Does anyone use a kind of a "one of" principle? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-25-2011, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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My Grandmother used to say you have one of everything you need, and maybe 2 of everything you Love. :)


This really never meant much to me.  Now as an adult and mom of 3, soon be more, I have started decluttering and Get It.  I have 4-5 diaper bags, each containing 1/5 of what I need at any given time.  The kids have a few jackets for each season and because there are so many to keep track of, I can never find any.  I needed a flashlight, and despite having about 30, none had batteries, and the ones that did I could not find. We were making a camp fire the other day, I knew we had a long lighter thing somewhere, didn;t know where, was at the store, so bought a 2 pack, then found the other later.  Was unloading the dishwasher, couldn't fit the last 3 spatulas in the holder thing, before realizing that one of the was MIA.


I had this AHA of "why do I have so many of so many things that I will never use/need more than 1 of at a time?!?"  Then Grandma's "one of" principle made sense.  We have so many of so many things, usually a result of a rebuy of something when I could not find the others.  ANd I can't find the others because they are so spread out because we have so much crap than none of it fits anywhere. 


We are expecting #4 (and likely #5, according to 6 week sono).....I will then have a 13 yr old, 4 yr old, 1 yr old, and either 1 or 2 newborns.  I REALLLLLLLY just want one of everything and I want to know where it is. 


Anyone tend to live by the One Of way of thinking...either deliberately, of just by default? 

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#2 of 5 Old 09-25-2011, 09:19 AM
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I have started doing this also. It started when the twins outgrew stuff, I got rid of "one" of everything. Now I try on purpose to only have 1 thing that I love, unless each thing has a different purpose (for example, I have a big backpack I take on day trips, swimming, to my class, a med sized bag I take to the park, regular running around town, and a small backpack that basically fits keys, wallet, waterbottle for when I don't want to be weighted down).


Good luck decluttering, and with your new addition(s)!

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#3 of 5 Old 09-25-2011, 11:07 AM
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lurk.gif Interesting. I've never heard of this. Sounds like a great idea.

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#4 of 5 Old 09-26-2011, 12:39 PM
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Here are some great blog posts about the topic:


I strive to do this, starting with the things that most annoyed me, like my kids' jackets and shoes- just one per season.  Also, with pens. Just keeping one in the kitchen means I must take care of it and put it in it's designated place or else I have no pen.  The reasoning, besides the declutter aspect, is that you have a proper home for each belonging, you take better care of it, as to not lose it, and you can have higher quality items (one really nice pen that lasts instead of a 12 pack of cheapo's).

I tried applying it to kitchen stuff- one plate, cup, bowl per person, but when chasing little kiddos all day, I don't have time to stop and do dishes inbetween snacks and meals, which comes almost hourly, it seems.   I am trying to do one cup and one water bottle per kid though- those get out of control fast.

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#5 of 5 Old 09-26-2011, 01:48 PM
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thanks for the tip for one of everything ...can see myself heading for the tip with all the clutter that one of everything will then mean I can eliminate de-cluttering has been by the bag load when I started (after reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne) and now I am at the level of okay today I'm going to tackle this draw of my desk...YIKES when did I become such a pencil hoarder...and none of them are sharpened and why three rolls of scotch tape (oh yes we forgot where to find the tape and so bought another, and then forgot that and bought another) and do I ever use pen ink?  and how many erasers do we really need?  I love going to the stationary shop (this draw is a testimonial to that) but I don't think I'll need to visit ever again.


Being able to find things in my home (desk draw) makes life so much less expensive, and I can open my own stationary shop now !

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