Quit Clutter Essentials – The One-Touch-Rule

It’s noon, and you come home from a grocery shopping trip, take off your coat and place it on the dining table. Next, you empty the grocery bags in the kitchen and from then on all sorts of household tasks and work obligations consume your time.

That evening you set the table for dinner, and pick up the coat that you left this morning on the dining table and hang it over a chair. Dinner is ready, you are happy to sit down for dinner, but wait, first you have to remove your coat otherwise it might get dirty. You quickly toss it over  …

Now, stop and think! How many times have you touched that coat today?

And how many times did you move paperwork from one place to another to make room to work, or move items from the sink because you had to rinse something off, or shoved your groceries on the kitchen countertop aside to make room for preparing dinner. And the list goes on. All those little habits that seem to help you get things done quicker in the moment, actually create chaos on the longer un and eat up your time without noticing it.

Change starts with awareness.

Analyze your daily habits. How do you handle the items in your home; how often do you pick up an item but don’t put it back? Are there any items in particular that do not get tidied instantly, and what stops you from not returning it where it came from? Which habits are effective and which ones make life more difficult?

Give the One-Touch-Rule a try for a week. Next time when you pick up an item, stop, think and take the action that helps you maintain a smooth running household. I promise, after a week you will see and feel the change in your environment. Stick to this rule a bit longer and you don’t even have to stop and think about your actions any more. It might feel like your home is cluttering itself, but it is actually you that can take credit for it.

From today on, commit yourself to only touching every items you use, once.

  • Getting ready for bed? Place your clothes in the laundry hamper or back on a hanger.
  • Finished in the shower? Hang your towel to dry.
  • Opening the mail? Place the envelope in the paper recycling bin, open the letter, read it, make a note in your to-do-list of the action you need to take (add a reminder to not forger about it), and then toss or file it.
  • Opened a can? Put the can-opener back to where you got it from, empty the can in the meal you are preparing, rinse it off and place it in the recycling bin.
  • Emptied the milk carton? Rinse it off, dry it, cut it to make it flat, place the scissors back in the drawer and put the flat milk carton in the recycling bin.
  • Came back home from shopping? Hang your coat on the hook.

The One-Touch-Rule is a Quit Clutter Essential because it helps you save time, and reduce clutter and frustration.

And it is so easy to implement! Even a child can do it; actually I highly recommend you share this essential rule with your family and the effect will even be bigger.

If you are looking for the easiest way to reduce chaos at home; the One-Touch-Rule is your best friend!

If you want to read more on how habits can be changed, I highly recommend the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.