This is not an add-on to the review of The Joy of Less from yesterday, but I’m nodding in its general direction because it is the most recent place I’ve read about the one-in-one-out rule. Some even go with a one-in-two-out rule, which could work as a general policy, but not in terms of what I’m thinking about today.
What I am specifically pondering today is the idea that when something needs to be replaced, we often keep the original item along with its newer “replacement.” Cribbing from others who have written about this dilemma, it makes sense to approach the issue like it’s a flow chart:
1. Does this item need to be replaced? Yes = okay, go get new one. No = okay, keep what you have, there is nothing to fix, you don’t need to go shopping, you don’t need the newer, fancier one.
2. But I have already bought a new one! Okay, well, is it better than the old one? Yes = get rid of the old one, but give it to someone who is able to use it. Do NOT throw it out. No = return the new one, silly!
3. But why can’t I just keep both? I might need this old one. If you “need” the old one, return the new one. If you don’t “need” it, get rid of it. You are not going to miss it. If you do, and you discover you actually need two of x item, call me up and I’ll buy you another one.*
So today I bought a new cutting board. It is a round cutting board because Clara insisted we needed a round cutting board.
I bought it because the old one is beyond repair. We are agreed it needs to go…but I am not sure we would have taken this action if we were not committed to 5 Down. Why? Because the old one was handmade and chosen for us as a wedding gift. It’s had a lot of use and it’s been a constant companion in food prep. It feels a little cold to just ditch it.
And there I go again, putting meaning into an inanimate object. Was it a fantastic gift? You bet. Did we make excellent use of it? Absolutely! To me, when I step back a bit, I think that this qualifies it as having outdone itself on the gift giving scales.
On an entirely unrelated note, I’m considering divorcing and re-marrying Mike since a number of our wedding gifts seem to be biting the dust lately…
Day 98 Scorecard: 490 down, 1,335 to go
* and by “buy” I mean – I will take your money and use it to purchase you a second one of that thing. I’m not THAT nice!
And here is another view of the cutting board. Isn’t it lovely?