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Serving The Upper Valley Since 1993

Declutter Your Home

How do you manage to live with clutter? We all seem to have at least a little physical clutter in our lives, whether in our home, the garage, or workplace.

Declutter Your Home

Do we live with clutter because we accept it as inevitable? Do we walk by some clutter every day, which is a way of accepting the clutter? By walking by it every day, we give credence to the clutter. Do you have some clutter in your refrigerator? Many people push some items to the side or take “clutter items” out of their refrigerator to find what they need. After finding the item they have looked for, they put the “clutter items” back in their refrigerator. If you do this, you are working around the clutter rather than addressing it. This means you have accepted clutter; you view it as truth, and with this acceptance, you will be living with this clutter forever (my goodness!).

If these scenarios resonate with you, it’s time to apply the one-touch rule to help reduce the clutter in your home.

What is the one-touch rule?

The one-touch rule was conceived by Ann Gomez, a productivity consultant and the founding president of Toronto-based organization Clear Concept Inc. (

Clear Concepts Inc. specializes in business training and ways to improve productivity. Ann’s one-touch rule can also be applied to your home.

Her concept is deceivingly simple. When it comes to clutter, then simplicity translates into effectiveness. Also, her strategy is to focus on building a decluttering habit. Organization of your home is not a one-off approach. Like anything worthwhile, it must become a habit.

The rule is: Put away things immediately. Avoid handling them more than once after you have used an item.

That’s it!

If your system sets items aside to deal with later only creates clutter. To deal with something more than once is what we want to avoid.

Here’s an example that many of us have experienced.

Do family members arrive home and leave their coat, backpack, or purse in random places around your home. Sometimes the backpack is left in the mudroom; other times, in the kitchen; perhaps even in your family room. This requires items left randomly around to be moved more than once.

You end up with a scenario where items that should have a good home keep getting shuffled around like they do not have a place. This leads to clutter.

When the owner of these improperly stored items eventually needs them, they will waste time searching for items that could have been put away in a designated place.

Here is how the one-touch rule can help to declutter your home.

The one-touch rule is simple, and this makes it powerful. If you have a somewhat disorganized home, as you get better at applying the one-touch rule, you will find clutter and the general “mess” significantly reduced. Perhaps even entirely eliminated.

Hang coats on a rack or in the closet and store backpacks, the mail, and other belongings in a well-thought-out and designated place as soon as you walk into your home. With this approach, you will minimize clutter and be more organized. Remember, one thing leads to another, and a little bit of clutter leads to a bit more, and before you know it, there is simply too much clutter.

The one-touch rule can apply to so many other areas of your home:

  • Sorting your mail right after bringing it home.
  • Put dirty clothes in a laundry hamper or bin instead of on the bedroom floor.
  • Hang up clothes in the proper place after wearing them.
  • Put away yard tools in the garage once you’re done with them.
  • Wash dishes (or rinse them and put them in the dishwasher) as soon as you finish a meal.
  • Fix broken items right away instead of leaving the task for later.
  • You can even apply it to your email inbox as you can reply to emails immediately after reading them instead of replying later.

You can also make the one-touch rule easier with effective home storage solutions.

After implementing this rule, you might realize another issue needs to be solved. You may conclude that certain items don’t have a good home.

An item without a proper designated place is a problem that needs to be solved. Otherwise, the one-touch rule will be too challenging. Consider some effective home storage solutions.

The one-touch rule becomes much easier to commit to and maintain by enabling your home with sensible storage solutions.

With some practical front entryway storage solutions like a closet organizer, letter holder, key rack, or shoe rack, an area of your home 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 reducing or eliminating clutter.

Add a laundry hamper to your bedroom. Keep your dirty clothes organized (add multiple hampers to keep your dirty clothes sorted by color).

For the garage, develop a tool hanging system to store your yard tools easily.

Give It A Try!

Give your household a week or two to try the one-touch rule. Committing to the one-touch rule will take effort, especially for your household’s “clutter-challenged” housemates.

Give your home a week or two, try the rule and make refinements to make using it easier. You and other family members will be encouraged by the results. Younger children can also adopt this philosophy.

It’s unrealistic to expect any home to use the one-touch rule 100% of the time. Sometimes fatigue and time constraints may make it too challenging to use daily.

Allow yourself and your family members a little leeway when using the rule, but strive for as much consistency with it as possible to obtain your decluttered home objectives.

Call us at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support to keep your home clean and tidy. We can help you to reduce the stress in your life. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.