Today is Cyber Monday, which means that statistically speaking I had a much higher chance of you reading this blog today than on other days of the year, because, like millions of other people in the country, you may be spending a large part of your day online. Possibly, you are one of the close to 120 million estimated online shoppers who are forecasted to spend over $1 billion dollars on their computers and online devices by the stroke of midnight.
Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, but with all the energy, effort, and money being spent on buying new things, it also sounds to me like the perfect time to put the "one in, one out" method into practice. In preparation of the gift-giving (and receiving) season, now is the perfect time to get a better handle on your "stuff" and take the time to pass items on to those in need.
What is the "one in, one out" philosophy? It's simple...for every one item you take in (or estimate to take in), one must go! Either by way of the trash, garage sale pile, or donation to charity. Here are a few ways to combat life's many "Cyber Mondays" and put this method to work in your home:
- Remember your mantra: One in, one out. Remember it and stick to it. Every little bit counts but the more you purge, the more simplified your life becomes and the more ways you may find to help others with your excess (and even modify some habits).
- Create your action zones. Designate three areas or bins for toss, sell, or donate and collect items from every room in the house. Need ideas? Did you put perfume on your list this year? How many old and even unopened perfumes, lotions and washes do you have? Some may be suitable to gift to a women's shelter or to family, friends or children's teachers. Anything that is opened that you do not want should be tossed. You may even find something you forgot was there and cross it off your list after all.
- Get the kids in on it. Let's face it, for those with children, the holidays are joyous, but they also bring on an onslaught of toys! This time of year presents a great opportunity for teaching children about the one in, one out concept and giving in addition to receiving. To top off the practice for them, perhaps one brand new item on everyone's list can be one that is meant to be donated to someone in need.
- Use it on decorations too. When it comes to lights, knick knacks and other holiday items, the one-in, one-out concept can still apply. Before considering bringing anything new into your home, it might be time to retire something old, or pass it on to someone else--like a newlywed couple decorating their home for the first time.
- Celebrate simplicity. If nothing else, the one-in, one-out method can help you and your family focus on reducing the excess of the holiday season (and any time of year). By paying attention to and carefully considering the new things that we allow to enter our environment, we can become more aware of what is really important in our lives and the lives of those in our family and communities.