“Be more organized” may be at the top of our list of New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean we always know the best way to do it. That’s why whenever we’re stuck, we find ourselves scrolling through The Home Edit’s Instagram feed for inspo. Having transformed pantries and linen closets for everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Mandy Moore (and even a few of us regular folks), Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit have elevated organization to a fine art, and racked up some serious wisdom about what works and what doesn’t. We asked the two organizational superstars for their top tips for achieving organizational bliss, and trust us — they didn’t disappoint.
1. Organize for your actual life, not your dream life. You might love how a particular organizational system looks, but if it doesn’t work for you, you won’t stick with it — and then what’s the point? “It’s important to understand how busy someone is when we are creating systems for them. If they have kids and a full-time job, they might not want to come home from the grocery store and empty everything into jars. If that’s the case, it would make more sense to integrate baskets for general categories like ‘dinner’ rather than a jar for each type of pasta,” Shearer and Teplin say.
2. Do a periodic reset. Staying organized is a moving target, and your needs and habits change more frequently than you think. “It’s ALWAYS a good idea to reset your systems once or twice a year. Organization requires maintenance, even in our own homes. Whether you commit to a reset in January, [during] a good spring clean, or at the end of the school year, it’s helpful to purge items you didn’t use throughout the year and rotate categories into storage,” the duo tells us.
3. Give yourself some breathing room. This tip comes from Teplin and Shearer’s experience working with celebrities, who are perpetually receiving new items: Resist the urge to use up every inch of space. If your home is full at the outset of your organizational endeavors, you’re only a week or two away from things feeling cluttered. “We utilize additional baskets to accommodate incoming items, and then we leave breathing room throughout the space so that new items can be easily integrated,” the pair says.
4. Find a tool that works, then repeat that success throughout the house. Shearer and Teplin swear by divided turntables to bring order to every room. “We use it all over the house: in the playroom for art supplies, under the kitchen sink for cleaning supplies, in the front hall closet for pharmacy and first-aid, in the bathroom for hair products, and in the pantry for oils and vinegars,” they say. If you find something that works for you, don’t let yourself be limited by how it’s “supposed” to be used. Think creatively about what other rooms could benefit from the same system, and if it works, use it!
5. Think small. Sometimes it’s the smallest space that makes the biggest difference. “People tend to start with large spaces like closets and pantries, but never underestimate the impact of an organized junk drawer — a ‘junk-drawer-no-more!’ — or the daily bathroom drawer,” Teplin and Shearer tell us. Think about the spaces that you come in contact with most during your daily routine, and notice how improving those areas could really benefit you. You may find that making just a few tweaks dramatically improves your day-to-day.
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(Photos via The Home Edit)