A home edit is many things, and each component is customizable as well as personal. It’s a movement publicized by organizing professionals Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin on The Home Edit website. At its core, a home edit is a process of organizing your home. But it’s more than just organizing the books and glassware—it’s creating a space you love, incorporating your style, and melding interior design with organization so the tidying products double as decor.
If you’re ready to tackle your own home edit, you’ll need to create a plan and rely on a timeline to get it all done.
Step 1 - Make a List for Each Space
Your space might be one or many, but the first step is to create a “to-do” list for each space. In the bedroom, that might include his closet, her closet, shoe closet, jackets, linens, paperwork, dresser drawers, etc.
The garage list will likely be long, but work in quadrants and identify groups of sporting goods, canning supplies, paints, pet supplies, yard tools, etc.
In the kitchen, break your list down too. The pantry is a big job in most households. Then there are utensils, platters, measuring cups and spoons, spices, linens, and so much more.
Step 2 - Create a Timeline
Making lists is a great way to get the swirling ideas out of your head, but it doesn’t help actually get anything done. After you’ve penned those detailed lists, it’s time to create a timeline for the projects of your future.
Be realistic here. A junk drawer can take all day. Always estimate double the amount of time you think it will take. Also, consider whether you’ll be ordering supplies such as totes, a new bookcase, a label maker, or fabric boxes. Obviously, your project won’t be complete without them, so factor in time for shopping and/or shipping.
Some projects may be completed on a work night, such as sorting DVDs, while others may be more than a weekend warrior can tackle. Give yourself plenty of breathing room, so you don’t fall behind schedule. You can always work ahead!
Step 3 - Order or Make Supplies
The fun part of making your own drawer dividers, wood boxes, decoupaged totes, and cute mini chalkboard basket labels is adding your own touch. Plus, you’ll take pride in completing the work yourself. Having said that, don’t stress yourself out over making every organizational supply. Place an order instead if that will help move the project along.
Step 4 - Sort
The single most essential step in any home organization is sorting items. Be critical during the step if you truly want an organized space. Don’t simply move items from one space to another or empty contents from one container to a new one with a label. The goal is to know where every item you own belongs and to make sure every item you own has a function or is something you love, so the less you have to keep track of, the better.
Be discriminate. Sort your items into three piles: keep, garbage, donate. Garbage and donations are easy to get rid of, and enjoy how good it feels! You may also have items you can sell, which is another accomplishment. Just make sure you don’t get bogged down by intending to sell items that end up taking up space for months or years instead.
Step 5 - Implement Organization
Now the fun begins. With a clear idea of what you want to keep, make sure each of those items belongs in the space you’re organizing. For example, if you’re working on your work shoe closet, consider whether your rain boots might be better off in the garage. We have a habit of putting things where we are used to seeing them without really thinking about whether they make sense there.
At this point, decide what makes you happy and how you best function. If you do most of the cooking, adjust kitchen shelves to your height. If your six-foot husband does most of the cooking, adjust accordingly. Are you right or left-handed? What items do you use the most frequently? Do you prefer your clothing to be sorted by color, sleeve length, or season?
Step 6 - Use Labels
In the pantry, the closet, the office, the garage--everywhere! Label totes, even if they are clear. Label shelves and book spines and rolling tool organizer drawers. The best way for the entire family to know where items belong is with proper organization. This helps everyone find items and put them back in their proper place, which is the central component to staying organized. Use a label-making machine or tie labels onto the front of baskets and other containers.
There are countless reasons to perform your own home edit. From the money you’ll save by not buying duplicates to the decluttered mind from the sense of calm and organized space brings, your home edit is a healthy and budget boosting goal!
Dawn Hammon has thrived in freelance writing and editor roles for nearly a decade. She has lived, worked, and attended school in Oregon for many years. Dawn currently spends her days convincing her children she is still smarter than them while creating new experiences with her husband of 24 years.&nbsp;
Her multiple interests have led her to frequently undergo home improvement projects. She enjoys sharing the hard-earned knowledge that comes with it with the audience of DoItYourself.com. Dawn and her sister make up a power-tool loving duo that teaches classes to local women with the goal of empowering them to tackle their fears and become comfortable with power tools.
Tapping into her enthusiasm for saving money and devotion to sustainable practices, Dawn has recently launched a passion project aimed at connecting eco-friendly products and socially-responsible companies with consumers interested in making conscientious purchases, better informing themselves about products on the market, and taking a stand in favor of helping to save the planet.
When she is not providing stellar online content for local, national, and international businesses or trolling the internet for organic cotton clothing, you might find her backpacking nearby hills and valleys, traveling to remote parts of the globe, or expanding her vocabulary in a competitive game of Scrabble.
Dawn holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, which these days she mostly uses to provide therapy for her kids and spouse. Most recently, I worked for a small local professional organizing and estate sale company for four years where I learned a ton about organizing and/or disposing of just about anything.
She was raised in a tool-oriented, hands-on, DIY family. Her dad worked in the floor covering business and owned local floor covering businesses, so of course selling floor covering was one of her first jobs. Her brother was a contractor for about 30 years and site supervisor for Habitat for Humanity. I worked with him often, building decks, painting houses, framing in buildings, etc. With her sister, she holds power tool classes to empower women who are scared or have never used them.
Not quite homesteaders, she did grow up with a farm, tractors, motorcycles, expansive gardens, hay fields, barns, and lots of repairs to do. Plus she and her family preserved foods, raised cattle and pigs, chopped and hauled firewood, and performed regular maintenance on two households, outbuildings, fencing, etc.
As an adult, she has owned two houses. The first one she personally ripped out a galley kitchen and opened it up to the living area, plus updated every door, floor covering, and piece of trim in the place. In her current home, she's tackled everything from installing real hardwood flooring to revamping the landscape.