Key Qs, 1-In 1-Out, Style Tray

To keep or not keep?
Going on to Week 3 of my Project Eliminate challenge. Wow, I forgot how exhausting this whole clearing-out-the-excess gets. I suppose it's hard to truly forget, and yet I somehow started this whole thing with excitement and anticipation. Despite last year's exhausting Project Eliminate as we prepared for a stressful jobless move while we all had pink eye, the end results left me itching to do it again.

And that is exactly what keeps me going--visualizing the goal. An organized front closet and kitchen cupboard (done and done!). A cleared out hallway. A completed kids' room. A functional hall closet. It can happen, and why not during this Project Eliminate?!

Keep reading for some key questions that help give me perspective, a word about the one-in one-out rule, and taking a break with the style tray to keep motivated.

Key Questions

The key questions I ask myself as I sort through each section of belongings are basically...
Do I need it?
Do I love it?
If the answer to either or both of these is no, then I need to be honest about why I'm keeping it. Generally items that I don't need and that I don't love are kept out of some sort of obligation or emotional attachment. Not all emotional attachment is bad, but it's worth a little further exploring to at least consider ditching it.

It's not always clear if something is needed or if I love it, so there are lots of other questions I ask, including...
When was the last time I used it?
Do I use it frequently?
Do I have more than one? And do I need more than one?
Do I have something else that serves the same purpose?
Does it need replaced?
Is it versatile?
Is it expired or outdated?
There are also questions specific to the type of item being considered, for instance if it's clothes...
Is it flattering?
Is it my style?
Can it be dressed up and worn casual?
Will it work in warm and cool weather?
One-in, One-out Rule for simplifying + minimizing

One In, One Out

The one-in, one-out rule is simple: If one thing comes into the home (a gift, purchase, give-away), then one thing needs to leave the home. This is easiest for items that need replaced. Like my sandals. My brown leather American Eagle sandals are my summer staple and have been for the last 5 (FIVE!) years. I think they've needed replaced for the last 1-2 years, and I finally found the perfect replacement. Another pair of brown leather American Eagle sandals that I found this weekend at Marshall's for only $10! (I love a good deal :) So, of course, new pair of sandals came in, old pair of sandals goes out.

This gets a little complicated when you factor in a few other purchases I made this weekend--all from IKEA--that don't exactly replace anything, they merely organize. I'd like to think they're the exception to the one-in, one-out rule, but only if the organization is being used and working. Otherwise, it needs to go.

minimizing inspiration
{house&home white cottage}

Inspiration Break

Last year I wrote about "hitting the wall" and looking through my Home Style Tray to get a little perspective and breath of fresh air from sorting through all my "junk." I love being inspired by minimal spaces. They are so clean and simple and peaceful.


also see:
new? start here...
project eliminate series
simplifying home series
monthly dose of simple