One in, One Out?

If you spend any time looking at organizing advice one way they'll tell you to prevent clutter is to follow a "one in, one out" rule. You know...if you bring something in, you need to remove something else.

I'm calling horseshit.

Now in the beginning it may be that you should very well get rid of two, three, five or even twenty things for every one item you bring in. However, once you have parsed through everything you own and gotten it down to ONLY the things you need use and love...

You have already gotten yourself down to only the things you need use and love right?

...then I would hope that you wouldn't waste all that time and energy you spent. This means only bringing in things that you need, will use and will love. If this is the case, all you need to do is find it a good home in your home. You don't necessarily have to let go of something else first.

Mind you, if you're in a limited space then you do need to take this rule in consideration. i.e. - if the space you have for shoes is at maximum capacity, then you have to create more space for shoes. This happens by either getting rid of a pair of shoes or creating a new storage spot.

Point is, "one in, one out" isn't a hard and fast rule that should be applied by everybody.

Now if this rule is the only way that will keep you on top of the clutter-free game, then go for it. If it doesn't seem realistic to you then don't. I've maintained my 440 sq. ft. home clutter free for 12 years now and have NEVER employed that rule. As a matter of fact, when I moved in from a 750 sq. ft. home I bought MORE furniture because it's what the layout of this home vs. the layout of the previous home needed.

Don't let hard and fast rules hinder you from living a clutter-free existence. If you're at the point that you're now clutter free, how do you maintain it?