Book Review: The Home Edit

homeeditTitle: The Home Edit
Author: Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
Genre: Self-help
Publisher: Clarkson Potter Publishers
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Pages: 256
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: August 27, 2019

Goodreads Description: There’s decorating, and then there’s organizing. From the Instagram-sensation home experts (with a serious fan club that includes Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mindy Kaling), here is an accessible, room-by-room guide to establishing new order in your home.

Believe this: every single space in your house has the potential to function efficiently and look great. The mishmash of summer and winter clothes in the closet? Yep. Even the dreaded junk drawer? Consider it done. And the best news: it’s not hard to do–in fact, it’s a lot of fun.

From the home organizers who made their orderly eye candy themethod that everyone swears by comes Joanna and Clea’s signature approach to decluttering. The Home Edit walks you through paring down your belongings in every room, arranging them in a stunning and easy-to-find way (hello, labels!), and maintaining the system so you don’t need another do-over in six months. When you’re done, you’ll not only know exactly where to find things, but you’ll also love the way it looks.

A masterclass and look book in one, The Home Edit is filled with bright photographs and detailed tips, from placing plastic dishware in a drawer where little hands can reach to categorizing pantry items by color (there’s nothing like a little ROYGBIV to soothe the soul). Above all, it’s like having your best friends at your side to help you turn the chaos into calm.

My Review: The authors of The Home Edit have their own home organization business. They have a good collaboration, as one focuses on practical use and one focuses on aesthetically pleasing. Both ideas are difficult for me to grasp when I am organizing my house, so I was more than ready to hear some functional organizing tips that also look good.

They start off with the practical:

  1. Don’t keep things you are not going to use.
  2. Don’t buy more items than you have space for, so understand your space restrictions. If you are bringing things into the house, make sure you are taking things out of the house. (This bit of advice was particularly helpful to me. I tend to buy and stock up on household items when they are on sale and then have no idea where to put them when I get home.)
  3. Don’t try to tackle too much at one time. Start with one drawer.
  4. Everything should have a place.

Then they go into the functional but also looks great part of organizing. This tends to be the part that most people enjoy. Not many people like to go through their belongs and toss things and then try to decide where to put the items they are keeping. However, labeling and shopping for storage containers, etc. seem to bring more joy to the task. Personally, I am not sure I like any part of organizing, but when your life is crazy busy, being organized and knowing where your belongings are should be one less thing you need to stress about.

Here are some ways to get started on this part of organizing:

  1. Once you know everything that you have, design a system that is functional and looks good.
  2. Invest in shoe box containers (not the cardboard ones your shoe purchases come in).
  3. Having see-through containers means that you don’t necessarily need to label.
  4. Invest in over-the-door hanging organizers.
  5. Get in the habit of putting everything in its designated place, but also be prepared that things may not stay perfect.

While this was an enjoyable read, I found the authors need to constantly name drop a bit of a turnoff. In the Introduction, the reader becomes aware that the authors have done organization projects for many celebrities. I think it is a negative toward their home organizing points by using their projects for celebrities as everyday examples, because the average reader of this book is looking at organizing stuff into a much smaller space and with a much smaller budget. I didn’t feel like this book catered that much to someone on a tight budget. I went into the Container Store once, so I could get some organizing supplies and was totally shocked by how expensive many of the containers and organizers were. I am looking for much more affordable options, and didn’t feel that they really helped me understand where to get things that were affordable. However, I am aware that I listened to this audiobook through my library and apparently there is a downloadable pdf that is normally included with this audiobook that I did not receive.

I would normally have given this book more like a 3 out of 5 stars. However, while I found that much of the book wasn’t as helpful as I would have liked, the authors were humorous and personable and made this book a much more enjoyable read than most home organizing books tend to be, so it has earned my 4 out of 5 stars. The following passage really made me laugh hard:

“Top 5 ways to keep your entry looking picture-perfect at all times:

  1. Live alone.
  2. Make sure your kids use a separate entrance. 
  3. Don’t own things.
  4. Change your mailing address to your neighbors and pick up your mail once a week.
  5. Start going places without shoes or jackets, so there is nothing to take off when you walk in the door.”

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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