When I heard there was a new organising TV series coming to Netflix, I had two simultaneous but opposing reactions.

The Home Edit loves rainbows

  1. Yay! There’s another show that will raise awareness about our industry and highlight the benefits of getting organised
  2. Ugh! There’s another show that will create unrealistic expectations about our industry and I’ll have to re-educate people all over again (No, I don’t make you get rid of everything that doesn’t “spark joy”, and No, I can’t organise your whole house in a weekend by putting everything under a tent on the lawn so you can sort through it.)

But ultimately, my feelings settled on “Ok, let’s give Get Organized with The Home Edit a go so at least I can make an informed comment about it one way or another”.

To be clear, I must confess that I have so far watched one and a half episodes. That’s partly because I think about organising all day long for my work, and when I watch TV I like to switch off and watch something entirely different. When will we get the latest season of Great British Bake Off in Australia? I am desperate to know. The other reason is I have to keep pausing the Home Edit action so I can write notes for this article. I find I have a lot of thoughts about it. And to my surprise and delight, they are not all negative.

From the advertising, I thought that the show was entirely about organising in celebrities’ homes. I’m pleased to see that is not the case. How about you? What were your expectations from this show?

In case you, like me, had never heard of The Home Edit before, you should know that it is an organising business based in the US. They sell products – lots of products! – and services and are Insta-famous. They are big fans of “the rainbow”, i.e. colour coordinating stuff, and when you visit their website you get a lot of pop up ads for other stuff that has nothing to do with organising.

Anyway, they have a big following on social media – 3.6 million on Instagram, 49,000 on Pinterest, and 161,500ish on Facebook at the time of writing. And now they have a large following on Netflix.

Here’s a question for you. If Reece Witherspoon called you up and asked you to come and organise a wardrobe in her new home, would you say yes? I sure would. We know that’s unlikely to happen, especially since now she’s already had Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit do that for her. But this was not any ordinary wardrobe organising project. This was (some of) Reece’s precious movie and award night collections.

What an honour, to be asked to handle these treasures. It reminded me of one of the very first fellow organisers I met who had previously worked as a museologist. In her organising career, this lady (wish I could remember her name) curated, catalogued and archived the collections of the very wealthy, from art to books to jewellery. I heard her speak once about the importance of protecting the items by using archival quality containers and papers. A fascinating example of the breadth of organising services and client needs.

So with that in mind I was pleased to see that The Home Edit team wore gloves and treated Reece’s dresses and accessories with care. But there was a moment I shouted at the screen, “Get that lipstick off!” Seriously, if your hands need gloves to handle a client’s priceless things, lipstick and makeup should be nowhere nearby. Imagine having to explain a wax and oil peach coloured stain to a client. I guess that’s what insurance is for.

There’s one other thing I would have done differently for Reece’s wardrobe project. I would have taken stock of all the items in the collection, including how much space each category required, before moving shelves and bringing in boxes and “product”. Maybe that scene lay on the cutting room floor?

Ok, now on to the second part of that first episode. The non-celebrity client. Wasn’t it great to see that the woman could now access – and easily put away – her work-related clothes, as well as all her other clothes? I like how they took into account her preferences and needs. The end result seemed to work well. What did you think?

A few words on “TV Organising” versus “Real World Organising”.

  1. On TV, it seems cute to have your friends arrange a surprise organising party. In reality, few people would enjoy being told, “We’re coming to declutter and organise your wardrobe, ready or not”. Organising is a very personal thing. The client or friend needs to be ready and willing. It’s best to let them make the first move.
  2. On TV, wardrobes are well lit with lots of space for a couple of organisers plus a film and sound crew. There’s lots of room for everything you need, and never contains anything that doesn’t belong. The end result always looks beautiful and the client never misplaces anything or throws their jeans on the floor again. In reality, wardrobes are dim places with insufficient lighting and a layer of dust. They are usually crammed with not only clothes, shoes and accessories but also boxes of things like archived papers and Christmas decorations. The organiser works to make it a functional space that may or may not look beautiful, and those Christmas decorations find a home somewhere else in the home… which also needs organising help.
  3. On TV, organisers arrive with a team (and a film crew) and “product”, whatever the heck that is. The client disappears from the scene. The team of organisers quickly put items into the products, label with customised labels. The client returns, is surprised and happy. In reality, a single organiser arrives, assesses the client’s wants and needs, the space and its limitations, creates a plan which the client agrees to, makes good use of the “product” the client has stockpiled in hopes of becoming more organised. The client and organiser work together. There may or may not be labels and the client is happy.

I will watch the rest of the Get Organized with The Home Edit series. It’s a bit of fun. I’m curious. Have you watched it? What did you think?

  1. Ingrid 4 years ago

    I love seeing loads of stuff on the floor all come together neatly!
    I am a neat and organised person and I watch this series for entertainment value. It really is satisfying to see things all in clear boxes and everything in its place.

    Another thing I love about this series is that they create zones for things in kitchens or kid’s playrooms.

    I should be an organiser!

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 4 years ago

      Indeed! Ingrid, most organisers start out just like that.

  2. LEESA MICHELLE KOTIS 4 years ago

    I can’t say I’m a huge fan although I have picked up one thing from each episode so far. I have only watched three. The over-acted oohs and aahs I find too much. My husband watched one episode with me and announced that he couldn’t watch anymore. Usually he likes watching organising shows with me. I do find it strange that the non-celebrity client is sent off and does not do any of the decision making. Maybe this is done pre-production. I’m still sitting on the fence with this one.

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 4 years ago

      I agree Leesa, about the non-celebrity client. Come to think of it, I don’t recall if they discarded any clothes in her wardrobe. Maybe they just rearranged them? I’m going to have to watch some more because we’re discussing this show at our next POs of Melbourne meeting.

  3. Leah Cee 4 years ago

    The more I think about it, the more I feel like Reese Witherspoon’s “makeover” was entirely staged. Firstly she’s the Executive Producer so she has control over the content, budget and marketing of this show.
    How do we get people to watch? Get celebs involved. How can we get the pilot or Ep 1 off the ground? Easy – come to my joint and pretend to sort my costumes out. Won’t cost much to shoot and it’ll be great telly because everyone knows those outfits and there’s familiarity already.
    Maybe it’s the cynic in me but 30 years of TV production will do that.
    I remember reading an article possibly a couple of years ago now about the connection between The Home Edit and Reese so they’ve had a while to work on this show. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s much substance to it – especially the actual Edit part. But then they don’t want to give away their secrets to decluttering or people won’t hire them – except the rich and famous who are probably the only people who can afford them!

    I like that it’s bringing light to the organising movement and hopefully creating awareness about cutting back on consumerism but given the Home Edit are affiliated with The Container Store it’s almost taking the opposite approach.

    I’ll keep watching but it’s so typically “American” and shows just how materialistic the western world has become.

    There’s a lot of hype and high pitched talking over each other which is annoying.
    But who doesn’t love a before and after which I’m sure is number one priority in the production meetings.

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 4 years ago

      Leah, your insight about it being staged is right on. Reece is a savvy businesswoman and has tapped into a niche, then added her own special sauce to spice it up and draw the crowd.

      The only point I disagree with you on is the before and after factor. I personally hate the visual before & after. It often just looks “tidied up”. But I do love a transformation, which takes into account much more than the visuals. When the functionality and “feels” are enhanced, I love that.

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