One In One Out

WEARING: LOFT sweater, American Eagle skinnies; Aldo leopard D’Orsay flats via Hautelook; Cleobella wallet
You know what I need, you guys?

Not a damn thing.

In fact, I could happily get by with a lot less.

On New Year’s Eve, my girlfriends and I were chatting about paring down; specifically, the KonMari method that has people across America tossing three-quarters of their closets and cupboards into Hefty bags, driving them to the nearest donation center, and proclaiming “minimalism!” as the new gospel.  The “no excuses elimination” method (AKA, throw out all yo’ stuff!)  is a little extreme for me, but I do believe in a good old fashioned closet cleaning to refocus your style.

Since The Great Purge of 2013 that concluded my quarter life identity crisis and ushered in a new era of mindful consumption, I haven’t needed any intense de-cluttering. But while I shop with intention and carefully consider most purchases, I still fall into retail therapy traps and have, um, abundance issues. I’ll always be a work in progress.

My theme for 2016 shall be: fewer, better things.

I toyed around with different ideas to reign in my over-buying in the new year. A shopping fast? Meh, too restrictive and prone to failure; like “giving up sugar” and then housing a sleeve of Oreos because you deprived yourself and lost your mind when you got your hands on them. You know?

I need moderation over deprivation, so I’m thinking about adopting the ‘one in, one out’ rule for the year.

Here’s the (super simple) gist:

If you buy something — a piece of clothing, a pair of shoes, a handbag — a comparable item from your closet gotsta go. No excuses.

This won’t work if you have a ton of stuff lying around that you never wear; it’s easy to give something up if you don’t really care about it. But! If you’ve thoughtfully purged your excess and culled your wardrobe into a collection of pieces you love to wear, you may take a beat before pulling the trigger on a new purchase.

I think my closet and I are finally at a mature, loving place in our relationship where this could be really effective.

What are your thoughts on the “one in, one out” rule?


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  1. 2.9.16
    Me(ghan) said:

    I am not one for fashion but i love your outfits!

  2. 1.19.16

    Yes- I try so very hard to keep my physical possessions at a usable level. If I “forgot” I had something, that means I can live without it!

  3. 1.13.16

    I hoard clothes like crazy so not a fan!

  4. 1.13.16

    Good luck!

  5. 1.10.16
    Carolina said:

    Keira, want you to know that i look forward to receiving your blog and your fashion ideals are
    so good.Learn lots and thanks for being here .

    • 1.11.16

      Carolina, your comments are always so kind and thoughtful! I appreciate them so much! :)

  6. 1.10.16

    Tomorrow I am ridding myself of the clothes which just shouldn’t be in my dressing room. Think I will adopt your motto.

    • 1.11.16

      How did the closet cleaning go?!

      • 1.11.16

        I have bags of clothes and costume jewelry going to the donation bin. The room feels fresh and uncluttered. Some of the pieces…..what was I thinking when I bought them, more to the point where was my body at! :)

  7. 1.10.16
    Laura said:

    Great idea. I just discovered the Konmari method and am really intrigued. Am definitely giving it a go. Good luck!x

  8. 1.9.16

    I put a load of clothes away that I didn’t wear. I decided at the end of the year, if I didn’t find myself looking for them, I wouldn’t miss them and could give them away :) x

    • 1.11.16

      This is SUCH a good practice! I used to be really bad about compulsively purging things, and then I would regret it later. Now, I do what you mentioned and stash things away for a while outside of my closet to see if I’ll miss them. I usually don’t, but every now and then I’ll put something back in my closet instead of donating it.

  9. 1.9.16

    I live by this rule! I also live in a camper so I don’t have much choice there… Things can get out of control FAST if I’m not careful… Happy New Year!

    • 1.11.16

      Do you find that it makes you much more thoughtful with your purchases? I think sometimes having limited space is a blessing in that sense. I watched a documentary about Tiny Houses, and all the owners mentioned that having such limited storage really makes you pare down to things you really love and need, and that it was actually kind of a relief to not have so much stuff to manage.

      • 1.11.16

        I do. I’m picky about what I buy because I only have so much room for it. For example, I thought I wanted a keurig for Christmas but once I had it inside I realized I had nowhere to put it. So I swapped it for a “Bella” which is way smaller but still does basically the same thing. And I just got rid of all my pots and pans for a Magma nesting set with removable handles. I go through my closet a couple times a year and donate a lot of stuff I don’t really wear too…

  10. 1.8.16
    Erin E. said:

    Every time we moved apartments (once a year for the past 5 years), my husband and I went on massive purges. Nothing inspires a cleanse like having to box up everything you own – it makes you REALLY question whether you actually NEED 20 different cardigans. Now that we own a house, however, I’m concerned for my closet. I’d like to say that I’m at a place where the “one-in-one-out” rule would be effective, but I STILL have more closet purging to do. I’m not there yet, but it’s a goal!

    • 1.11.16

      Oh my goodness, this is exactly what we did when we moved the flower shop last month. I donated probably 40% of our inventory that I just didn’t want to pack up and store in a new place.

      As far as the closet pruning goes, you’ll get there! It took me YEARS to get to a happy place with wardrobe. One thing that’s been really helpful for me is keeping a list of things I want to purchase, or items I think are “missing” from my closet, and stick to that list when I shop.

      • 1.17.16
        Erin E. said:

        Another problem is that I hate to shop in person – the mall wandering, the crowds, the dressing room, blah – so I order things online and end up settling for “ok”, rather than go through the effort to return them. It’s a vicious cycle!

  11. 1.8.16
    kathylei said:

    Hilarious, but true! love the ‘abundance issues’ – it’s so hard to say ‘no’, especially when they’re are sales on, or if you’ve had a tough week. I think this is a great new yrs resolution. thanks for sharing Keira! :)

    • 1.11.16

      Ugh, sales are my kryptonite!! Now I’m trying to re-frame those habits into something productive; like instead of hitting the mall when I’m feeling stressed, I go to the library to pick out a new book to read or go for a long walk with my dog to clear my head. So much of my shopping is that ‘instant gratification’ rush, but with practice, I think we can kick it! :)

      • 1.11.16
        kathylei said:

        They’re such good ideas! You’re right, with a bit of practice, we got this! <3

  12. 1.8.16

    A very nice outfit. Very elegant and french look! Nice weekend .. :-))

  13. 1.8.16

    I am still building my wardrobe & I’ve only purchased ~10 items in the past year. I try to be very conscious of purchases so I appreciate this approach. Since starting my blog, I realize I need to do a closet evaluation & purge items I truly do not use. I’m a pretty firm believer in purchasing multiples of an item I adore & only making purchases when something wears out or there is a gap in my wardrobe. I’m interested to see how this works out for you!
    PS I love your outfit & the wall you’re leaning against is really cool!

    • 1.11.16

      Thank you! It sounds like you’re on an awesome track! I’m also a bulk buyer when it comes to basics I really love; you can never have too many backups. ;) I also find it helpful to keep a list of the gaps in my wardrobe, so I know what to buy when I’m shopping and don’t get distracted by impulse purchases or fleeting trends.

      • 1.11.16

        I drive my friends crazy when we shop because I keep lists of what I’m looking for & I’m crazy picky!

  14. 1.8.16
    Elizabeth said:

    What I’m trying to do in 2016 is stop the endless cycle of buying and returning that I’ve been on these last few years. Like you, I couldn’t do a complete shopping ban because that’s just setting up for failure, but I’m going to try a “wish list” approach so that I can focus on investing in better items that will give me more long-term gratification vs picking up so many random things that I wear only a few times.

    I think a lot of people in the blogging & youtube world who are now in their late 20s and early 30s are trying to adopt this approach as well, which is probably why that “konmari” method has exploded.

    I would love to see how your closet is looking these days! Your closet tour way back in the day was one of the first I ever saw (and of course everyone has one now), and I thought it was so much fun.

    • 1.11.16

      I can tell you that keeping a wish list DEFINITELY helps! I started doing that a couple of years ago, and it totally changed the way I shop. Now I buy things I know I’ll get a lot of mileage from, and save up for those special ‘investment’ pieces, which end up making me so much happier in the long run than a pile of clearance bin impulse purchases.

      And thanks for the closet tour suggestion! I’ll definitely work on that!! :)

  15. 1.8.16
    Heidi H said:

    I’m reading the KonMari book right now! Super inspiring and my plans for the weekend :)

  16. 1.8.16

    When I don’t use my cloth or it doesn’t fit anymore i some times sell it or donates it to secondhand shops. It is nice knowing that cloth maybe make someone else happy.
    Xx Blue Ducklings

  17. 1.8.16

    I think one in and one out is a good rule to follow. Have a great weekend.

  18. 1.7.16

    That’s a great moto, one in one out!

  19. 1.7.16

    The strange thing in this process, you don’t really miss the stuff; but, it seems years later I will see an item in a store and my mind computer asks – whatever happened to that same outfit you had.

    • 1.11.16

      Haha, totally!! I used to do that ALL the time when I was in a cycle of buy-wear-purge.

  20. 1.7.16
    JHadd said:

    I’ve been trying to declutter my wardrobe as well, simply so I can add more pieces that align with my maturing style. It is such a process letting go! But really worth the closet space xx

    • 1.11.16

      I think that’s the ticket: focusing on the benefits; like more closet space, fewer better things to easily put great outfits together, less clutter, less LAUNDRY! :)

  21. 1.7.16

    I love this idea! I’m in the midst of purging what seems like everything I own. I have a new baby on the way and all the extra clutter is driving me insane. I think could really use the One In One Out rule in the kitchen as well. I mean, how many coffee mugs does one really need? :P

    • 1.11.16

      Girl, YES! I’m going to do it in my kitchen as well! We just did a big kitchen purge last month and I organized every cabinet and drawer and it changed my life. Now my husband comes home with those promotional coffee mugs and I’m like, “NOPE. Not going in that cupboard.” LOL :)

  22. 1.7.16

    Amen! As I try to embody the word simplify in 2016 I’ve already filled 4 trash bags with stuff to donate. However, I still have so much stuff! This will be a great rule once I have paired down my collection!

  23. 1.7.16

    Absolutely committed to the one-in/one-out rule for many, many years. I have only two regrets that I “one-outed” and will never get back. A pair of olive green Prada loafers that are now back in style and a pair of metallic Prada sneakers. Otherwise, this rule has served me well!
    Wonderful post, Keira. I love the tone and content of your writing! :)

    • 1.11.16

      I think the rule should include a loophole for designer items! ;) Maybe those Prada loafers and sneakers will come back to you someday.