The Home Edit

I finally skimmed the book The Home Edit. (Which appeared mysteriously in my house a while back; probably someone donated it to my Little Free Library and I just forgot that was where it came from.) Kind of interesting.

The core idea seems to be, for each disorganized space in your house, do roughly the following:

  1. Completely empty it out.
  2. Examine every item that was in it. For each item:
    • If you don’t have a reason to keep it, get rid of it.
    • If you do have a reason to keep it, group it with other related items that you’re keeping.
  3. Put organizing containers into the space, and label them.
  4. Put the groups of items into the organizing containers.

That seems fairly reasonable to me as a general approach—it makes some assumptions about how much space you have, how much time you have, how much executive function and physical mobility you have, etc, but it seems like something along those lines could be vaguely workable for me.

(The organizer thing is kind of like the approach that a silverware drawer uses, but they’re applying that approach to all other drawers and cabinets and closets and rooms.)

But I’m finding that part of my resistance to doing this sort of organization in my own space is a purely aesthetic one:

I mostly don’t much like the common organizer aesthetic.

The photos in this book are full of white shelves, clear or white plastic stackable containers, open-topped rectangular baskets, door-hanging organizers, etc, mostly labeled with black labels with white hand-written words on them. There’s nothing at all wrong with this aesthetic, but it’s not mine. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except that I feel like it’s the standard aesthetic for home organizing these days. The Container Store is full of stuff that looks like this. Home-decor stores too.

I don’t know what I would like better. I like dark wood, but I don’t know that a dark wooden silverware-drawer organizer would really be my thing. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen organizing containers as such that appealed to me.

(I guess I do like some glass-jars-with-lids of the sorts that some people use in pantries. But I have very little stuff that I would want to store in those. And I generally dislike the idea of removing stuff from its packaging before storing it.)

I’m not actively looking for better ways to organize my home, so this isn’t a big deal. (No organizing advice, please.) But I do think it’s interesting that one of the obstacles to this kind of thing for me is how it would look.

Join the Conversation