Home & Style

A Q&A With the Home Edit’s Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

The home-organization gurus share tidying tips ahead of their DC visit.

Photograph by John Shearer/The Home Edit.

It’s time to grab your storage bins and label makers. The leading ladies behind the organizing company The Home Edit are coming to DC this month as a part of their first-ever “Summer of Fun Tour.”

When founders Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin started the company eight years ago with the goal of merging organizing with interior design, the duo had no idea they would attract several celebrity clients and amass millions of devotees. Today, the pair has written two New York Times bestselling books and have an Emmy-nominated Netflix show, Get Organized With the Home Edit.

During their tour, the two best friends will share funny stories and their secrets about how to edit and organize your home and office spaces. They’ll stop at the Lincoln Theater on Wednesday, July 26. Tickets for the show start at $79.

Washingtonian emailed with Shearer and Teplin to talk about their tips for organizing beginners. The duo answered our questions together as a team.

A lot of people find organizing their home to be overwhelming. Where do you recommend people begin, and how can they learn to enjoy it?

Organize for yourself first. In high-traffic areas, like your bathroom, you’ll be able to feel the difference of having an organized space immediately. If you take pride in it, you’ll also want to keep it that way.

If you’re just getting started, create a daily drawer so that you’ll be able to easily access all the items you need every morning and night. Then you can move on to bigger projects, like under the sink or the pantry. Another tip is to work on one space at a time, and don’t start on a new space before the other is finished.

Your space is oftentimes one of the only things you have total control over. When you come home from work after a busy day, you want to enter into a space that doesn’t add to any unnecessary stress, if you can help it. Keeping your home organized will help declutter your mind, too.

What’s are guidelines to keep in mind as you tackle a project?

Make sure you account for the items that may end up entering the space but aren’t there yet. For example, we always ask clients with a pantry if this is the typical amount of food they have or if they’re heading to the grocery store soon. You can adjust your zones and products accordingly. And if you’re a maximalist, make sure you are maximizing your space. Always take advantage of vertical storage, such as shelving units and over-the-door racks.

What are your top three organizational hacks?

Museum Gel is a must-have in any organizer’s bag. It helps stick down drawer inserts so they stay put with all your items inside.

Don’t forget measuring tape. This is less of a hack and more of a general PSA. Your life will be so much easier if you do the leg work before. It will save you time and money.

And add a label to your stored food, whether it’s hand-written on the bottom of a canister to let you know the expiration date or a label with the name of the item. It makes it easier to put items back and you won’t wonder how long your flour has until it goes bad. We also recommend buying back stock so you always have essential supplies on hand.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.