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Organizing on TV: Help or Hype?

During the break between Christmas and the dawn of a new year, I binge watched home organizing shows. I thought I would share my personal reviews in case you are looking for some inspiration. My opinions are colored by these three things: I was a professional actress; I once shot a one hour TV special featuring my style of organizing so I know what goes on behind the scenes and I've been organizing clients for over three decades. I view these shows through a different lens.

I started with the documentary on the founders of the minimalist movement Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus called "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things." I lasted 15 minutes. I admire these men but minimalism doesn't speak to me and the tone of the documentary left me feeling if I didn't jump in fully, I was lacking. I would absolutely recommend you give it a try. Your reaction may be different than mine.

Next I tried The Home Edit featuring Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin. These two are certainly experienced organizers and you will pick up lots of good tips. No single organizer can quickly make a huge difference in any family's life while also influenced by the pressure to move quickly that a TV show demands. Clea and Joanna have 3 assistants who appear on camera and seem to bear the burden of the grunt work. It would cost the average consumer a small fortune to have 5 professional organizers on a project. Clea and Joanna are a bit loud and strident for my taste and I made it through 15 minutes of two different episodes. You may relate to them more than I did.

I watched the 2 seasons of Marie Kondo's show. It is beautifully conceived and produced. I knew that Marie likes to make piles of any given category (I disagree with this strategy) but I was shocked to see her make a tough situation worse with an enormous pile and then sail out the door leaving the subject one week to clear it all up. Marie's style grew out of her Japanese culture where the average home or apartment is tiny and holds few possessions. I don't relate but millions do so you might get more out of this show than I.

I intended to watch one episode of Queer Eye just to be familiar with it. I was captivated and devoured every episode. These men are talented, caring and deeply compassionate. They cause lives to literally change right before your eyes. While organizing isn't technically a part of the show, the design team makes short shrift of clutter and presents the individual with a new way of relating to items or should I say 'stuff.' I think you will understand more of the emotional causes of clutter than you will from any of the other shows. I also think you will find these men more approachable and lovable than the other hosts.

Let me know which shows inspire you and how you feel about my comments.

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