Implement a One-In-One-Out Policy — Now

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Once the joy of giving and receiving has died down, we often find ourselves with, shall we say…more things than we had last month. While you may not be ready to do an all-out purge, it’s the perfect time for a mini-purge through implementing a one-in-one-or-more-out plan. Here are some questions to consider when you’re putting things away:

1) First, of all, should you keep the gift in the first place?

It’s natural to feel obligated to keep a gift for a certain amount of time and, certainly, it can show some respect and gratitude, but putting a deadline on the waiting period can help keep your home from becoming littered with items that just aren’t you.

2) Is it consumable?

Leave it out for the family to enjoy now rather than “saving it for later,” otherwise known as “losing it in the back of the pantry ’til next year.”

3) Do you have any duplicates of the gift, or any item that serves the same function or decorative purpose?

Pick the one you like best and donate the rest.

4) What else can you say goodbye to?

Look around at the stuff that is stored near the item you’re putting away. I always like to consider whether something is beautiful (which, to me, allows room for sentimental beauty) or useful (currently).

Practicing such a one-in-one-out policy, though it may seem strict, not only helps prevent clutter, but sets the tone for a good habit that can be honed in the upcoming year.