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…you’re in and you’re out…

May 19, 2011

While Katy Perry added a snappy tune to this line in her song Hot N Cold, the line does have a pretty decent ring to it all on its own. Most are familiar with the “Take a penny, leave a penny” theory at store counters, well my theory of “In and Out” is the same premise only it’s being applied to your stuff, whether clothes, linens, toys, books or even cosmetics!

When you acquire something new, get rid of something old.

After returning from shopping at Marshalls or Macys or even Home Depot, before you put away that new pair of jeans or hammer or even a whisk, ask yourself if there’s a similar item you already own – now worn out – that could be replaced by this new purchase. If so, remove that worn out item and as you place it in a bag for donation or garbage I urge you to say out loud, “buh-bye,” then watch your wardrobe or kitchen cabinet sparkle. Okay, so maybe it won’t sparkle, but it is a great way to keep it from looking shabby, not to mention keeping it from overcrowding. Same with bookshelves and toy chests and even the shelves behind the bathroom mirror!

One of my closet rules is only have enough hangers for the clothes you own. This way not only does it keep you on top of the “In and Out” theory (as you can’t add to your wardrobe if there are no hangers!), but it also keeps your closet tidy. For example, you can only wear one shirt at a time so at the end of the day there’s only place for that shirt to go (unless it heads to the laundry first) and your closet remains looking neat.

Happy shopping…and tossing…


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  1. I totally do this with shoes…every time I buy a new pair of shoes, an old pair has to go! I don’t have as much luck with the hanger idea, especially now during the changing seasons…I need cool stuff and warm stuff cause every day in Virginia is different, so I don’t have enough hangers at the moment!

    • Yes, the hanger idea works best with large closets where every item has its own hanger. And you’re on the other end of the spectrum not having enough, as I’ve worked with clients who leave the wire hangers from the dry cleaners all over, plus other empty hangers. With your hot and cold weather, have you thought of pairing items on hangers? I’ve started hanging outfits together. Saves room and also makes it easier to pick out outfits!

  2. Try an all-season wardrobe. For example, layer summer clothing during the winter.

    I prefer long sleeves layered over sleeveless. Long sleeves can always be rolled up or tails can be tied in the front.

    Here’s a great video:

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