6 Game-Changing Lessons We Learned from ‘Get Organized With The Home Edit’ on Netflix
A few years ago, it’d be hard to imagine that one of the hottest shows on Netflix would be devoted to organizing. Then we became obsessed with Tidying Up With Marie Kondo…and then 2020 happened. Needless to say, we’ve never been more interested in keeping our home in order. So, when Get Organized With The Home Edit hit the streaming service this September, it instantly became one of Netflix’s top 10 most-watched shows, getting people to hit up the Container Store in droves—and start wondering how soon we’d see a second season of the series.
If you’ve found yourself dreaming of bookshelves organized by Roy G. Biv or wishing your pantry was whipped into Instagram-worthy shape, clearly, you’re not alone. But you may not know where to start. These tips, culled from the first season of the series, can help you launch a plan of attack that will elevate any room to a Home Edit degree of order. Better start working on your calligraphy skills.
1. Start with Sorting Bins
The Home Edit’s founders, Joanna Teplin and Clea Shearer, say the biggest mistake people make when trying to adopt their method is tearing apart a room an hour before they need to go out—and getting totally overwhelmed. Clear your day or at dedicate a few hours to the project at hand, focus on one confined area (say, the pantry or even just a single junk drawer) and grab a few empty boxes to use as sorting bins. This will help you cluster like items together, so you have a sense of how much room you’ll need for each “zone” you’re creating, be it small appliances in a kitchen or handbags in a closet.
2. Zone Out
As we mentioned above, a big part of The Home Edit’s method is thinking in “zones” based on how people live. There are a few standard zones—say, seasonal clothes, jeans, handbags and shoes in a closet—but they often create custom ones based on each client’s needs. For example, in the show, they created a blue gameday section in the closet of a Kentucky fan. This will help you maintain your organizational system over time, as you continue to acquire new things. As Shearer warned when the duo re-organized stylist Rachel Zoe’s closet, “if you exceed your zone, it’s time to make some tough choices.” For Zoe, that meant a massive shoe purge.
3. Memento Boxes > Than Scrapbooks
Be real with yourself: Are you really going to update that scrapbook each time a new keepsake enters your life? The answer is often no and simply turns into a book that’s haphazardly stuffed with loose papers, as you tell yourself you’ll get to it…someday. That’s why we loved how Teplin and Shearer used steel blue Stockholm Boxes ($10 to $13 each) to organize scripts, notes and other small items from each of Reese Witherspoon’s movies. Bonus: They also corral bulkier items, like pins, medals or ribbons that may not fit as easily into a scrapbook but still belong together. Not to mention, the closed boxes look super neat on a shelf or tucked into a drawer.
4. Create a Transfer Station
If you tend to swap out purses—only to realize you left your work ID in your other bag at home (womp womp)—it’s worth creating a “transfer station” in your closet. This area is where you put the essentials, like your phone, wallet and keys, so you can easily change bags without leaving anything behind.
5. Allow Yourself a “Backstock Zone”
Check out any of The Home Edit’s room makeovers, and you’ll notice they’re big on giving items a little breathing room. Nothing is clustered too closely together, which makes for a soothing look…but it may leave you rolling your eyes. Four rolls of toilet paper may look clean in a linen closet, but I buy them by the 48-pack at Costco. What do I do? You may wonder. That’s where the backstock zone comes into play. Often set up in a basement or garage, this is where you’ll store all of the extras you have of various items. You don’t need all 48 rolls within arm’s reach, so stow the other 44 in the garage, and once you get down to a single roll in your usual spot, you can restock.
6. Label, Line and Space
Teplin and Shearer joke that Khloé Kardashian’s so meticulously organized that she could steal their jobs, and they’re not wrong. But what makes every room in her house so pleasing to the eye? It’s what we’re calling the “label, line and space” technique: After everything is placed in matching containers, the containers are labeled, lined up just up to the edge of the shelf and spaced equidistantly from each other. There’s a uniformity and symmetry to it that makes everything from paper towels to Perrier more pleasing to look at. (It’s no wonder Kardashian brags that her friends come to her house and actually ask to look at her pantry.)