the time I got a new can opener, and used the one in – one out rule.
But I hope it gives you a model for what this classic organizing rule, the One-In-One-Out rule, really looks like in practice.