The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The 52 Book Club 2022 Challenge Prompt: 7. A non-fiction bestseller

Other Possible Prompts: 5. Chapters have titles, 6. Household object on the cover, 24. Addresses a specific topic, 30. Audiobook is narrated by the author, 40. A book with photographs inside

I recently got a job as a professional organizer and decided to pick up The Home Edit (though that’s not the company I’m working for – just happens to be the easiest-to-access literature at the moment!). At the same time, I started watching the show, which kind of felt like a mistake because I ended up letting their TV personalities bleed into my reading experience. But I digress.

The Home Edit is set up as a how-to game plan to tackle the chaos of your home, and rein it in with baskets and labels. It establishes some principles and ground rules for organizing, and then takes you room by room with tips and tricks and inspiration photos. The book itself is laid out in Clea & Joanna’s preferred order based on project size and emotional weight.

If you need a sense of zen, just perusing the photos of this book ought to do it for you for a little while, at least. I really liked a lot of these spaces, and they look straight out of a magazine. Looking a little closer, though, I don’t know if I would choose to do things the same way they do in many instances. I’ve felt that way sometimes on the job myself. Not everyone is going to organize the same space the same way, which I think might be part of the problem! We can use principles that apply to most everyone to guide us (keep your utensils toward the front of the drawer, alphabetize or rainbow order whenever possible to assist your brain to stay naturally organized…) but your use of items and preferred systems could be totally different than Joanna & Clea’s, or mine, or anyone else’s.

But again, I guess that’s not book criticism!

As for the book, anyways, I liked it overall but was not generally wowed by it. It didn’t feel revolutionary or life changing. Maybe when it came out, it was, but I feel like these might be pretty basic steps for organization by now. Especially in a post-COVID world, where we all became pretty organized anyways… or at least tried.

Further, there’s not enough of the ~process~ in this book. I want to read about how you went from nine boxes of expired cereal to decanted and labeled jars of Cheerios. I think I like the decision making process, the part that comes in between, more than I like the Instagram-able after, which I think is what Joanna and Clea focus on.

That said, much of the advice and principles for organizing are GREAT. The “no guilt” and “do I really need it” guidelines are things I use ALL. The. TIME with friends and family when I help them purge and clean. It doesn’t work on everyone, admittedly, but reading it in this book was like preaching to the choir. A lot of their rules were much the same, and definitely steer the ship so-to-speak for your organizing projects.

I liked this book, but I originally intended on reading the rest of the “series”, if it can be called that, and now I’m not sure. We’ll see where the breeze takes us.

Have a great week friends!