Today I’m starting a new series on the blog called “Book Takeaways.” In the series, I’ll be sharing key takeaways from non-fiction books that I read. These posts won’t be full-fledged book reviews, but rather a “cut to the chase” of what I deem key points, or takeaways, from the book. An alternate title to this series could be: “I Read This Book So You Don’t Have To!” But really, while there’s no substitute to reading a book on your own, I hope this series can serve as a sort of CliffsNotes for books on various topics.
First book up? The Home Edit Life: The No Guilt Guide to Owning What You Want and Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin.
“The authors of The Home Edit and stars of the Netflix series ‘Get Organized with The Home Edit’ teach you how to apply their genius, holistic approach to your work life, on-the-go necessities, and technology.
At home or on the go, you don’t have to live like a minimalist to feel happy and calm. The Home Edit mentality is all about embracing your life—whether you’re a busy mom, a roommate living with three, or someone who’s always traveling for work. You just need to know how to set up a system that works for you.
In the next phase of the home organizing craze, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin go beyond the pantry and bookshelf to show you how to contain the chaos in all aspects of your life, from office space and holiday storage to luggage and pet supplies. Get to know your organizing style, tailor it to your family’s lifestyle, and lead the low-guilt life as you apply more genius ideas to every aspect of your life.
Clea and Joanna are here to remind you that “it’s okay to own things” in the quest for pretty and smart spaces. With The Home Edit Life, you’ll soon be corralling phone cords, archiving old photos, arranging your phone apps by color, and packing your suitcase like a pro.”
- Nashville-based founders Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin started The Home Edit in 2015.
- Home organization has been a huge trend in recent years (Marie Kondo, minimalism) and The Home Edit is currently all the rage!
- The Home Edit has amassed a cult following as evidenced by their 4.3 million (and counting!) Instagram followers.
- The Home Edit has an incredibly long list of celebrity clients including Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon and the Kardashians.
- The Netflix series Get Organized With the Home Edit debuted in September 2020.
- The Home Edit has a line of organization accessories at the Container Store.
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- It’s okay to own things when: it’s for your self-care, you need to stay plugged in, you’re always on the go, it’s for your work life, you have kids, you have pets, you love to celebrate, it serves a purpose and it makes you happy.
- Organization is different from minimalism. Minimalism is living with less and organization is an efficient and orderly arrangement of things or tasks. Minimalism is a design style and a lifestyle choice, whereas being organized doesn’t mean you need to own fewer things. It means you need to be thoughtful about what you do own. You need to treat your things and your space with equal respect.
- The 80/20 Philosophy: Keep your home no more than 80 percent full and reserve at least 20 percent for breathing room. Having room to grow is an integral part of the process. Once you cross 80 percent capacity, you run the risk of losing control of your space.
“One of our core beliefs is that you get the item or you get the space but you don’t get both.”-THE HOME EDIT LIFE
Top 5 Tips to Avoid Running Out of Space:
1. Never buy more hangers.
2. Contain everything so you know when you’ve exceeded your designated space.
3. With every new purchase, ask yourself, “Where is this going to live?” If you don’t have an answer, it doesn’t go home with you.
4. Set aside time once or twice a year to revisit and edit your spaces.
5. Wear a shock collar that physically stops you from leaving the house and buying more items. (<– Ha!)
- When you create systems that flow with your daily routine and the items that encompass it, life becomes easier to manage and can lead to a happier and clearer mind.
- The best way to organize any and every space is to first make it as functional as possible, then make it as beautiful as possible. It’s imperative that you operate in this order because if you’re only trying to make a space look good, it won’t function properly, and it’ll end up deteriorating. If you start with what’s smart, you can always boost the style after the systems are in place.
- It’s helpful to think in terms of zones – the boundaries that will contain your different kinds of stuff. They can be large zones you set up in a pantry (such as cooking staples, food and storage items), or small zones that section off a beauty supply drawer in your bathroom (such as cotton balls, makeup, nail polish and face wipes). These thematic boundaries are both healthy and helpful. They not only give the items a designated space, but they also hold you accountable for not exceeding that space.
1. Contain the entire category. For example, put all snacks together so you don’t lose any or buy some again because you can’t take stock of all of them at a glance.
2. Create a flow that makes logical sense. Your goal is to create an order for your zones that’s intuitive to follow. A couple of examples: The food zone would have a day-to-night flow, from breakfast items to dinner items and snacks can flow into sweets. In a playroom, you could have a quiet zone for coloring and reading and play zone for building blocks and dress-up. Contextualizing each zone helps to strengthen the system because there is genuine thought behind each and every decision, so the system is less likely to fail.
3. Consider who is using the space. Where and how you position your zones is key to successful maintenance. Do you need to keep items on low shelves for your kids to reach by themselves or on a high shelf out of their reach?
- Daily drawers belong in every bathroom.
- Keep heavy items on lower shelves.
- Stackable drawers: The benefit of this setup is that the space limitations in each drawer keep you from overbuying supplies. Everyone needs pens, but no one needs more than a single drawer full.
- Packing cubes are a game-changer for your suitcase and make packing and unpacking so much easier. The trick is finding a set that fits what you regularly pack.
- There’s always a storage solution but some require unconventional thinking so you should shop in all sections of the store. A few examples: Store wrapping paper in magazine holders and wastebaskets, store yarn in clear magazine holders and store sewing supplies in a divided tea organizer.
Tips on Kid Clutter:
1. If it’s broken: It goes in the trash immediately. You won’t fix it, you can’t donate it and your best friend’s daughter doesn’t want a broken toy.
2. If it’s missing a part: See above.
3. If they’ve outgrown it: You can either (a) hold on to it for your next child, or (b) pass it on to a friend’s appropriately aged child.
4. If they love it but you don’t: They get to keep it. Yes, it’s your home but it’s their childhood. The second they lose interest, however, it’s fair game to donate.
5. If it’s too special to part with: You never, ever need to get rid of things that are special to you. But it’s imperative you store these items in a way that honors their importance. Whether it’s their first blanket, their childhood favorite toy or a graduation cap and gown, it should all be binned up and labeled. Otherwise, you are just letting your most sentimental items gather dust and will eventually lose track of where they are.
- Always create a focal spot. Even the smallest touch can make a space shine. Consider everything from a canister collection in a pantry to a handbag displayed in a closet.
- Be spatially aware. Look at the entire space before implementing anything. You want to make sure you are taking advantage of all available room evenly.
- Uniformity is key. Pick your products wisely and consistently. Having mismatched pieces makes a space look disheveled and disconnected.
- ROYGBIV whenever possible. If it makes sense, go ahead and line things up according to the rainbow. Many times, this is part of a functional system but sometimes it’s just for fun.
- Add a label. Most of the time a label is part of a system that helps keep the space organized. But sometimes. A label can be used just for its aesthetic value and that’s okay, too. The better a space looks, the more likely you are to maintain it.
- Wipe down surfaces. It may seem obvious, but cleaning your room goes a long way in making a space feel tidier.
“We can make all sorts of cases for why people need to own all sorts of things but the best defense for owning something is that it makes you happy.”-THE HOME EDIT LIFE
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK:
- The photos. In a book about organizing, photos are crucial for understanding concepts and gathering ideas and inspiration. There are lots of photos in the book and they’re all bright and beautiful!
- The humor and conversational style of writing. Clea and Joanna inject their trademark humor and it truly feels like they’re talking to you like you’re their best friend!
- The “True Story” tidbits. These appear throughout the book and are fun – and often funny – facts that occurred while they were organizing a client’s space.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER:
I enjoyed the book, but I feel like I got a little more value from watching their Netflix series, Get Organized With the Home Edit. The Home Edit blog, Instagram and YouTube series all offer a ton of great information as well!
WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK:
Anyone looking for ideas and inspiration to get organized and The Home Edit superfans!
Click HERE to read more ‘Book Takeaways.’