A clutter-filled home doesn’t make for the most comfortable living environment. Your household’s neatniks will be perpetually stressed out and grow tired of cleaning up after your home’s messier occupants.
They know their cleaning efforts will only pay short-term dividends before things become disorganized once again. This isn’t good for household chemistry or morale.
On top of that, finding items when you need them becomes a constant challenge. Without effective home storage solutions, the problem becomes even worse.
If these scenarios are resonating with you, it’s time to apply the one touch rule to help with your house’s clutter.
What is the one touch rule?
The one touch rule was conceived by Ann Gomez, a productivity consultant and the founding president for Toronto-based organization Clear Concept Inc.
While Gomez’s company specializes in business training and ways to improve productivity, her one touch rule can be applied to your home as well.
Her concept is deceivingly simple, right down to its self-explanatory name. The rule is: put away your things immediately and avoid handling them more than once after you’re done with them. That’s it.
Putting items aside to deal with later only creates clutter
Here’s an example you’ve undoubtedly seen before: do any of your family members arrive home and leave their coat, backpack, or purse on a chair or sofa? Those items will then likely get moved more than once when someone wants to use the furniture.
What you end up with is a scenario where items that should have a proper home keep getting shuffled around and tossed aside, creating clutter.
When the owner of these improperly stored belongings eventually needs them, who knows where they’ll have ended up? This leads to wasted time searching for items.
How the one touch rule can benefit your home
Despite the self-evident nature of the rule, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. Especially in more disorganized residences, if you apply the one touch rule to your home’s belongings, you’ll soon find clutter and mess greatly reduced, if not almost entirely eliminated.
By hanging up coats on a rack or in the closet and storing backpacks, purses, and other belongings in a designated area as soon as you walk in your home, you’ll minimize clutter and be more organized.
The one touch rule can apply to so many other areas of your home:
- sorting your mail right after bringing it into your home
- putting dirty clothes in a laundry hamper or bin instead of on the bedroom floor
- hanging up clothes in the proper place after wearing them (or putting them in drawers)
- hanging up yard tools in the garage once you’re done with them
- washing dishes (or putting them in the dishwasher) as soon as you’ve finished a meal
- fixing broken items right away instead of leaving the task for later
- even replying to emails immediately after reading them instead of replying later
Make the one touch rule easier with effective home storage solutions
After implementing this rule, you might come to the realization that as much as you’re trying to put away your belongings right away once they’re no longer immediately needed, they don’t always have a proper home.
That does make things harder. You should consider some effective home storage solutions.
By enabling your home with sensible storage solutions, the one touch rule becomes much easier to commit to and maintain.
With some practical front entryway storage solutions like a closet organizer, letter holder, key rack, or shoe rack, an area of your home that’s highly prone to clutter accumulation will be more organized.
A custom closet solution or wardrobe in other areas of your home such as the bedroom will also prove to be beneficial in keeping clutter at bay and your home organized.
Add a laundry hamper to your bedroom to keep your dirty clothes organized (add multiple hampers to keep your dirty clothes sorted by colour).
For the garage, try a slatwall hanging system to allow for easy storage of your garage’s belongings.
Give your household a week to try the one touch rule
Committing to the one touch rule on a permanent basis will take some effort, especially for your household’s, shall we say, “organization challenged” members.
Give your home a week to try the rule as much as possible and you’ll quickly be encouraged by the results you see. Your younger kids aren’t too young to adopt this new philosophy either.
It’s not realistic to expect any home to use the one touch rule 100% of the time. Sometimes fatigue and time constraints will simply make it too difficult to use it every single day.
Allow yourself and your family members a little leeway when it comes to using the rule, but strive for as much consistency with it as possible to obtain the best results.
Let Organized Interiors provide you with some practical home storage and organization solutions to help you get the most out of the one touch rule.
By scheduling a free in-home consultation, our design expert can assess the best storage solutions that are suited to your house or condo.