Get Organized With the Home Edit team talks hanging out in celebrities' closets
Are you ready to get organized?
Netflix's most recent foray into home/lifestyle betterment and general entertainment takes viewers inside closets, garages, and pantries. Executive produced by Reese Witherspoon, Get Organized with the Home Edit stars Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin — owners of Nashville-based home organization company, The Home Edit — as they convert the cluttered and crammed cupboards of celebrities and regular folks alike. Whether they're color-coding paints in Khloe Kardashian's garage, transforming Witherspoon's closet into a museum dedicated to her characters' clothing, or just helping a family of five figure out how regain the coffee station in their overstocked kitchen, there's an abundance of dividers, containers, and labels for every occasion.
What started out as business between two new friends when they each relocated, separately, to Nashville, soon picked up more and more traction thanks to Instagram and celebrity clients' heartfelt endorsements. Now with best-selling books and a line of organization accessories available at the Container Store, Shearer and Teplin have brought their obsession with organizing to TV. Over eight episodes, the fanatical-about-organization duo clear out every Container Store in the vicinity as they "edit" spaces and install sustainable (hopefully!) solutions to messy spaces. Their work may not provide as profoundly transformational an experience as Queer Eye or Marie Kondo can, but if you don't feel inspired to buy indecent amounts of storage containers once you're done watching, I'll mess up my newly-pristine dresser. (I won't — I can finally find everything.)
We talked to Shearer and Teplin about how they got started, who gets the most stressed and whose closets they'd love to climb into.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you guys first met, how quickly did you realize you were on the same level of — I don't want to call it crazy, but...
CLEA SHEARER: Oh, you can call it crazy. I mean, we realized, literally, immediately. We met because our friend set us up on a blind friend date. We decided to go to lunch together after I kind of forced Joanna into it. Joanna's motto in life is "no new friends." We ended up going to lunch together and it was just instant. We got up from that lunch as business partners without even asking each other. We had just jumped in right away and we didn't have the normal lunch/brunch chitchat. It was more like, "What are your top five skills? What are your complimentary skillsets?" We just dove right in.
JOANNA TEPLIN: Clea's exactly right; I do not do new friends. I'm just a little loner by myself with my family and few friends, but Clea is the most loving and outwardly social person that I'd ever met. We're very different in that way, but the second I met her, I was like, "Okay, I have room for one more and I also have room for a business partner" — even though I didn't know I needed one. You don't know until you know.
So there was no holding back or testing the boundaries of each other's dedication to organization?
SHEARER: What you see is what you get with us, 100 percent. There is no tip-toeing around, for better or worse. We are just who we are on face level, love it or hate it, take it or leave it. That's the way we are and that's the way we were with each other too, from second one. Even with my husband, I think I pretended to like hiking, but Joanna and I, from minute one, we just are who we are. So when we clicked and connected, we found each other.
So how did you go from editing people's homes and sharing results on Instagram to having a Netflix show about it?
SHEARER: It was a bit of a winding road to get here. Basically, when we first started, we took a trip —where we both had to confess to each other that we were the world's worst fliers — to Los Angeles. We had offered some of my high profile friends doing a free project for them in exchange for them to post. So we did Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, some high profile bloggers — people that just have a good following. Those projects — even in the smallest way, but also in the biggest way, because it really did help kind of launch us — did spark celebrity interest for us. It just started to catch fire in the best way and very soon, in 2016 I believe, Molly Sims have reached out to us because she was working on her second book, there was a section on organizing and she wanted us to come and do some projects for her. So we flew out there —we quickly realized that we had to get over our fear of flying — and Molly and her husband, Scott, were looking at us tearing things out of the pantry, being our crazy selves, and they were like, "Is this a show? I think this is a show." We started entertaining it as they talked to us. We came back to L.A. to meet with production companies. We were going to put together a sizzle reel and then a couple months into the process, we get a DM from Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoons' company. I was like, "How'd you hear about us?" They were like, "Reese found you on Instagram. She thought you were funny." I literally pulled my car over. I was like, "Repeat that, please?" We all did this together and joined forces —I shouldn't even say "did this together." They did this, we just showed up.
Did you always plan on having a celebrity edit and a regular person edit in each episode?
SHEARER: That was the format that we discussed initially with Netflix. It does reflect truly our business. We work with a lot of celebrity clientele, but we also work with a lot of non-celebrity clientele. It's really funny because I think that people assumed that everyone's gonna only want to watch the celebrity and not stick around for the full episode to see the non-celebrity. I don't think that that happened. I personally was so invested and enjoyed the storyline from the Owens family. I don't think it's just the celebrity that people are watching.
Was there one celeb you were surprised wanted to take part?
SHEARER: I was shocked about Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. Khloe Kardashian and Rachel Zoe, Reese — they are people that we have worked with before. Eva Longoria, I was also shocked because she was just such a big celebrity, but she's friends with Reese. Neil Patrick Harris, to me, is so mind blowing. A lot of these people, we felt that we knew. We don't know Neil at all. So we showed up just like, "Oh my God, is this real life?"
TEPLIN: Nothing will ever be crazier to me than the fact that Khloe Kardashian, who has however many seasons of Keeping up with the Kardashians, is on our show. That's insane. I mean, I say the same for every single person. Like, Reese Witherspoon? It's wild.
Is there one person whose closet has just blown you away? Either in terms of space and scope or because of the items they have in it?
TEPLIN: Rachel Zoe's closet. It's like a museum. That is a challenge because it's like if you were at the Smithsonian and asked to get rid of a dinosaur bone. In that way, we're working on a different level, because it's very hard to get rid of these iconic pieces. So we had to figure out a different way to just archive some of the other things in a different area, not in that specific closet. It's a different situation. It's not like, "Oh, this doesn't fit anymore" or "This is out of style." These are amazing pieces of art. It's like, "Let's go through your handbags" and she's like, "Oh, Tom Ford designed that for me personally." I'm like, "Okay, great. So we're keeping all of it."
Once you get started do you regret giving yourselves such little time to complete the edit?
SHEARER: It's stressful. I literally want to sit down every single person who's watched the show and explain to them that the time crunch is real — because some people think it's for drama. We are given a very specific amount of time that we're allowed to even be in the person's home. Then, the crew can only work so many hours so we can't even really go over and they have to film the intro, us meeting the client, seeing the space, going through the items before we even get to the organizing or else there's no show.
TEPLIN: It's the two things happening simultaneously. The filming aspect is a humongous piece and without that there's no show and then there's the organizing piece which we can't phone in; it's our actual job. We're doing two separate jobs in a very short period of time.
SHEARER: The organizing piece, everyone thinks it'll only take 30 minutes and we're like, "This would normally take us eight hours!" We only have two hours to do the work. That's why we are panicked. What you also don't see is, within those two hours, a producer will be like, "I need to do a quick little mini interview with you for a minute." In Khloe's garage, they were like, "Clea, I know that you're going to say that you're too busy, but I need you for one minute." I was like, "The answer is no! We won't finish. I have to keep working." I was like,"I'll do it after, I promise. I'll go back in the head space, but I can't right now." It's just truly stressful. It was not manageable.
Do you think one of you gets more overwhelmed than the other? Or just in different ways?
TEPLIN: We both do get overwhelmed, but it's been in different ways. Clea gets paralyzed if she feels like we're not going to finish. In my heart, I usually do feel like we're going to finish more than she feels that way. But Clea's stamina for filming and stuff is far better than mine. I get overwhelmed if we have keep going for a very long, extended period of time whereas she doesn't get overwhelmed at all with any of that.
If you get a second season, do you have a dream celebrity whose home you'd love to edit?
SHEARER: Beyoncé. Meryl Streep. There are so many great people, I would be so obsessed with having: Chrissy Teigen, Kristin Bell. I think we just loved working with funny, powerful women that are just so incredible and powerhouses. That is what's so fun. We need them. It's like, "Yes, we'll get to organizing, but can we sit down for a second and can tell us how you built this empire?"
TEPLIN: Kerry Washington! That's my dream one.
Isn't she friends with Reese? That sounds attainable.
SHEARER: Yes! Reese, all these people you're friends with, send them our way.