It’s 2019 and if you haven’t heard the phrase “spark joy,” you might actually be living under a rock…or on a really serious digital cleanse. Since debuting on Netflix in January, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has taken the world (and thrift store donation boxes) by storm. Thanks to the show, people are embracing the quirky yet practical KonMari Method of organizing; purging their closets en masse and sharing “shelfies” of perfectly folded sweatshirts and other organized spaces on social media.
However, if “thanking” a package of expired gravy mix before you toss it in the trash sparks zero joy and only inspires you to roll your eyes, you may find that the lesser known but equally effective The Home Edit is more your jam. This chic and colorful approach to tidying and figuring out aesthetically pleasing storage options is a favorite among celebrities. If you’ve ever swooned over Khloe Kardashian’s color-coordinated pantry or Lauren Conrad’s impossibly stylish yarn cupboard on Instagram, you’re already familiar with The Home Edit. (And they’ll have their own Netflix show soon.)
On the surface, it’s hard to tell the difference between Marie Kondo and The Home Edit, but they each take a different approach when it comes to conquering clutter.
What’s The KonMari Method, Again?
Created by Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidying expert and author of bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” The KonMari Method is all about “choosing joy.” It encourages organizing based on category, beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, $9.69 on Amazon
Marie Kondo’s best-selling book details how to implement her KonMari method in your own home.
While sorting through their possessions, people are required to examine each item and determine whether it “sparks joy.” Anything that doesn’t spark joy is thanked for its service and sent off to the great big Goodwill pile in the sky. The idea being that if you only surround yourself with things that speak to your heart, you will experience a greater sense of well-being, and in the process, change your life for the better.
The reigning philosophy of The KonMari Method is heavily grounded in the principles of mindfulness, minimalism and of course, folding. Marie Kondo is famous for her three-way folding technique that turns t-shirts into perfect rectangles with the ability to stand up on their own.
Okay, So What’s The Home Edit?
The Home Edit was founded by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, a pair of Nashville based professional organizers and authors of the book, “The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals.”
The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals, $12.35 on Amazon
Read all about it (and get bonus refrigerator labels, which are included with the book)!
The Home Edit encourages people to think about their possessions in groupings and how they “flow” through their space. It’s a highly visual way of organizing that’s basically made for Pinterest and Instagram (think: a rainbow display of La Croix cans or three dozen green bottles of San Pellegrino perfectly aligned on a pantry shelf).
The Home Edit suggests following a curated palette of blacks, whites, natural fibers, wood, and selective pops of ROYGBIV (an acronym for the sequence of hues that make up a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) and labeling everything. When items are organized in a functional and visually appealing system, you won’t waste money purchasing things you already have. With that said, be prepared to make multiple trips to The Container Store. But that goes for the Marie Kondo method too.
How Are They Different?
The KonMari Method and The Home Edit are two sides of the same coin. Both methods are designed to help create a functional, tidy home that feels good to inhabit. But how they reach that end goal is quite different.
Kondo approaches each project from a joy-filled, almost spiritual place (see: scenes from her show where she greets the home and “wakes up” books). Whereas The Home Edit is less interested in minimalism and more focused on eye-catching organizational systems that work with what’s already there.
Related Reading: 11 Tips from The Home Edit to Get Your Kitchen Organized
Categories vs. Rooms
The KonMari Method organizes by category—not location. If there are clothes in multiple closets, you’re instructed to take them out and put them in a pile before addressing each piece individually to assess whether it sparks joy.
The Home Edit uses a room to room approach, starting with the least overwhelming areas first (i.e. the contents of a single drawer). People are asked to group all like items together and purge as they organize (for example, once you see you have eight spatulas, you might decide you only need three).
Boxes vs. Acrylic Organizers
Marie Kondo loves a good cardboard box, especially if it’s repurposed. She uses them throughout the home to organize everything, from scarves to kitchen utensils.
The Home Edit takes a similar approach, but favors sleek transparent acrylic organizers because they’re durable and easy to label. What folding is to Marie Kondo, labeling is to The Home Edit. Once transferred into a clear container, items are labeled with the same signature loopy script (these labels are available for purchase on the Home Edit website).
Why Not Use Both?
The KonMari method helps you find joy in what you already have, eliminating physical and mental clutter in the process. The Home Edit works in reverse: creating a visually appealing environment that sparks joy through the use of color and jaunty labels. The good news is that these systems aren’t mutually exclusive.
You might find that the KonMari method is perfect for decluttering your kitchen, however it’s transferring all of your spices into uniform clear containers that really pushes you over the edge. Alternatively, grouping all of your cookbooks together may lead to the realization that you only enjoy one or two of them. When it comes to what sparks joy or makes you giddy when you open your pantry (that could be color coded everything), there are no right or wrong answers.
Check out our favorite Marie Kondo-inspired products for tidying your kitchen, and our favorite products for organizing like The Home Edit.
Header image by Chowhound, using photos from Shutterstock and The Home Edit.