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Expectation vs Reality: Where Netflix’s Home Edit Goes Wrong

If you’ve recently watched The Home Edit on Netflix and feeling less inspired and more embarrassed about your organizing skills – you’re in the right place.

This article’s intention is to temper your expectations of reality TV organizing and allow you to  make smart choices in your own home.

It’s October 2020.

We’re seven months into a global pandemic, and life is stressful.

For many, watching escapist reality TV helps ease the daily stress.  

There’s just one problem – reality shows are rarely based in reality.  And this show could set you up for big disappointment when it comes to organizing your own home.

The Home Edit deserves their success.  They currently have over 4 million followers on Instagram, a thriving organizing business and a lucrative deal with The Container Store.

It’s easy to cut down those who’ve reached a stardom.  The owners clearly work hard and I’m not here to bad mouth them personally.

Sadly, in organizing communities I belong to, I’ve heard them (and Marie Kondo) described as “sell outs.”  Honestly, this just sounds like sour grapes to me.

Netflix's Home Edit Skips Over Decluttering

Listen, purging and decluttering is NOT glamorous work.  Please don’t let The Home Edit convince you that your entire garage can be sorted in an afternoon.  I’m also hesitant of a process where the owners aren’t directly involved in the purging or “editing” process.

This is a deeply personal journey that has the power to change your life forever.

Walking into a perfect room after leaving for the afternoon sounds great, right?  But taking ownership over the accumulated clutter is a key part of the clearing process.

Containers Aren't a Necessity

The overuse of expensive containers is my biggest concern when it comes to The Home Edit.

Add to this the above mentioned erasure of the purge process, and you have a recipe for DIY organizing disaster.

Just promise me you’ll take clearing and decluttering your belongings seriously.  Because no amount of containers will solve a “too much stuff” problem.

And as slick as the results look on Netflix, it’s okay to reuse containers from around your home to finish off your organizing.

Plus, the carloads of plastic they bring to each work site is terrible for the environment.  I cringe every time they bring in all that “product!”

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Your Home Is Not a Photoshoot

Where are the opened boxes of cereal? The extra cans of coconut milk that don’t fit perfectly in the Container Store shelf risers?

Being organized is as simple as being able to find what you need, when you need it.  Your home doesn’t need to look perfect!

This system will work for some, but it’s not a golden ticket to success.

I personally could never keep up the containment strategy The Home Edit employs.  I get tired just thinking of it.  Yet I’m always able to find everything in my home – and help others do the same.

Enjoy The Home Edit As Entertainment, Not a How-To Show

This show has entertaining moments and you can pick up a few handy tips.

The most universally applicable is to create zones within a room. This will work no matter the size of your home or the amount of containers you use.

Rainbow sorting your 26 pairs of jeans (three of which you actually wear) still means you have 23 extra pairs of jeans that will clutter up your space.  If it’s fun for you to colour code your belongings, go for it.  Just don’t expect magic results.

The Home Edit helped me understand how important minimalist themes are important to the work I do at Clear Your Life.

Because when I see 17 sweaters perfectly folded on a shelf by an organizer, I know there’s a slim chance their client will keep this up. Soon they’ll be drowning in their stuff again.

Keep an open mind and realistic expectations when it comes to these shows, and your home will be much better off.

Find out why your home is still cluttered.

Most people struggle with one of three common challenges when clearing clutter. But once you understand what’s holding you back, you can create a peaceful, calm & inspiring home you love.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Zenana Rose

    I haven’t every watched the show but I agree, minimalism is the way to go! Last year we moved out of a home we lived in for over 14 years. We had SO MUCH decluttering to do! We didn’t even realize how much stuff we accumulated over those 14 years. And most of it we weren’t even really using. Even though we got rid of lots of stuff I still feel like I need to pair down even more. What blog post would you recommend next for helping to pair it down even more? Especially in the office and closet – those are the two areas I have the hardest time. Paper and clothes!

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