One Touch Cleaning Rule

Do you know how many titles I went through for this post trying to keep it clean (no pun intended) and not suggestive?


Still not sure I succeeded.

I recently read an article on Apartment Therapy about a simple strategy for keeping your home tidy.

You had me at simple, Apartment Therapy.

I was hoping thinking perhaps the simple strategy was to hire a housekeeper.

And then the universe laughed.

In other words, nope. Not the strategy they were advocating.

But it was almost, if I use a very loose definition of that word, as good.

It was to use ONE and only one touch to move an item from where it is to where it should be located.

That’s it. One touch.

While I generally keep my home pretty tidy, I am completely guilty of violating this rule.

This is why rule breaking doesn’t pay. I end up creating MORE work for myself, not less.

I will put something at the bottom of the stairs that really needs to go to the upstairs bathroom. Then I will move that item to the top of the stairs and set it there because i’m going into the bedroom and not four steps farther down the hall to the bathroom. I’ll end up leaving the thing that needs to go 4 steps farther into the bathroom at the top of the stairs for hours or even days. Then I might finally move the thing into the bathroom and put it on the counter instead of in the cabinet where it really belongs. Eventually I will get that thing put in its correct spot. Eventually.

I end up expending more energy handling that item multiple times than if I would have just run it up the stairs, put it away and been done with it.

My husband, who is generally perfect in every regard, will come home, walk past the coat hooks, the coat closet and take his jacket off in the dining room and hang it on the back of a chair.

With his permission I’m throwing him under the bus here because it is a really good example of how to drive me nuts violating the one-touch cleaning rule.

Thanks for your help with the blog post, honey.

Now that I know about this rule, try as I might, I cannot UNHEAR IT.

Oh, I’ve tried.

There’s a little voice in my head that pretty much mocks me every time I violate the rule.

Every time. It’s relentless.

The more I listen to the nagging force myself to use this rule the more I realize how helpful it really is in keeping my home tidy.

Also, my version of tidy is different than someone else’s version of tidy. That’s okay. The point is to not create more work for yourself. Less work especially when it comes to cleaning always makes us happier, right?

As it turns out, I have written a few posts about cleaning over the years. Riveting, life changing stuff, folks.

How to clean hard water line off the inside of a toilet

How to get that nasty smell out of workout clothes

How to add shine to your hardwood floors without refinishing


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