I love a bit of shopping as much as the next person – especially if it’s thrif shopping. In fact, it’s thrilling to know you’ve scored and got a quality item for a fraction of the price. I have a pair of knee-high genuine leather boots, which I got for about $20 in a second-hand store and wear almost every day, every winter.
But here’s the problem with shopping, even and especially when you get a great deal: we all have limited space on our shelves and in our closets, and no one wants their house to look like something that belongs in an episode of Hoarders.
Cue a simple but effective rule I’ve been implementing lately for purchases that aren’t absolutely necessary: one goes in, one comes out.
Here’s how I do this: if I consider buying a pair of shoes for myself or my kids, I challenge myself to go over all our shoes and part with at least one pair. It can be something that doesn’t fit anymore or just something that hasn’t been worn in a while.
This actually works great, because:
a) I put stuff in order as I go through it
b) I keep the house from being overrun by surplus items (does stuff breed when I’m not looking, or what?)
c) As I go over our things, I usually find more than one item we can do without, so it usually ends up being “one goes in, two or more go out”
These days, I apply this rule to pretty much anything: clothing, toys, books. With items that get used up, like art supplies and yarn, I adjust the rule to “finish one, then buy another”.
So that’s my current strategy. Rather than do one big seasonal declutter, just keep clutter from accumulating as much as you can.