With their breakout Netflix show, Get Organized with The Home Edit, Clea Shearer (above, left) and Joanna Teplin are organizing America, one color-coded system at a time. The Nashville-based duo’s company is now offering organizing services in the DC region, so we asked them for their best tips to get started on tackling the always-popular New Year’s resolution: decluttering. // $225 per hour
You’re fired up and ready to start, but where? If you have one free weekend to concentrate, what should you do first to dive in?
No matter what the project is, the first step is to evaluate the space and eliminate the things you don’t need. It’s a lot easier to see the full scale of what you’re working with by removing every item and grouping them into categories on the floor or table in front of you. With a pared-down supply, you can then decide on a functional container system that fits your specific space and lifestyle.
Organizing can feel like therapy. Why do you think people get such a rush from it?
A cluttered environment is a cluttered mind. When you create functional systems that also look beautiful, you can take a sigh of relief. There are no messy drawers tugging at the back of your mind or brooms falling on your head as you reach for the mop. If you can avoid unnecessary frustration in your daily routine, why wouldn’t you?
Once you’ve conquered a room, what is your best advice for keeping it organized?
Once you create a functional system, it comes down to the 80/20 philosophy: Keep your home no more than 80% full, and reserve at least 20% for breathing room. Once items start spilling out of the system you have in place, they won’t have a home, and that’s where clutter builds.
How do you stay consistent when it feels like kids can be tiny destroyers of all things organized?
Just like you would in any space, designate zones and contain items by category. Don’t get too specific with your categories or else it will be impossible to maintain. For instance, it’s OK to put the Barbies and the Shopkins together, or the Duplos with the Legos. All that really matters is that items end up in a bin at the end of the day. Since kids learn by color, we also suggest sorting items in rainbow order as a labeling system.
What was it like working with Reese Witherspoon on your show? Do you have a dream client you haven’t worked with yet?
Organizing Reese’s closet, or more like her mini-museum, was the dream project of all dream projects. Honestly an unbelievable experience! Organizing for Catherine O’Hara, and color-sorting Moira Rose’s [her character on Schitt’s Creek] wigs, would be another dream of ours.
Top Three Organizing Tips from The Home Edit
It’s OK to own things as long as you want it, need it or find it sentimental. Our rule of thumb is you get the item, or you get the space, but you don’t get both. Be honest with yourself, and choose wisely!
Create a labeling system. Labels offer a road map to where items live. It’s also a guilt mechanism for when you try to put things where they don’t belong.
If the system isn’t working for you, switch it up so it does. Since new items will be added, it’s important to set aside some time each month to check in and purge anything that isn’t necessary.