That “One in, One out” Decluttering Strategy Needs to Be Updated ASAP — Here’s What You Should Be Doing

published Jan 31, 2022
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We’re selling our home in the next few months, and in preparation, we hired a home stager: Monica Collins of Snapshot Staging. As someone who writes a ton about cleaning and organizing, I was excited to hear her take on decluttering. Of course, showcasing a home for selling is different than living a minimalist life, but there’s definitely overlap.

I followed her around the house, taking frantic notes on my phone as she thought out loud in every room. Eventually our conversation turned to something I’ve heard a million times and even written about: the one in, one out strategy. But when I heard Monica’s version of this classic decluttering mantra, I was momentarily speechless. It was just a tiny tweak, but with huge implications.

Monica’s twist? One in, three out.

Credit: Getty Images/ Justin Lambert

Why One in, Three Out Should Be Your New Decluttering Mantra

Here’s the thing with one in, one out: You have a fighting chance of keeping your home from becoming more cluttered than it currently is. But is maintaining your status quo good enough for your goals? I bet most people want to thin things out and reap the benefit of more time and less stress that comes with having fewer belongings to maintain.

One in, three out means so much more than keeping an equilibrium. Instead, you’re editing your belongings each and every time you bring something new into your home. This amounts to continuous decluttering that happens with very little effort — no hours-long, closet-emptying decluttering sessions — but that has significant ramifications over time.

With a big move on the horizon for me, I’ll be taking this profound advice to heart. But even if you have just a small inclination that you’d like to be freer from possessions tying you down, one in, three out could be the decluttering mantra that makes it happen for you.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Why You Should Replace the “One In, One Out” Cleaning Strategy ASAP