HGTV's Hilary Farr Has A Genius Tip For Reducing Clutter In Your Home

HGTV's Hilary Farr is all about that tough love and firmly encouraging people and families to do what's best for them in the long run, even though it might hurt in the moment. Getting rid of unnecessary items is a major example of this, and one tip that Hilary Farr has for decluttering is to toss something out every time you bring something in. In one episode of "Tough Love With Hilary Farr", she was working with a family that had way too many toys, but things changed for them when they discovered her "2 in, 2 out" rule, which is to make room for two new items by throwing out two old ones.

Clutter can be a problem for all types of households. Big families are likely to have many possessions because of items like toys and clothes, but even one-person households can struggle. People who live alone can still accumulate a lot of stuff, from fashion accessories to hobby tools to random knick-knacks, due to the emotional connections they've developed with them. Regardless of your situation, know that decluttering might not be an easy process but it is definitely worth it for the peace and cleanliness you'll enjoy when it's done.

2 in, 2 out

We see the 2 in, 2 out rule as a great way to maintain organization when you've just done a lot of decluttering and don't want to fall back into your old ways. It's common to clear your home out but find yourself battling with space and organization again later on, and that's usually because your accumulation habits stay the same. By throwing two things out for every two that come in and practicing other ways to prevent clutter from accumulating, you can enjoy your new items without making the same mistake again.

In the season 4 episode titled "Toy Takeover," this rule was very useful when the family had a birthday party and received lots of gifts. When this happens, the typical thing to do is to just add the new ones to the pile but it's better to use that time to identify which toys haven't been used in a while and toss them out, especially since your kids will be so preoccupied with their new things.

How to efficiently carry out the 2 in, 2 out rule

The first thing to know is that this will be most effective if you declutter your home first. You'll have fewer things to work with and it will be easier to look through them and determine what you can get rid of. The second thing to know is that you don't only have to get rid of old things. If something is still in great condition but you just know you don't want it anymore or your tastes have changed, use this as an opportunity to donate it to a place where someone else will be able to enjoy it or sell it for some cash.

Another thing to know is that this is not a hard and fast rule, and it's dependent on the item you're dealing with. Like toys, this works best with things that we tend to have a lot of and whose volume can be easily estimated like clothes, shoes, bags, scarves, throw pillows, plates, and mugs. If you buy something else like a couch or a microwave, it will be trickier to figure out what can go in its place. One tip that can help is to fill up the box of the new things you have with old things. This is very helpful if you constantly order stuff from Amazon, for example; however, if you find that you can't fill up the huge box your couch came in, that's also okay.