Premium

The golden rules of successful decluttering, by the organisers to the stars

The Home Edit’s Joanna Teplin (left) and Clea Shearer
Joanna Teplin (left) and Clea Shearer of Nashville-based organising company The Home Edit Credit: The Home Edit

With a new Netflix series in the works and a collection of their own-brand 
storage products coming to the UK, organisers to the stars The Home Edit reveal their tips and tricks for creating a colourful, functional space

For home organisers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, aka The Home Edit, there’s no such thing as a throwaway space. ‘Every cupboard and every drawer in your home is valuable,’ says Joanna. ‘It’s prime real estate, so you might as well maximise it. I want every drawer to have things that I love and use, and for it to look good every time I open it.’

Since they launched their decluttering service in Nashville just over four years ago, the pair have stormed Instagram with pictures of the perfectly styled pantries, cupboards and closets of their A-list clients (Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Reese Witherspoon among them; Reese is such a big fan, she’s producing their new Netflix show). Their feed is a smorgasbord of colour-coded shelves and stacks of neatly labelled boxes. ‘By having something that looks beautiful, the joy that it brings, you’re motivated to maintain it,’ says Clea. ‘You’ve already put the work in.’

At the heart of their approach, however, is creating a system that works for you. So if you want to get your house in order, where do you start? Read their on-point advice over the page…

 The wardrobe

Colour-coding clothes could be the way to go  Credit: The Home Edit

Joanna: Unless you’re buying new wardrobes, or having 
them built, a wardrobe is quite prescriptive in terms of the 
space you have for hanging and folding things, and you have 
to work with that. We always colour-code clothes, so if you’re looking for a white shirt you 
know where to go. If you don’t have drawers, put baskets on shelves instead, and invest in some stackable shoe boxes.

Children’s rooms

Clea: It’s not that mess can’t be made; just that it needs to be easy to clear it up. Keep the system simple and don’t get too micro with it. Just have a big basket 
for trains, another for dolls and another for dressing-up clothes, for example, rather than separating everything out.

The playroom in Gwyneth Paltrow's Hamptons home, as organised by The Home Edit Credit: The Home Edit

Use containers that are lightweight and easy to open, things children can use and grab themselves. We organise everything by colour 
– as we did here in Gwyneth Paltrow’s playroom in the Hamptons. Kids understand colour-coding so they can put it all back themselves, which 
is the goal.

The kitchen

Clea: This is one of the most significant rooms, and one of the most complicated when it comes to storage, because there are so many options. We spent 12 hours on a very small pantry once. We tend to break it down into six main categories: breakfast, dinner, snacks, sweets, cooking and baking.

You could just have one basket for each category, which works well if you have a small kitchen. If you have more space, think about things you use most regularly – for example rice, flour or oats – and store them in jars. Ultimately, it’s about working out how you want it to function, and then how you want it to look. 

The hallway

Joanna: Think about who uses it, and what they do when they come in. If you have kids and they come home aor nd throw their shoes and bags on the floor, you’re not going to get 
them to put their belongings somewhere else, 
so instead give them each a basket to throw their things in.

The bathroom

Joanna: Have a daily drawer for things you access every day, like your toothbrush and moisturiser. It depends on how much space you have and what your routine is, but you don’t need to put that mask you use once a month with your toothpaste and cotton pads. It’s fun to have a little cart for make-up and hair products that you can move around – especially useful in smaller spaces.

Bathroom organisers can really help a small space Credit: The Home Edit

The Home Edit: Conquering the clutter with style by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin is published by Mitchell Beazley, £22.00, www.octopusbooks.co.uk