Moving from Clutter to Clarity: One in, One Out Rule

Moving from Clutter to Clarity: One in, One Out Rule


Just before the summer vacations, I had collected a few cardboard boxes for doing summer projects and DIY activities during holidays. The cardboard boxes laid idle in the balcony and began accumulating dirt and dust. Few days back, while doing my usual cleaning around the house, I thought of clearing them up since there were too many of them and much more than I needed. With the help of my house help, I started cleaning and throwing them out of my house for garbage disposal.

Accidentally, an insect which had built up its dwelling in that pile of cardboard boxes bit on the hand of my house help and she cried in pain. I immediately rushed her to a doctor. After that I threw away all the cardboard boxes and cleared away that corner of my house. Clearing of that clutter made me feel relieved and happy in my mind.

That episode made me realise that we often go on accumulating things we don’t need. Clothes, shoes, books, toys, gadgets and electronics, utensils and so on. This creates so much clutter in our house that most of our precious time is lost in cleaning and maintaining those things.

A look around the house and we will notice that there are more things that we don’t need than things we require. If only we get rid of those unused things, we will have more space in our house and more time in our day for some more creative purposes.

Similar, to our house, it is equally important to declutter our lives both mentally and emotionally. We have so many thoughts running across our minds that it keeps our mind cluttered just like our house. If we think closely, there will be many thoughts which are of no use to us. We might be thinking about our unhappy memories, failed relationships, numerous chores to be done, things which we have done, things which we are doing or things which we will be doing. These thoughts start creating emotional clutter deep down in our minds as well. Think closely! Do we really need these thoughts and emotions?

But what do we do?

Just like some of the things which we receive as gifts from others, sometimes these thoughts and emotions are also a result of our interactions with others of which we do not have any control.

Recently, while reading through some articles, I came across the “one in, one out rule” which means that if we welcome one thing in our house, we must move another thing out of our house. For example, if we buy a new toy for our kids, we must replace it with some other toy.

I am trying to apply this rule not only for clearing the clutter of our house but also of my mind and my heart. When I am dwelling on some disturbing thoughts, I try to take those thoughts out of my mind by thinking of some new idea or thought. For example, from thinking about what we lost in our past, we should try to replace it with what we gained in the present.

Out goes negativity, in comes positivity! Think about it!

0 thoughts on “Moving from Clutter to Clarity: One in, One Out Rule

  1. I love this post! We do decluttering every 6 months or so and I really feel it helps mentally and emotionally. You have listed some great simple tips here – one in, one out! Easy to follow and implement. Plus i love how you ended the post. It does lead to positivity. 🙂

  2. I am going to use this rule from now on! And you are so right, it can be used not just for a cluttered house but also our cluttered mind.

  3. What a great idea. When I am feeling particularly low or frustrated, I try to list all all the things going well in my life. I think in a way I am also pushing out the negative thoughts and trying to bring in positive thoughts.

  4. One in one out, perfect. I needed this the most with piled up stuff at my place. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. I have been following Lata and she does these amazing videos about decluttering for exactly 5minutes everyday. I haven’t started yet but I am hoping to do this from today ( thanks for the reminder) also I love the one I one out rule

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