In my very first advertising job, my very first account was a closet & storage organization brand. They were the guys who sold DIY wire and laminate shelving systems at Home Depot and Lowe’s.
The agency I was with wanted the client to see themselves as a home living brand and not a commodity product. They were the category leader in these big box stores without having to invest much back into the brand. Just being on the shelves meant they were selling product. They didn’t have a demand problem, they had a conversion problem. Plenty of people were buying the basic wire shelving kits, but they weren’t upgrading to the more premium laminate products or accessories that would get the DIYers closer to that dream-closet aesthetic. Therefore, our team wanted to build brand resonance with the consumer by tapping into their aspirations for home.
Step one was beautiful lifestyle photography of these gorgeously propped walk-in (and reach-in) closets built entirely from systems available at your nearest home-improvement store. Man, those photoshoots were the most fun part of the job.
At the top of the brand value pyramid we were trying to move up was the idea of “a home in harmony.” Brand research said this is what our target consumer aspired to most. If we could connect this storage solution brand to the ideal of a home in harmony via it’s storage solutions, we’ve done our jobs.
But the client couldn’t buy in. A home in harmony was too aspirational for what they believed their products could deliver. They were happy to stop short at “a sense of order” or even “things running smoothly” and call that the goal.
But I’ve digressed and regressed back into marketing speak. The point of all of that context is that 15 years after those conversation, a home in harmony is everything anyone is talking about. Yes, it’s still aspirational, but influencers like The Home Edit and Marie Kondo have shown us it’s attainable. And now, it’s every overwhelmed person’s dream in 2020 to have a home that functions like it should and looks good doing it. Life is just a little more manageable when you aren’t bombarded with clutter, time isn’t lost looking for things, and things don’t break when there is enough space.
I can’t tell you how many things I’ve broken recently. I knocked the butter dish off the counter just by trying to pick up and move a bowl that was next to it. I’ve shattered bottles of hot sauce trying to reach a spice jar. Coffee mugs and cereal bowls have very short life expectancies here. And, it’s me doing most of the dropping, not the kids.
So my dream for me, my vision for this blog, and the goal for 2021 is to start fresh with the finished house. I’m taking that brand value pyramid I studied when I was 23 and applying it to my life at 37. I aspire to have a home where everything in it serves a purpose and has a place that’s functional and beautiful.
This will be a significant challenge for me, because as my mother will tell you, I’m the queen of clutter. I leave stuff everywhere rather than putting it away. I will argue that I don’t put things away because there isn’t a smart place for it to go. So in my quest for home organization domination, here’s my current strategy. This blog will hold me accountable for the execution and ultimate results.
It’s Organization 101 — get rid of the stuff you don’t need. I’ve already done that to a degree in moving the first time, so I get a second chance this month. I’m getting rid of stuff in small increments, and although that doesn’t give me much visual satisfaction, I’m stopping to acknowledge the little wins.
The bigger stuff will come closer to the move as I’m sorting and packing. Most notably, we will say goodbye to the crib and rocking chair. (Sniff)
We are so fortunate to get a lot of new, thoughtfully designed space in the house: a bigger laundry room, a walk-in pantry, a closet just for Justin’s myriad of techie stuff. So as we get closer to unpacking, I’m putting a ton of thought into what goes where. If it doesn’t make sense a few weeks in, I’ll move it. And then (without going overboard) I’ll label things. Because if the shelf/cabinet/drawer is actively telling me what belongs there, it’s more likely to be there, right?!
This will be my first test to see how well I follow through. As soon as we settled on the cabinet layouts for the kitchen and laundry room, I started sketching and plotting what would go where. I’ve always been great at the planning and scheming, it’s the execution and upkeep that sometimes gets squirrely.
And here is the real test – starting new habits to make the harmony a reality. WIll I commit to keeping the clutter in check? Will I put things away immediately and in the right place? Will my family follow my example? Will I create routines and rituals to keep unnecessary stress at bay?
Find out in 2021, right here, on Home on the Edge.