Something in, Something out

Is something coming into your space?

What’s your greatest organizing challenge?  The most common response is “I don’t have enough storage space”.  Yes, there are ways to create more storage space but you also have to limit the volume of things that come in.  There are many things you cannot control but what comes into your space is something you can and must control.  Nothing comes into your home or office without your permission so that is really the critical point.  “Something in, something out” is a great rule for managing volume in your home or office.  Space is a limited thing and volume – which is often really the biggest organizing challenge  – cannot exceed your space.  Too much volume in too small a space equals clutter and chaos.  So how do I manage “something in, something out”?

Something has to leave your space…

The first step is to really understand what you already have.  For most of us, when we can’t find what we are looking for, we purchase a second.  So gather all the soccer cleats, hammers, black sweaters, phone chargers, etc – whatever item you are organizing – and decide on how many of that item you REALLY need to keep.  Three black sweaters is the right number?  Great – donate the rest.  It’s best to house them in the master closet on a hanger?  Great – hang them up.  Now here’s where the rule gets applied:  If you end up buying another black sweater, one of the “old” sweaters HAS to go.  Something in, something out.  This rule is especially important to apply when you are shopping.  Another black sweater might look like a great deal but remember, when you get home, one black sweater MUST go.  By doing this, you are limiting volume so that it does not exceed your space.  If you force yourself to think and purchase by this organizing rule, you limit the things that enter the home and you save money.

Controlling what comes in and out of our space is one of the keys to staying organized and not allowing clutter to start.  Yes, it’s hard to manage other people’s things but creating and applying this rule to everyone is key.  Something in, something out manages volume and money.