The real difference between the Marie Kondo and Home Edit organization methods

It’s 2020 and we’re all spending most of our time indoors thanks to a worldwide pandemic. If you’ve already taught yourself how to make bread, how to crochet, and you’re working on that Duolingo streak, then it might be time to gain a new skill. Why not jump on the bandwagon and start organizing the stuff in your entire home?

If facing the junk drawer sounds overwhelming, luckily for you, there are a few organizational methods for you to choose between that are both easy to access and easy to learn that have truly taken the world by storm. The methods in question are Marie Kondo’s KonMari method and Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin’s Home Edit, both of which you’ve most certainly heard of.

We’ll lay out these methods in detail, and then compare and contrast them so you can decide for yourself which system would work best for you.

Marie Kondo's KonMari method

Marie Kondo has been teaching the world about the joys of cleaning since 2014, with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Then in January of 2019, her book series came to Netflix in Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, which followed Kondo as she went from house to house teaching desperate families how to organize and clean up their lives.

Using what she calls the KonMari method, Kondo challenges cleaners to listen to their inner voices and analyze exactly how they want to live their lives. In doing so, they will have a better understanding of what possessions in their lives matter enough to keep, and which ones can be discarded. “When you reassess your belongings and organize your home, you set the stage for a huge transformation,” the method promises (via konmari.com). The ultimate goal is to only hold onto items that “spark joy,” ultimately resulting in a cleaner, more organized, happier home.

The Home Edit's organizational method

In this other book-turned-Netflix-series method of cleaning, The Home Edit looks less inwards, and more outwards on the aesthetics of our tidying. California based Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin used their professional organizing backgrounds to collaborate and create their unique system of tidying and their subsequent book, The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals.

Shearer and Teplin’s philosophy is one that believes that the best way to edit our lives is by creating a flow throughout our space. When you focus more on the visual representation of your space, you will spend less money on things you simply don’t need (via Chowhound). The Home Edit is also famous for their love of putting everything in rainbow order. Shearer and Teplin have organized the homes of many celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, Mandy Moore, Dan Levy, and Gwyneth Paltrow (via Refinery29).

So what's the difference between the Marie Kondo and Home Edit organization methods?

At their cores, both methods strongly believe in the good that can come from tidying and organizing. Cleaning doesn’t have to be a boring Sunday activity, but rather a calm moment to connect with your space, your items, and yourself, creating something beautiful. 

When it comes to deciding what method is best for you, it’s important to understand why you’re cleaning and what your end goal is. If you’re interested in upheaving your relationship with cleaning as a whole and feel the need to develop a more intimate, intrinsically-motivated system of cleaning, we’d perhaps suggest Marie Kondo’s KonMari method. You’re interested in minimalism, reducing clutter, and you’re open-minded to getting a bit spiritual with your space (via Good Housekeeping).

However, if you find yourself scrolling through Instagram, drooling over the aesthetics of Reese Witherspoon’s eclectic and beautiful closet, or Khloe Kardashian’s color-coordinated kitchen pantry, perhaps lean more towards Shearer and Teplin’s Home Edit (via YouTube).

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