The 80:20 rule and other tricks to keep the house tidy – 08/15/2022

Check out eight tips from the stars of a Netflix series for those who want to keep their home tidy.

Are you desperate for not being able to keep the house tidy? If yes, this article can help.

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are a specialist organization duo known for the show. Get organized with The Home Editavailable on Netflix, in which they break into people’s homes and transform a messy, crowded room into something beautiful and functional.

In addition to the TV series, The Home Edit is a lifestyle brand that offers “full organization services” in cities across the United States and was acquired earlier this year by actress Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine company.

Shearer and Teplin are the bestselling authors The Home Edit Life and creators of several product lines.

On BBC Radio 4’s “Woman’s Hour”, the duo gave several tips to keep the house tidier, as you can see below.

1. ‘Edit’ your stuff

“Editing is a very important part of our system,” says Teplin.

“We named it that because it’s a crucial step for our program.”

The English word “edit”, which appears in the name of the television attraction, means “edition” in the Portuguese translation.

“Editing is a very powerful tool and it doesn’t cost anything.”

“First, put everything you have on display, so you can see it. Then, take a count and inventory of everything you use, need, and love, and get rid of the things that don’t fall under one of these three. categories.”

2. Keep systems simple

“Everyone has their own method,” says Teplin. “But ours is about simplicity and creating systems that are durable, easy to maintain and not too specific.”

“It’s not just about you. Don’t make the system so meticulous that other people can’t fix things. If the systems are simple, everyone can follow it.”

Actress Reese Witherspoon (center) is one of the supporters of Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin's initiative - Getty Images - Getty Images

Actress Reese Witherspoon (center) is one of the supporters of the initiative by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Image: Getty Images

“Systems are better when they are simplified. One example is when we put a basket next to the door to put shoes in,” says Shearer.

“Do they need to be perfectly aligned? No. If it’s important to you that they do, that’s your problem and it’s up to you to take care of it.”

“Everyone should be able to participate in a system. If you find that no one else adheres to it, it’s probably because it’s too complicated.”

3. Use containers

“Use boxes and containers to organize things,” suggests Teplin.

“The absolute rule here is labeling. Label everything, especially the things you can’t see inside a box. Use clear containers for the things you need to see.”

“It’s important that you store supplies and objects in a way that makes sense for the space, items, and daily routine.”

Pots with food in them - BBC - BBC

Pots with food in them

Image: BBC

“In the drawers, mix small and large dividers to suit the exact measurements and what you want to store in them.”

“This usually doesn’t work from the start, so feel free to move the content around until you’re satisfied with the end result.”

4. Stick to the 80:20 rule

“Our general rule of thumb with shipping containers is that if you want to keep a house tidy for the long term, you should never have a space that is more than 80% full,” says Clea. “You should always leave 20% empty.”

“It’s like when you eat: you don’t want to be 100% full because you’ll feel uncomfortable and there won’t be room for dessert. In that case, leaving a free space in the house will do you good.”

“Having a space that’s no more than 80% full gives you a break. And if something new comes into the closet, pantry, or kitchen, there’s a place to put it without having to remove things right away.”

5. Make everything beautiful

“Make storage functional and then make things pretty,” says Shearer.

“Display anything that makes you feel happier and more creative. It could be anything from family photos, a fun wallpaper, or rainbow-colored books organized.”

“First of all, he [o arco-íris] it’s beautiful, no one can dispute that,” says Joanna.

Books sorted by color - BBC - BBC

Books sorted by color

Image: BBC

“This is a beautiful system that we use especially for children, because it lets them know where to put things. If they haven’t learned to read yet, they know that orange books can always be found in a certain order.”

“It’s a system that really unites form and function.”

6. Remove any obstacles

“Really think about who is using the system,” guides Teplin.

“The idea is to remove as many barriers as possible from the start, so don’t place items high up, so you always need a ladder to reach them.”

“On the other hand, think about trying to remove obstacles along the way, so everyone in the house can keep it tidy.”

7. Coil the cables

“Electronic devices like printers and laptops come with a lot of wires attached,” says Shearer.

“Using cable protectors and organizers helps keep it all but cluttered.”

“We also advise adding labels to all wires, which will prevent you from turning off Wi-Fi when you only intended to unplug another device.”

8. Take it easy

“Take it slow and start small,” points out Shearer.

“Don’t start with a big project. Understand all the steps first, the editing process, how to categorize and how to keep things running over time.”

“There aren’t many shortcuts when it comes to organizing, and I wish there were. After all, it would be so much easier if we could just skip to the good part. But remember, it’s a process, and you really can’t. skip any step of it”, concludes the expert.

– This text was originally published at

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