The One In – One Out Principle

So if you didn’t know, I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I adopted this practice a short time ago and have definitely seen the benefits of my new lifestyle. Later on I will definitely right about the pros and cons to minimalism, but right now I want to talk about a way that helps me keep my wardrobe and other items down to a minimum.

The one in, one out method is nothing new, but it’s something that I don’t think a lot of people put into practice. The basics of it are that if you buy a new pair of shoes, then you get rid of a pair of shoes that you already own. It’s meant to help with overcrowding and clutter in your home and your life.

Now as a kid, this was rarely practiced in my house. I always had tons of toys, and continued to get them. Whenever my mom finally saw how dirty and cluttered my room was, then she made me get rid of some of my older toys. With clothes, I always got hand-me-downs from my older sisters and my closet was always full. It wasn’t until my mom or older sisters saw how small something had gotten that it went to the Salvation Army with my toys for some other kid to enjoy. I basically grew up with a lot in, few out method.

So when I finally had my “break” and completely culled my wardrobe and my other possessions, I looked online to see ways of cutting down on spending and on clutter. The one in, one out method caught my attention and ultimately has stolen my heart, so to say.

Now, I don’t go out looking to buy things, and I never really have. If my friends wanted to go shopping, I went along, but I always ended up buying something that I didn’t really need. That same item that I bought seemed to just sit there and would get no use at all. A few months later I would just end up donating it or selling it without even using it. It was just a waste.

Now that I’ve made my lifestyle change to minimalism, I have a better understanding of what I have, what I need, and what I want. Obviously what I need is the most important, and knowing what I have makes it easy to know what needs replaced. I have about five solid color tee shirts if the same brand, and they all get different amounts of wear depending on what I do on a given day. If one needs replaced, then I know when I go out that I only need to buy one solid colored tee shirt.

My expensive shopping habit has definitely subsided in certain areas. Though there are certain parts of my life where the one in, one out method doesn’t work as well. I’m in college studying Advertising. I take a ton of art courses and have always been into drawing, painting, etc. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a vast amount of art supplies and equipment and continue to do so. This is one of the areas in my life where minimalism and the one in, one out method does not really apply. That being said, I have tried to limit my consumption of these art supplies and apply the minimalist ways of thinking.

One way the one in, one out method doesn’t really work for me is when I have to buy something for classes or for work. For example, needing a certain kind of uniform for work or a certain brand or type of art supplies that I don’t already own. When there’s nothing that you are replacing, then there is no way to really apply the one in, one out method for that.

Regardless, I think that the one in, one out method is beneficial to those who have a shopping problem or are budding minimalists like myself. Giving it a try could help with finding a balance in your cluttered life.

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