How Do You Do Your Own Home Edit

person moving box full of home goods in room with open shelving
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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.

woman with glasses checking her stored pantry goods

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!

neat shelving with storage organization baskets

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.

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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.

two people happily cleaning out a cluttered garage

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!

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