Designer Nate Berkus Admits He's Got A Relatable Design Hang-Up

It seems like spring cleaning season is always around the corner. Whether we like to admit it or not, every homeowner has a few dusty skeletons in their closets — or spare sheets, old paperwork, and tacky sentimental décor pieces. Decluttering your home every now and then is an essential part of good housekeeping, and people tend to feel so much better once it's done. But for some — getting rid of unwanted stuff is never easy. 

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are the stars of their own show, "The Nate & Jeremiah Home Project," where they dutifully help homeowners transform and curate their spaces. Despite co-starring on an interior design show, the duo revealed that making over their own home comes with the same personal challenges. In an interview with Realtor, Nate Berkus and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, discussed some of the struggles they face in decluttering and designing their own space. Here's what Berkus had to say about his ironic home design habits. 

Berkus loves his stuff

In many ways, the stars are normal people just like everyone else. In the interview with Realtor, Berkus admitted that his biggest design hang-up is his tendency to cling to old belongings. Justifying his feelings, he said, "I have a real connection to things, and not just things that have memory, but things that I think are really beautiful." In light of the couple's recent move, he commented, "and so for me, this was an opportunity to not be tied to feeling obligated to use all the stuff we've lived with and collected, both before we were a couple and after."  

Although he may be able to logically admit when it's time to let something go, Berkus notes that getting rid of things isn't easy for him, calling the process of moving, selling, and donating items "traumatic." Of course, in the classic Berkus manner, he knew how to shed some humor on the situation. "The fact that we have the nerve to go out in the world and craft a TV show on something that I'm so terrible at personally was laughable," he said, "[Jeremiah] had the time of his life watching me spin out about it."

Life is all about balance

While Berkus struggles to give away old items, Brent seems to have no such issue. He laughingly remarked to Realtor, "Oh, my God, our house changes every 5 seconds — I was moving things around this morning! I was like, does that need to change?" Moving is never an easy process for anyone, but Brent recognized his husband's struggle to give up their things. Regarding their recent move, Brent said, "[The new owners] wanted to buy the majority of the things in the house. Nate had such a hard time with it, and I was like, 'Let it go, it's just stuff!'" 

While each interior designer certainly brings a lot to the table, the couple hopes their two children will take after Brent's decluttering habits. Brent says, "We've got the children in a really nice rhythm where they have to donate things continually because they don't want to play with [it] anymore. They're part of that rhythm of the household, which is we have to donate. We have to edit. We have to curate. It's a constant thing. It's always shocked me how our daughter can accumulate things out of nowhere." Brent joked about their daughter's creative crafting phase, claiming, "She's the most lovable little hoarder you've ever met."