One Out, One In.

posted by Aby Garvey on September 30, 2014 No Comments

If you’ve been around simplify 101 for a while then you know I believe there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all organizing solution. This is why it can be incredibly frustrating if you try to follow someone else’s organizing idea to the T. Quite simply, what works for one person may not be the best answer for you.

One of the organizing “rules” I’ve used from time to time and have recommended to clients is the “one-in-one-out” rule. This is a helpful guideline for clothes closets, especially if you love to shop for new clothes, shoes, and accessories. The way this rule works is that for every article of clothing you buy, you come home after shopping and remove one item from your closet. It’s a terrific system if you have the right volume of clothing for you (enough clothes without being overwhelming), and also if you have the discipline to use the rule. (That second one can be tricky.)

New rule:  One out, one in. |

If you’re looking for a simple way to maintain order in your closet, and the one-in-one-out rule doesn’t work for you, here’s a new rule to consider:  one-out-one-in. With this rule, instead of removing items from your closet after you shop, you give yourself “shopping credits” by letting go of items before you hit the mall or log onto your favorite clothing website. Then for each pair of shoes you donate, you give yourself permission to buy a new pair. Some for sweaters, shirts, skirts, purses, dresses and so on.

This new rule has a couple of sneaky little advantages. First, by going through your closet and removing items before you shop, you become reacquainted with what you have, what you love, and what you need. This makes your shopping trip more intentional, and could help you avoid coming home with yet another pair of black pants when you already have plenty. Second, if you find yourself struggling to let go of anything because you truly love the clothing hanging in your closet, the urge to shop may come and go without a penny spent or any unneeded items being brought into your home. It’s a win-win all the way around.

What do you think of this new rule? Have you tried or created your own new organizing rules before? Which ones worked for you and which ones weren’t the right fit? Let me know in the comments section below.

Happy organizing!


Getting Your Second Wind

posted by Aby Garvey on September 26, 2014 9 Comments

Last weekend, like many weekend mornings, my running buddies and I laced up our running shoes and hit the trails. The mission: 10 miles. Just so you know, for me, a 10-mile run is challenging.… continue reading…

Five Rules I Break to Make Laundry Easier

posted by Nancy Vorsanger on September 23, 2014 22 Comments

I recently read an article filled with tips about how to do laundry better. I decided to ignore most of them.

Why? Because they were just too fussy for me. If I followed the advice, I’d have many more loads to do and spend a lot more time doing them.… continue reading…

Decide to Do It

posted by Aby Garvey on September 17, 2014 9 Comments

This past weekend Kailea, my daughter, achieved a goal. It is a goal she has been working toward for nearly half of her life. This past weekend Kailea tested for, and received, her black belt in Tae Kwon Do.… continue reading…

How to Use Evernote to Organize Back to School Paperwork

posted by Lauren Halagarda on September 16, 2014 No Comments

As you may have already guessed, I’m not a huge fan of paper. If you’re a mom though, you know that paper and school go together. (Okay, now I’m singing “We Go Together” from Grease…and now you are.… continue reading…

Products to Help You Work Happy

posted by Aby Garvey on September 8, 2014 5 Comments

It’s probably no surprise that I contend that life and work are better when you’re having fun. In fact, simplify 101’s tagline is “more fun. more done.” I (firmly) believe that if you’re having fun while you work, you’ll actually be more productive.… continue reading…

Clutterfree with Kids Book Review

posted by Alissa Williams on September 3, 2014 No Comments

Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker is a practical guide which will inspire you to think differently about the items in your home. Joshua writes at the blog Becoming Minimalist and authored this book to inspire parents that it is possible to live a clutter-free life with children.… continue reading…

Should you hire a professional organizer?

posted by Aby Garvey on August 29, 2014 15 Comments

One of the nice things about being a professional organizer is that you have friends who are also professional organizers. This can be incredibly handy. My friend Janine Adams and I have been swapping organizing services for a few years.… continue reading…

Stop Comparing to Create a More Joyful Life

posted by Aby Garvey on August 27, 2014 8 Comments

A friend of mine shared this quote on Facebook last week. I’ve heard it before, but it’s the kind of quote that bears repeating—and sharing—especially today.

Today it’s easier than ever to compare ourselves to others.… continue reading…