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The Unspoken Value of Home Organizing

Updated: Feb 15

This blog was written by Tori Horton in response to an article written by the Atlantic.


Professional Home Organizing Value Of Organization Reset Your Nest Response The Atlantic

We are a few of the “disembodied, feminine hands” you reference in the article “Home Influencers Will Not Rest Until Everything Has Been Put in a Clear Plastic Storage Bin.” In this article, the Atlantic has unfairly targeted the home organizing industry from a superficial social lens. The focused attack on perfection, performance, and plastic misses the true cultural shift happening in homes across America.


Home organizing is not about conspicuous consumption or a “domestic aspiration founded on American abundance.” Yes, these images are available on social media, but as Mull points out, this is performance media. The greater phenomenon that we hope the Atlantic will highlight is the shift in household management chores reported by the Holding Co.—there are more men responsible for domestic labor than ever before, and 56% of households on the “cusp of care” are interested in purchasing more household management services.

 

Rather than engaging in the judgmental finger-pointing and shaming of homemakers that the article so distinctly purports to dismay, we encourage the Atlantic to re-examine what is happening in these social media posts and the emerging industry of home organizing. Home management work has to be done by someone in the household. 


Hiring home organizers helps families distribute the work of maintaining shared spaces equitably. When it is not professionalized, that work falls disproportionately to women. Is minimalizing the critical domestic labor of home organizing really the side of the argument the Atlantic wants to defend?


No Shame Hiring Professional Organizer Helps Families Feel Better The Atlantic Response

As professionals in the field, we experience families engaging with home organizers to reduce household stress, share domestic labor more equitably, and alleviate the cognitive load of needing to know at a moment's notice if the busy household has enough toilet paper or is about to run out of cereal. Decanting supplies and organizing food results in families understanding and using what they have purchased.  

Home organizing reduces weaponized incompetence by making it possible for every member of a household to know where items belong and engage in keeping shared spaces clean and stocked. Many clients call to request sustainable home organizing as they shift to bulk purchasing for household essentials. Editing a home helps families re-circulate items they no longer need and organizing prevents purchasing items that they already own.

 

We need more attention on domestic labor and value for the real women entrepreneurs behind those “disembodied, feminine hands” doing critical care work at home and in our communities to create more equitable work in households across America.

 

It’s easy to throw stones at perceived “consumer privilege” without examining deeper and more accurate reasons why social ASMR organizing videos are striking a chord with viewers. Americans are stressed out and looking for relief. The benefits of an organized home include reduced procrastination, improved mood, restored feelings of control, and a sense of accomplishment. Whether taking aim at plastic consumption or protecting your own glass house, we encourage Ms. Mull and the Atlantic to consider what biases make it easy to pick on “home influencers” as the cause of “clear plastic consumption” before pausing to consider the true underlying problem fueling an emerging new profession of environmentally conscious home organizer professionals who help families get organized, reduce stress, and feel better in their home.

 

We see a shift in American consumers and households across the United States, trading the privacy of their personal homes for household management services that support working professionals with an oversubscribed list of expectations and chores. As home organizers, none of us emphasize “perfect living,” and our clients don’t hire us for performative domestic consumption. They hire us to reduce the accumulation of stuff, create systems to support their busy lifestyles and hang up the superhuman expectations of “doing it all.”


Home organization is creating jobs and supplementing household income for over 20,000 professionals who are working on the edges to help communities and families thrive. We encourage the Material World column to dive deeper into the drivers of social media trends. Please consider writing articles exploring domestic labor and the care economy to understand the consumer mindset and drivers through a gender lens


Pinterest The Unspoken Value of Home Organizing Reset Your Nest Response The Atlantic

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