One in, one out

Is it just me, or do we all have way too much stuff in our homes, with more coming in nearly every day? Most of us have closets full of clothes, but we still buy more. We have cabinets full of kitchen gadgets, but we still buy more. We have bookshelves full of books, and we still buy more.

Over the past few years, I’ve been trying to hold to the rule of “one in, one out”. If I buy a new shirt, then one old shirt must be donated. If I buy a new pair of shoes, one old pair must go. I also keep this rule for my children as well. When toys come in, toys go out. When clothes come in, clothes go out. I keep a “donate” box in the closet so I can easily add to it, and then carry it to my van when it’s full to drop off the next time I’m out running errands.

For us, this is integral so that we don’t literally drown in stuff. We have 7 children, and live in a 2,000 sq. ft. house. I know this is not small by world standards, but here in America, this is smaller than the average, and we have double the people than the average home.

overflowing-closet (1)

By keeping to the one in, one out standard though, we never accumulate more than we have right now. We get new stuff of course, because old things wear out or stain, but we don’t gain additional volume.

I honestly can only imagine how stressed and overwhelmed I would feel if our home was more cluttered or full than it already is. “Stuff” adds stress. It honestly does. I’m so pleased to see the minimalist lifestyle becoming popular! Americans are infamous around the world for over indulgence in all aspects of life, and the minimalist idea runs completely counter to that.

If this sounds like a good idea for you to implement, I just read about a new program that helps you with the one in, one out. I haven’t personally tried it out yet because I drive by a donation center every week, but if getting to a drop off to donate your stuff is a problem, then this seems to be a great solution. This is a charitable organization that will give you a postage paid label to put on your amazon box (or any other box) that you fill with your old stuff and then it’s free for you to ship to them. You even get a receipt for your giving. Here’s the link. Give Back Box

Give Back Box® provides vendor services to retailers and charities, giving each and every cardboard box a second life to help people in need. So it is also a ‘green’ solution! Reuse your online shipping boxes in which you received your purchases, or any other cardboard box you may have, to donate your unwanted household items: such as gently used clothing, shoes etc., to make a major difference in the life of another person.

The next time you go shopping, consider removing a few of your old things to donate to someone else. It will give you a clearer mind, and a cleaner closet. Win win.

Be fruitful, happy, healthy. And donate your old stuff.