Opinion: Netflix's The Home Edit is my version of self-care

Jo Townsend
·Contributor
·3-min read

My new iPhone has this terrible feature and if anyone can tell me how to turn it off I’ll send wine. Stat.

It is some sort of productivity measure that tells me how long I have scrolled social media every day and dear God I don’t like it. It is just another reminder of the strangest social media rabbit hole I find myself in... spending my barely-there spare time scrolling hyper-organised neat houses.

Scrolling through photos of organised homes is 'like a warm bath of mindless nice-smelling delight' for Jo Townsend. Photo: Instagram/thehomeedit.
Scrolling through photos of organised homes is 'like a warm bath of mindless nice-smelling delight' for Jo Townsend. Photo: Instagram/thehomeedit.

Yeah, I understand all things pantry organisation is ‘Having A Moment’ and maybe I’m just getting unknowingly sucked into the zeitgeist, sort of like calling your daughter Mia in 2010 thinking it was unusual then rocking up to preschool and having to label her locker ‘Mia M.’

Those cute Nashville birds from The Home Edit swanning about with my dream BFF Reece Witherspoon are everywhere including in a new series on Netflix. Instagram accounts called ‘Neat Spaces’ and ‘Minimal Mom’ and ‘Organise My Apartment’ have zillions of followers.

I get that I’m not the only one giving a sideways lusty look at a well-executed Kondo laundry fold, and yes I may have bought the odd container or 17 from Kmart.

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The Home Edit has many celeb fans including Reese Witherspoon. Photo: Instagram/thehomeedit.
The Home Edit has many celeb fans including Reese Witherspoon. Photo: Instagram/thehomeedit.

But I think mine goes beyond a passing trend. I think this might be some sort of long-term relaxation strategy for me. And it makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Errggh. How can viewing home organisation videos make me feel so... anti-women... and conflicted?!

Watching scarves being folded into tiny colourful fabric buns is my ASMR. But a home-organisation market clearly aimed 100 per cent at females, and suggesting time spent at home folding scarves is somehow ‘satisfying’ compared to, say, CEOing, goes against everything I – WE!!! – have worked so hard to achieve.

Clear pantry containers with adorable cursive font labels for ‘Oats’ are like a warm bath of mindless nice-smelling delight, and yet it is establishing a dangerous precedent of at-home perfection that I suspect could become really damaging to the already fragile female minds of 2020.

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit. Photo: Instagram/thehomeedit.
Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit. Photo: Instagram/thehomeedit.

And don’t get me started on sorting wardrobe by season and colour. It is literally irresistible.

But here’s the joy of our friend the internet, scratch around it enough and you’ll find someone to back up your theory. ‘Doom Scrolling’, aka net surfing through bad to worse to downright scary news, has a true, documented negative effect on mental wellbeing.

Maybe what I’m doing is anti-doom scrolling.

The exact opposite of Covid and Trump and 2020’s roll call of world horror. Hiding in the folding and labelling and anti-doom scrolling where everything is organised and neat and in-your-face rainbow colour coordinated beats the hideous reality that is 2020... and I swear I will get back to my real life as soon as 2020 goes away.

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