The 1:2 Rule

During my month of getting rid of things I have thought a lot about not only how to get rid of things, but also about how to stop more stuff from coming into my life.

A big enemy to dejunking and minimalism is the accumulation of new stuff: from shopping, birthday’s, Christmas, yard sales, etc. We can get rid of all the stuff we want but it won’t do any good unless we stop bringing new stuff into our lives. Remember that once upon a time all of that stuff that you just hauled to Goodwill was new to you. You bought it or got it as a gift from somebody else.

I suggest a small rule to get to the root of the problem: The 1:2 Rule.

This rule is simple: If you bring 1 item into your life, 2 have to go out. 2 in, 3 out, 5 in, 6 out.

This rule ensures that you are always cutting the clutter, especially when you buy or get new stuff. The 1:2 rule has a twofold purpose. First, it makes you more aware when you buy new things or receive gifts. Second, it helps you cut the clutter as you bring those new things into your life.

If you use this rule while shopping, you’ll have to think about those two wardrobe items to donate before you buy that new shirt. Before asking for that new video game system you’ll think about the the old video game system, controllers and games sitting in a box in the basement.

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