The One-Touch Rule
Imagine you come home from work, take off your jacket, and lay it on the countertop. Then later you go to cook dinner and move the jacket from the counter to a dining room chair. To eat the dinner, you move it from the chair to the stair-rail. Then finally before bed, you move it from the stair-rail to the coat closet. You have now touched the jacket four times. Instead, think “I’m going to get this item to its home in one touch.” While I was learning this rule I would mentally repeat in my brain “one-touch, one-touch, one-touch!” (You know… like a psychopath!) Now I have the strategy memorized. It’s built-in.
Schedule the Mundane
For me, the key to my freedom was the dishwasher. I had found myself all day long deciding if I should run it or wait until after the next meal’s dishes, only to find that the next meal produced too many dishes to quite fit. This forced me to pile the excess dishes in the sink and wait. I could never quite catch up. Now I have set the non-negotiable task that I will run the dishwasher every single night before bed and empty it every single morning while I’m brewing my coffee. Which means every dirty dish also has a home: inside the dishwasher! Saturdays, I do all the laundry. Sundays, I do all the week’s meal planning.
Now that my household management is on autopilot, I can reserve my brainpower for the creative things I love. It’s amazing how much easier it is to try out painting when you know where all of your paints are! Hey, why not learn the ukulele using those 15 extra minutes a day I’m no longer spending searching for my keys? Tidy up, my fellow Garbage People! We got this!