The Home Edit's Clea And Joanna On How To Get Children Excited About Organization - Exclusive Interview

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are on a mission to make organization cool by combining it with their love of interior design and personal style. Since launching their brand The Home Edit in 2015, the duo has gone on to achieve huge success with their Emmy-nominated Netflix show, "Get Organized with The Home Edit," providing custom organizational services to both A-list celebrities and everyday homeowners. By highlighting the importance of form, function, and fun, Shearer and Teplin seek to inspire others to elevate their living spaces through aesthetically pleasing organization that adds to both the both the look and feel of the home. 

In addition to their wildly popular Netflix series, the pair also have a successful product line to aid in organization, have authored two New York Times bestselling books, and have been announced as the new hosts of the upcoming reboot of the beloved show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Most recently, thanks to their new partnership with Naked Juice, Shearer and Teplin also had the opportunity to connect with fans in a more personal way, hitting the road on their "Summer of Fun Tour." 

In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin talk about their latest venture of meeting fans on tour and offer their absolute best tips for conquering your own home edit and implementing an organizational system that actually sticks.

The Summer of Fun Tour with Naked Juice lived up to its name

Fans are used to seeing you on their tv screens, but this summer has also given them the chance to see you on tour. Can you tell us about your "Summer of Fun" tour? What have you enjoyed about it the most?

Clea Shearer: The "Summer of Fun Tour" lived up to its name.

Joanna Teplin: It sure did.

Clea: It was a summer of fun of getting to be with people again in person, on the road, city to city. We are so fortunate for Naked Juice's support on the tour, and our kids loved it too, because they always had fresh juice backstage.

Joanna: They sure did. Every event that every stop that they were at with us, they were like, "Where's the Naked Juice?"

Clea: We really appreciate their support. It was such a fabulous experience and we did pick a lot of cities that were pretty hot. Next time, we'll do a Pacific Northwest tour in the summer.

Are there any specific moments from tour, or specific interactions with fans that stand out as being your absolute favorite?

Joanna: Honestly, it was all so much fun. We had fabulous guests. We got to tell funny old stories together. I really loved how many kids were there, and it was such a family event for so many people. A lot of kids received tickets for their birthday and things like that. It was so special to look out in the audience and see all these little budding young organizers. The future of America's going to be organized, I swear.

You are getting people excited about organization in a way that few seem to be able to do. How does it feel to see fans get so excited about your own unique brand of stylish organization and your approach to it?

Clea: It was a very important piece of our business from the day we started. We wanted to stand out and set ourselves apart from the traditional methods of organizing, and organizing has been around for a really long time. It used to involve things like Tupperware containers and big plastic storage bins and things like that, but we wanted to raise the aesthetic bar for organizing and make it something that people really coveted and were motivated to maintain once they got organized. 

If something is beautiful, it spurs you to keep it going. We wanted that aesthetic quality to carry through our work, and we also made it visual and beautiful to utilize on Instagram and online, which is really how our business grew.

Joanna: That's right, and we always started with functionality, and then we knew once something is smart, we could always make it beautiful. Those two things were absolutely at the forefront of the beginning of this business, and it still carries through today.

Editing is the key to staying organized

On top of going on tour, you are the new hosts of the reboot of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," where you help homeowners undergo a home edit before entering a new phase of life in an all new home. Why is building a smart organizational system and purging what you no longer need so important prior to a major life change, like moving or doing a major home renovation?

Clea: The purge process — the edit process that we like to call it — is really 50% of the work of living within an organized home with smart systems. Removing the clutter and being left with only things you need, use, and love is really powerful. Starting a new phase of life, a new transition, whether it's a huge one or just moving homes — it is incredible to set up your new space with the things that you actually want in your life, rather than carrying weight around because you never had a chance to go through it.

Joanna: It's the stuff that costs $0, and people always forget how much of an impact getting rid of things, editing things out of your life, can make in your every single day, honestly.

Clea: It is 50% of the process and we believe it so strongly we put it in our name: "The Home Edit."

Can you share some of your most basic tips for someone who wants to get organized but isn't sure where to begin? Are there one or two go-to methods that can work in multiple areas of the home that they can try?

Joanna: Absolutely. To echo what we said earlier, the edit is the most impactful and the easiest to start with. Any single person can do this.

Clea: Our steps are edit, categorize, contain, and maintain. After you do your edit, which is like 50% of the process, you move into categorizing all the items you have left. Take this step by step, bite by bite. Don't do your whole house or even your whole closet all at once. Start with a drawer, something simple to wrap your head around how it works. You want to categorize all the items that are left, then you want to think about how to contain them. Containment is so critical to staying organized. If you line up all your categories together, at the end of the day, it's neat or neater, but it's not actually organized. 

That containment keeps the barriers around your categories. Long-term maintenance is the key to living an organized life, and that is usually with assigning a label or even a visual home for something. We have a new book coming out in September called "Stay Organized," and it's all about maintenance and how we walk people through it. You got organized, but now we want your systems to stick. Showing the process of something when it falls into disarray, being able to easily put it back together is the key to staying organized.

Kids are more capable of staying organized than you think

Do you have any advice for parents who struggle with disorganization? How can they get their children to get excited about organization and to maintain an organizational system that works?

Joanna: Start them young and bring them into the process so that they can understand and empower themselves from a young age. I think of it like a language. The earlier you start, the easier it is to grasp and have for the rest of your life. If they see the process through with you, the editing, they pick out things that aren't serving them and they go through the process, they're much more likely to maintain it. Also, set up very smart, sustainable systems with them and nothing overly complicated.

Clea: You want to keep it simple with kids. They're actually quite intuitive as organizers. They learn this starting in preschool. The teacher's not picking everything up and cleaning everything up. Kids know how to take the toys they want and then put them away when they're done at the end of the day. The home should be no different. It's all about keeping really simple smart systems that are easy for kids. Keep floor baskets in place. Sort and organize by color instead of a word that's a label. There are a lot of different kinds of tricks, but keep it simple.

You talk about the rainbow method a lot. Is that something that you recommend for families with children?

Clea: Absolutely. The rainbow method, we implement it for adult systems as well, everything from a fridge to a closet. Going back to our beloved Naked Juice, you should see the fridges that we stock them with. They're all lined up in beautiful rainbow order. We love the rainbow for so many things, but for kids' items specifically, it's so intuitive for them they don't even have to think about it. They know the rainbow colors before they know how to read, before they know anything else. It's a nice way you can organize books, blocks, Legos, all sorts of things. Because it's so beautiful and fun, it's like a game of putting things away.

Joanna: It's a free game and everyone wins.

You are both so busy, with television shows, a product line, a podcast, and a book that's coming out soon. Now that tour is over, what can fans look forward to next?

Clea: We go right into filming for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which we are so excited about and have butterflies already, because we've never done this one before.

Joanna: Yes. It's a brand new chapter for us, and we're so honored to be part of this incredible franchise.

Clea: We are thrilled about that. Immediately, we go into book tour mode. Our book is out September 19th, "Stay Organized," available for pre-order now. We are so thrilled to be shepherding in a new book. It's been a couple of years, and this is our third book. We are obsessed with putting out these books for our fans and for people who are looking to get organized, and now we're going to help them stay organized. We're going to be working on the second season, hopefully, of our podcast.

Joanna: We don't sit still for very long.

Clea: We're designing new products all the time and we're really thrilled to keep building on the momentum of this year.

Naked Juice products are available in your grocer's cooler. Check their website to find out where you can purchase online.

This interview has been edited for clarity.