Home Edit Reality Check

Last week I was at Tim Horton’s for a quick washroom break and I happened to overhear a conversation. A lady said to her friend, “You have to read this book and watch the series on Netflix.” Then, she passes a copy of The Home Edit to her friend. I immediately thought to myself, “Geesh, I really need to write that book about home organizing I’ve been pondering for the last few years.” And wouldn’t it be cool to have a series on Netflix? Perhaps one of these days our Canadian TV series “The Big Downsize” will end up there. It’s always possible.

Anyway, I digress. Back to The Home Edit book and television series that’s all the rage. I read the book in a few evenings last week. It didn’t take long because it’s all pictures and a few words. I do love a good picture book and I must say most of them are pretty enticing. There is nothing quite as appealing as a row of clear jars all perfectly labelled. Or a shelf with matching banana leaf baskets and gorgeous black labels. Seeing designer shoes lined up on the perfect shelving made just for that purpose, is simply beautiful.

As you can imagine I’ve always been obsessed with this level of organization. And because I’m a Professional Organizer and Interior Decorator, I aim to achieve the perfect marriage of visual appeal and function with every client. However, there is a fine line between something that looks amazing and is functional at the same time. It’s not as easy as it looks.

identical bins neatly on shelves with shoes lined up in order on shelves below
A Closet Organizing Project for One of My Clients – I Do Love the Matching Bins

One thing I notice the most as I browse all those fabulous pictures is their clients have a lot of stuff. And I mean a lot. Apparently, a large quantity of the same item perfectly placed on a shelf is more visually appealing than a few of each thing. As many of you know, I’m not a huge fan of a lot. My philosophy will always be the easiest way to get and stay organized is to own as little as possible without depriving yourself of the joy of things that are important to you.

There is nothing unusual about the way they are teaching you to organize. Sort your items into like categories, place them as close as you can to where you use them (especially items you use regularly), and put them in labelled containers. The only thing that is different is that they like to display things like clothing, books, and craft supplies according to the colours of the rainbow. I’m not convinced it’s worth all that sorting, but until I try it with someone or until one of you lets me know how long it stays that way, I can’t knock it.

the home edit book sitting upright on a table

If everyone in your household puts things back exactly where they belong, things should stay looking perfect. Unless, of course, you buy something new and then it has to fit into the perfectly organized system. You should always consider how your organizing system can change as your needs change and how difficult it is to maintain.

A word of warning, if you are a perfectionist, The Home Edit book can be dangerous. There is near perfection throughout. I’m now kind of obsessed myself. I feel the need to have all of the containers in my home match and label everything. However, because I own very little that is completely unnecessary but it sure would look pretty!

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