2-Touch Rule for Organization

Have you ever heard of the 1-Touch Rule for preventing clutter from accumulating in your home? It’s the idea that, when putting things away, you should only touch an item once to get it from where it is to where it belongs. Here's a fun description about this idea if you want to learn more. It's a great trick for keeping open areas of your home clutter-free. 

Along the same lines, when organizing any space, we like to apply what we call the 2-Touch Rule. This is for keeping spaces behind closed doors, drawers, and cabinets clutter-free, too, in addition to simplifying the retrieval process of items stored in these areas.

Just as we encourage clients to aim to be able to see everything at a glance when opening a cabinet or drawer, you want to be able to access things just as easily. When getting anything from a cabinet, closet, or drawer, you want to be able to grab it within two touches. If you can grab something from a shelf with just one touch, that’s ideal. But since space doesn’t always allow for that, you can have one extra touch to move something aside.

For example, you reach into your hall closet, you grab a basket off the shelf (touch #1) and grab a hat out of the basket (touch #2)...rather than having it behind the vacuum in a tub with a basketball on top of the lid.

OR You reach into your fridge and because it’s deep, the orange juice sits just behind the milk. You remove the milk with one hand (touch #1) and grab the orange juice with the other hand (touch #2) and return the milk to its spot...rather than having the orange juice behind the jar of salsa behind the cheese which is stacked on the blueberries stacked on the strawberries.

It may sound ridiculous, but before you know it, your stuff is buried and you can't find what you need when you need it. When things are buried, not only is it frustrating to try to find things, but it can be even more challenging to put things away after use.

When the 2-Touch Rule is applied, things are no longer buried and you eliminate the time spent digging for stuff.  After all, with organizing, the ultimate goal should be to simplify your life and your time.

This method doesn't work for everyone's learning styles, but I remember one instance where it really clicked for the person. I was at my sister’s house and explained this to her to help her understand how to keep her pantry shelves and kitchen cabinets from becoming buried with stuff.  At one point, I was sitting in the other room and heard her digging around in a cabinet for a good while. I called out “Everything alright?” She paused and said, “Oh, was that 2 touches too many?” I just laughed. It's not a hard and fast rule, but it resonated with her, and now she tells everyone about it.

Remember, the goal is not to achieve a certain number of touches but rather to eliminate the clutter so you can save the time you spend looking for things and instead spend that time doing what you love and with those you love.

Do you have a favorite organizing trick that works for you? Let us know about it, so we can share it with others.