The Five Steps of “The Home Edit”

If you’re anything like me, watching people organize their lives and get rid of clutter is essentially porn. There is just something SO satisfying about seeing file cabinets get organized, clothes get nicely folded and boxes get labeled. Even though I don’t always do a great job of organizing my own belongings, I am always looking for tips on how to make things easier and become just a little bit more orderly. This desire led me to the Netflix hit, “The Home Edit,” where two amazing women go around the country organizing people’s kitchens, closets, bedrooms and more. Since not all of you are seniors only taking twelve credits this semester, instead of making you take time to watch “The Home Edit” (although you definitely should), I’m going to give you the sparknotes in 5 simple steps.

  1. 1. Take everything out

    a person sits crosslegged on the ground folding laundry, including jeans and shirts which sit in piles before them

    The first step to any kind of organization needs to be taking all of your contents out of that space (ie; taking all of your clothes out of the closet). A crucial part of organizing is putting similar items together (which will come up in step #3), but you can’t do that unless you know everything you have.

  2. 2. Edit

    a pile of sneakers, converse and vans sit at the bottom of a closet.

    Once all of the items in the space that you’re organizing are laid out, you can see what you have and what you need to get rid of. Chances are that if the space you’re organizing is cluttered, you have too many things and it could do you good to get rid of some of it. This might involve throwing things away, but also feel free to make donations and/or sell items you see fit.

  3. 3. Categorize

    photo of an organized closet

    This is arguably the most important stage in the organizing process. Categorizing your items involves making “zones” for different groupings of objects. Even in small spaces such as underneath your bathroom sink, zones are key to keeping things orderly because this is how you know where things go. As you decide what categories will make up your zones and where they will go, try to think about what you use the most and make those items the most accessible!

  4. 4. Contain/Label

    I’ve tried to organize my closet many times but it has almost always gone back to being messy within a matter of days because I don’t have the appropriate containers for things. “The Home Edit” has taught me that buying bins and boxes that fit your space, and your items, well makes the biggest difference. In addition to getting quality containers, don’t forget to buy some labels so you remember where things go.

  5. 5. Maintain

    The goal for any type of organization should be to make it a sustainable system, because what’s the point of organizing if you’re just going to mess it up again? As you go through this process, make sure to take the time to be thoughtful about your own habits and what you’re actually going to be able to keep up. For example, if you know that you are not going to have the diligence to put your sneakers back in an exact position every day (like me…), buy a container that is big enough to house all your sneakers thrown together!

The ultimate goal of “The Home Edit” is to make your spaces beautiful AND functional. For me, being organized is a fun and aesthetically pleasing activity but it also helps me be better in other areas of my life because I can find things easily. If you want a more detailed outline of the steps of “The Home Edit,” check out their book and website. Happy organizing!