Kids walking toward beach

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The In-Out Rule
It's very simple. For everything that comes into your home, something must go. Whatever item goes must either be the same type as the new item or take up the same amount of room.

Here are some tips for controlling in/out:
  • For clothes and toys: Buy one, get rid of one.

  • Cost versus space: We usually take more time with expensive purchases. But remember, the more space something takes up, the more it costs you. Spend more time deciding to buy bigger items.

  • Time delay: Impose a time delay on every expenditure to curtail spontaneous purchases. Find it, love it—wait 48 hours to purchase it.

  • Experience fund: Every time you stop yourself from making a spontaneous purchase, put the money that you would have spent in a special account. Then, pick an experience the whole household can look forward to—a trip to Paris, the beach, Disneyland, etc. If your child asks for a toy at the store, you can do the same thing. Say, "This toy costs $9.99. Let's put that in the Disneyland fund instead." At the end of 12 months, you might have enough money to have an experience that the whole household will remember forever.