Episode #52: It’s Spooky Season + The Home Edit Joins Us!

Hello, hello. It’s officially spooky season (our podcast, our rules) and this week we’re chatting about all the fall things. We’re also joined by Clea and Joanna of The Home Edit! They’ve got a new Netflix show streaming as well as a book that’s about to launch … so we have a lot of chat about.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Show Notes: 

-Link to David’s Tea Forever Nuts and Harney + Son’s Hot Cinnamon Tea.

-Here’s a link to our Pumpkin Spice Recipe (vegan friendly!)

-The garland and the Halloween advent Elsie mentions will be up soon as full DIYs!

-Here’s a peek at Emma’s space decorated for autumn:

-Emma mentions Julie Blanner.

-Here’s a link to Emma’s coffee mug rack.

-Here’s a link to Elsie’s spooky village—a fun tradition with kiddos.

-Here’s some links to Elsie’s Etsy sweaters … Sanderson, Beetlejuice and I got these for our girls. Also Camp Walden.

-Here’s a link to Emma’s favorite chili recipes and favorite soup recipes.

-Here are links to our past Friendsgiving celebrations and favorite recipes.

-Send your ghost stories to podcast AT abeautifulmess DOT com They don’t have to be long or scary … they can be anything. But we want the full details and we’re so excited to read your stories! We only want real stories from personal experiences (not a friend of a friend told you once at a party).

-If you are here JUST for The Home Edit their segment starts at 23:28 (you’re welcome!)

-Here’s a link to Get Organized With The Home Edit on Netflix!

-Here’s a link to the new book, The Home Edit Life. It launches this week!

Here’s a link to The Home Edit Container Store Collection.

Elfa over the door storage shelves for the back of your door.

Cart link.

-Go-to options for avoiding plastic containers.


Montauk basket with linen liner (better for clothing)



-So, the super secret cleaning products Rume by The Home Edit … I wish everyone could have seen it. It’s very stylish and cool! You’re going to love them!

-If you’re not already following The Home Edit, be sure and follow them on IG here.

OK … it’s election season. REGISTER TO VOTE please, please, please. If you’ve moved or you aren’t 100% sure you are registered, stop everything and take five minutes to register! 

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 52 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to A Beautiful Mess podcast, we decided to kick off this first episode of September by officially declaring it spooky season. I have to say the online debate that happens every year about how soon is too soon to decorate for Halloween kind of amuses me. But spoiler, I already ordered a Christmas tree this week, so I am ahead of all of you. We’re also going to be sharing an interview with the Home Edit, they have a brand new Netflix show that just launched this past week, as well as a book coming out. So big month for them and we are so excited to have them on the show. So Emma, have you ordered your first pumpkin spice latte yet?

Emma: No…

Elsie: Still no?!

Emma: Still no. So we are rerecording this episode because I had a technical difficulty last time and she asked me last time and I was like, no. And the today, seriously, I had to go to the bank for some reason and there’s a Starbucks right by our bank. But the line was so long for the drive thru, and I was like, well…

Elsie: Oh yeah, it always is.

Emma: But I am drinking some David’s Tea Forever Nuts right now.

Elsie: Ooh, nice.

Emma: Which is kind of full time.

Elsie: It is. I really love that tea and the cinnamon one. The Harney and Sons cinnamon…what is it called? Cinnamon…

Emma: Hot cinnamon.

Elsie: Hot cinnamon!

Emma: I don’t know if it’s called that. (Laughs).

Elsie: That’s so good. Ok, yeah. So I wish you wouldn’t have told them that this is a rerecord because now it’s making it more embarrassing. But yeah, we did this last week and the sound on Emma’s side was like, (whisper sounds, high pitched voice) hey guys Hey, guys.

Emma: It was like a ghost.

Elsie: We couldn’t use it, you would have hated us. So we threw it in our virtual trash can and we’re redoing it again. But I don’t know, we usually don’t have to do this. So it’s kind of weird because we were just having the same conversation deja vu.

Emma: Well, bad news for you, sister. I’m going to do the exact same jokes. (laughs)

Elsie: Yeah! Oh, not me. Because I like I don’t know. I think that that’s why I would be the worst actor, because it would be like a completely different take every time they would be like, just do what you did. (laughs) I think I have too much energy.

Emma: OK. So, did you have a pumpkin spice latte?

Elsie: Yes, I did. I had a bunch of pumpkin spice lattes. (laughs) I’ll tell you all about it. So our beloved ad manager, Claire, just came back from her maternity card…

Emma: Very beloved.

Elsie: Maternity card? Her maternity leave! (laughs) And she sent me a Starbucks gift card. And I have been making use of that all on pumpkin spice. So I got the pumpkin spice latte and it kind of gave me a headache. And I didn’t like it that much. But, you know, it’s still like a, it’s still a festive rite of passage. And then I had the pumpkin cold brew and I actually liked that one better. I feel like it was more it. Maybe it’s also because it’s still very hot where we live. So maybe that’s why they put it on the menu for those people who go on August twenty eighth to order a pumpkin spice, something, you know.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: So yeah, I probably won’t get the frappuccino one. I’ll just stay with the cold brew.

Emma: Really?

Elsie: It’s ok. Yeah I do like frappuccinos but I don’t know. Uh yeah the pumpkin spice is good. So we have a pumpkin spice recipe on our blog and we’ll link it in the show notes. It is years old. We link it every year and the thing that’s cool about it is it’s vegan and the I guess that the pumpkin spice syrup from Starbucks is not vegan. So it’s vegan friendly and it’s very delicious. I mean, you could just put it in regular coffee.

Emma: Here’s a behind the scenes on the pumpkin spice latte syrup. So I made that recipe years ago, like Elsie said, and it’s really good. I make it every year. It’s delicious. And one year Elsie trolled me for my photos. She was like, these photos are disgusting. And so I redid the photos like a year or two ago and they have updated photos. So if anyone out there is like, you know, Emma, you just troll Elsie the entire podcast. That is true. But also we troll each other. (laughs)

Elsie: No we both troll each other. And I wasn’t trolling you. I mean, the early days of food photography, I think for anyone are kind of a shit show. Right?

Emma: Like I yeah, it’s cool to grow.

Elsie: Now Emma’s photography is just like so stunning. But I don’t know, I think that’s just how you look back on old blog posts. I don’t think my photography is better. Mine’s way worse, but I feel now I just take a phone photo if I can get away with it, you know, but…

Emma: Yeah, I’ve noticed that lately. (laughs)

Elsie: I don’t even know where my camera is from moving, OK, I have problems, but let’s move on. Let’s talk about decorating our homes for autumn because I did start a little bit. I thought I wasn’t going to because this week we’re getting wood floors put in our house like everywhere there’s carpet is getting ripped out and wood floors. And it’s a big deal because it’s very hard to move everything around. And so everything’s going to get like a coat of dust on it. And then we have to get like the post-construction cleaning and then re-set everything up. So I figured I would just wait until after all of that. But I had to do a couple of pictures for the blog. So I made this garland and I made a Halloween advent calendar for this year. The thirty-one days in October. So those are up in our living space and they’re giving me a lot of feels. And yeah, I’m so happy. I’m so happy. I did just like a tiny little bit.

Emma: Yeah. The garland is…

Elsie: What about you?

Emma: … I think pretty high impact.

Elsie: Thank you!

Emma: It feels like that corner of your, your house and it’s not really a corner but that living room feels like fall to me. I thought when I saw it.

Elsie: I’m proud of it. It’s a feel good craft. I made it in one naptime. I feel like our old school blog readers really want those crafts that you can just do really fast and they’re really easy and that’s the only thing I know how to do. So I’m really good at writing them.

Emma: Yeah, it’s like a party craft. It’s like you if you had friends over and you made a craft in an hour or two, that’s the type of thing you know.

Elsie: Yes, I love that stuff.

Emma: Well, I have gone HAM with the autumn decorations so far (laughs), so I swapped out my, I have these green like living wall looking panels and I swap them out every year at autumn time for this autumn leaves look. So I did that right away on September 1st and I have a garland up on our piano. I have pumpkins everywhere, just everywhere. I didn’t put up all my foam bats yet. I’m going to wait till a little closer to October, but not much. And one thing I’m working on for the blog is I wanted to do the thing where I fill my fireplace with pumpkins, which I think of this as like a very classic Pinterest thing to do. But my one of my favorite ones, my friend Julie Blanner, you should check out her site, JulieBlanner.com, she has one. And it’s kind of like I think she calls it antique pumpkin fireplace or something. She has this very, like, traditional style. But it’s really cool. Like, if you like traditional style Julie’s your person, she’s amazing. But anyway, so she has that on her site. I’ve always wanted to do it. I’m trying to figure, I got all the pumpkins, though. There was a major sale at Joanne. So I bought all the pumpkins because I knew I wanted to do this and they all came in and my fireplace is pretty deep, so I’m trying to figure out how to get them so they stay in there, but they look the way I’m wanting. I’m probably going to end up doing a blog post about it because I feel like I’m going to have to have a few, like, tips and tricks, because I can already tell, like, oh, I thought this would be super simple. And now I’m like, wait a second, these don’t stay put. They kind of roll out…

Elsie: That’s how it always is.

Emma: And I also am like, I don’t want to have to buy a million pumpkins, but I want to buy enough that it looks full. So is there a way I could kind of fill in the back part. Anyway, So I think I’m going to have a blog post about that. So I have that going and then the last…

Elsie: I would stuff like a big duvet stuffer for in the back probably. (laughs)

Emma: Yeah. Do that or use like some scrap wood that I have? You could also use a cardboard box. I’m going to do that with like fabric like because my the inside of my fireplace is black. So black fabric. That’s kind of what I’m thinking. I haven’t done it yet. So I don’t know if that’s going to work, but I’m going to try.

Elsie: You essentially need a beanbag chair to shove in there.

Emma: Yes. Yeah. And I just have it all year round and I’m like, that’s just the fireplace beanbag chair for when I do my pumpkins (laughs). But yeah. Yeah. Oh. And so I think we were going to talk about this maybe later, but I’ll bring it up now. So I am putting up a coffee mug rack in my kitchen so that I could display my mug collection and I’m so into these mugs.

Elsie: Ten out of ten. She is proud of her holiday mugs and she’s going to do tours of them.

Emma: Yes.

Elsie: On our Instagram. She promised.

Emma: I won’t stop talking about my stupid holiday mug collection.

Elsie: Don’t say stupid!

Emma: That’s just where I’m at. I mean, they’re stupid awesome. (laugh).

Elsie: So anyway, I needed a way to display them. So the…I have a Halloween mug collection. They’re the mugs I use all October. I don’t use any other mugs.

Emma: Yeah.

Elsie: And that’s my thing. And then I have a Christmas mug collection, which is mostly Santa mugs. I really need to get different types of mugs. I need to diversify this year. But I have a big collection of Santa mugs and those are the only mugs I use, coffee mugs for coffee or tea in December. So it’s almost time to get my Halloween mugs out and I wanted them to be displayed this year. Normally, I keep all my coffee mugs up in a cabinet. So I have this rack. I will say it came in the mail and I was putting it together last night and it’s a little bit bigger than I thought it would be I had measured, so the spot that it’s supposed to go, I’m like, I’m going to put it up and see. But I’m not sure that this is the forever coffee mug rack. We’ll see.

Elsie: Don’t settle till you find the perfect coffee mug rack. That is my advice to you.

Emma: Yeah, I yeah. So anyway, we’ll see. It’s definitely good for this year, but I may not…we’ll see. I have to put it up.

Elsie: I am very inspired by this. I want to have a holiday mug collection but I definitely do not. But we are making, so what we do is a spooky village so it’s little wooden birdhouses from the craft store. And then the first year we made quite a few like four or five. And then every year since we add maybe one, maybe two, I don’t know. I don’t think…we’ll see about how this year goes, because now I have two little painters. Yes. That are very into it. But yeah, it’s so much fun to just have these little traditions that you add to every year. I love it now.

Emma: By the time you’re in your 60s, you’re going to have like a million spooky houses.

Elsie: Well, it’s kind of a kid thing, but yeah, I’ll probably if I have a lot of grandkids.

Emma: Yeah. Or like, I don’t know, friends or maybe I don’t know, get Penny in on it.

Elsie: It’s worth it. It’s magical. I’ll take all the spooky houses, I’ll fill up my whole living room with them. I don’t care. Yeah. Yeah.

Emma: What about clothing. Have you bought anything for fall clothing? It could be spooky. It could just be fall.

Elsie: Have I ever. I know. I have been shopping kind of a lot and honestly it’s one of the…

Emma: Nice.

Elsie: Yeah. It’s one of the like quarantine covid-era treats in my life and you know, there are very few. So yeah, I’ve definitely bought some fall clothes, mostly a lot of a lot of pajamas. Lot of stuff for the kids. I did get those pink Doc Martens, I mentioned them a couple of episodes ago that were true joy and you know, a few like cute things, but I know that I’m not going anywhere, but it just is still kind of just for fun and it makes me happy. What about you?

Emma: Well, pajamas, you don’t have to go anywhere. That’s to justify pajamas.

Elsie: I’m still wearing all the clothes. Yeah, don’t worry. Nothing’s being wasted. It’s just bringing me joy and happiness. I got a bunch of spooky sweaters from Etsy. Got a Sanderson one.

Emma: Ok, please put those in the show notes because that’s what I was going to say is…

Elsie: I got a Beetlejuice one.

Emma: Beetlejuice!

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

Elsie: It’s fun. Yeah. Sweaters I mean sweaters and yoga pants is basically like my covid look so. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. All I’ve done, I haven’t bought anything yet but I’m getting out this so I put all my sweaters away because we have all four seasons. So I put them away for spring and summer because I don’t need them. So I’m about to pull them back out. My sweater collection, which I probably have like I don’t know, eight to ten, including cardigans. So it’s not like massive, but it’s it feels like a lot. I feel sometimes like my closet doubles whenever I pull these out and like put them on hangers. I’m like, oh wow, I have a lot of clothes now, so I’m excited to pull those out. Even though they’re not new. It does feel like, oh, my old friends, there you are again, you know, so but I would really like a Halloween or like spooky sweatshirt or sweater. I don’t feel like I really have too much of that. So I really want to check out your Etsy…

Elsie: Shop the show notes this week, sister, I have your back on that.

Emma: Give me that affiliant link! (laughs)

Elsie: I’m have a bunch of really cute stuff. Yeah, I’ve really been enjoying shopping on Etsy lately for just kind of like silly stuff. Like I got a camp Walden sweater, which is from the Parent Trap, the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap. You know, it’s that summer camp and I wear it all the time. It makes me so happy. OK, so what recipes are you excited to try out this year? Cause I know you’re looking forward to cooking.

Emma: Always. Yes. So number one on the list is chili. I don’t usually make a lot of chili…

Elsie: Yay!

Emma: …yeah in the summer, so I’m excited to make it here soon. Probably this week, maybe this weekend. And I’ve mentioned this in our food episode. But for me, Chili must be served with Fritos chips.

Elsie: Yeah.

Emma: No exceptions.A.

Elsie: Absolutely. I totally agree.

Emma: But other than chili, just generally soup season, I am so excited for I live for soup, I really do. I know that’s so basic, but I don’t care. I love soup and it’s hard, I’ll eat it all year round, but I don’t enjoy it as much in the summer because it is so hot, it’s so hot and humid where I live. And so it’s not as fun to eat soup. So now I’m like, finally it’s getting kind of chilly, drinking all my tea in my Halloween mugs and making soup every night.

Elsie: For sure. I’m excited to make soup as well. OK, I am so excited to make homemade Chex Mix. You know, I love… I love doing it. It just makes me so happy to put it in a giant jar on the counter and then just like, eat it way too much. I love it.

Emma: Yup. That’s what it’s for.

Elsie: Yes. Yeah. That’s that’s happiness. OK, so I was thinking about Friendsgiving and I looked it up actually in our blog archives. If you don’t know or if you’re whatever new inexperienced of A Beautiful Mess then I will just tell you Friendsgiving, it’s more than just a friend’s Thanksgiving to us. It’s our way of we have a big party. It is usually with our friends. Sometimes some family members come like, you know, our brother and stuff comes a lot and we’ve done it ten times or would have been ten times this year. But, you know, stupid covid, anyway. So what we do is we try all new recipes and photograph a whole bunch of delicious recipes for the blog, and then we blog them all month in preparation for real Thanksgiving. And it’s one of our favorite traditions because, you know, we do all the pictures and it’s fun. And then we actually have, you know, like a fun meal together. And, you know, there’s kids, a part of it. Our niece is ten now. So anyway, we’re definitely a little sad because this year we realized we can’t do Friendsgiving the way we normally do in person together because of travel and other reasons. So we’re thinking of a way we’re trying to think of a way to do sort of like a virtual version of it. So we’re bloggers, we can figure this out. So we’re thinking maybe like we could do an Instagram live week or we could do a series of stories or I’m not really sure what we would love to hear your suggestions if you have a great idea, but we still want to celebrate it. And this year I’ll be staying home for Thanksgiving in Tennessee and not being with family. It’s our second year to do that. And I will say that the recipes on the blog are a great comfort to me. We make Emma’s stuffing meatballs and marble slab pumpkin pie and my amazing Chex Mix.

Emma: Sounds like a feast.

Elsie: Yes. (laughs)

Emma: Yeah, we’ll figure it out. We’ll do something. And on a more minor note, I started this thing last year where I do a haunted house at Elsie’s and I’m not doing that this year either because it doesn’t feel like, you know, it doesn’t seem appropriate.

Elsie: Let me talk so about it a little bit, because I feel like last year I don’t remember what month we started the podcast, but I feel like we didn’t really get to talk about the haunted house. Maybe we did. I don’t think we did.

Emma: I don’t remember.

Elsie: But we OK, so Emma created a…so we have this little historic home. I think we might be selling it. We’re not sure. In the cutest neighborhood in our hometown. And it’s kind of an AirBnB mostly just I stay there, but technically it’s an AirBnB. And so she set up all the rooms like a haunted house that you could walk through, people would walk through. It was kid friendly. It had like the giant opening and closing eyeball projection on the wall. It had a giant full size like life-size, witch in the kitchen that was actually scary to some little kids more than we thought it would be. And then it had a room where there was a couple of rooms where there were skeletons everywhere. Some like…

Emma: We had a spider web room.

Elsie: Spider webs coming off the ceiling.

Emma: And then there was a werewolf and a full moon photo backdrop in the backyard where you would exit and people could get a photo.

Elsie: Oh, yes, Jeremy’s dad was manning that photo booth! It was really, really a wonderful…

Emma: And my theme was goosebumps, it was kind of based off, loosely based off, lots of different Goosebumps books. And we also had fifty used copies of various Goosebumps books that we gave away in addition to candy at the end of the haunted house to kids who would enjoy it. Who are that age.

Elsie: See, this is why she’s the best aunt in the world.

Emma: It was fun and I was like, this is my thing. I found my thing in life. I make a haunted house every year for my small town, Springfield, Missouri, because we had like hundreds of people go through it last year. It was fun.

Elsie: It was so fun.

Emma: And I learned some things like I need more signs. So I was excited to do it this year and I already had my theme picked out, I was going to do old school Jumanji, remember the old Jumanji movie, not the new ones. So which is very spooky, but also kind of a kid’s thing, anyway. It’s not appropriate for this year with covid. So because people would all be in a house and, you know, that’s just not we’re not going to do that, obviously. So so I’m really sad about that. And I’m really sad about Friendsiving. And I’m not trying to be a downer. I know there’s so many these are kind of trivial compared to so many things that other people are. But I also it’s kind of like people…

Elsie: It’s okay to be sad about your haunted house.

Emma: I just it’s I think sometimes it’s nice to let people see you no matter how trivial, like it’s real, you know, so that this is it. And it’s like I’m really sad. I can’t do my haunted house this year and I’m really sad I can’t really do Friendsgiving in the way I’ve done it before. But we will find something else and that will be very fun too. And I’m looking forward to that.

Elsie: Yes, and there’s always next year.

Emma: It’s just been a trying year.

Elsie: Yeah. Yeah, for sure has been a challenging hell of a year. We wanted to give a reminder it’s getting down to the wire. If you want to send a ghost story for our ghost story episodes that are coming out in late October, then you need to send it now to podcast@abeautifulmess.com. And I will tell you specifically what we’re looking for. We’re looking for specific ghost stories. They don’t have to be long. They don’t have to be scary. They just have to be a story that really happened to you or a firsthand account that you heard from someone else. We don’t want like ten people down the line, and give us all the details. We’re so excited to do the episode. So we’re going to do either one or two. We’re not sure yet. Depends on how good your stories are, no pressure.

Emma: And send them to. Did you say to send them to a podcast@abeautifulmess.com? That’s the email.

Elsie: Yes. Yes, we are. We have a person on staff full time. All she does is collect ghost stories and save them for that episode.

Emma: That’s her only job all year round.

Elsie: Right. (laughs) Ok, so last week I recorded an interview over Zoom with Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit. They have a Netflix show that just came out this past week and a book coming out later on this month. It was slightly weird doing this interview with Clea and Joanna because they’re both my real life friends and I haven’t seen either one of them since covid. In fact, I last saw Clea at this kind of infamous now baby shower that was like two days before everyone started coming, or coming, staying home and never saw each other again. So we all remember it as our last time to be normal in March. So anyway, it was so fun catching up with them. And here is the interview without further ado.

Elsie: So I’m very excited to binge your new show. So tell us where we can watch it. What was your favorite episode and any personal favorites?

Clea: Ok, so our new show Get Organized with the Home Edit will be on Netflix September 9th. Everywhere, I mean, I guess not everywhere, but like what? A hundred ninety three countries?

Joanna: Yeah, which just wild.

Clea: It’s so wild.

Joanna: Like Elsie, like how is this real.

Clea: No it’s not real. It’s not real. But…

Elsie: I can’t wait. Is going to be one of the shows where you can watch it all at once or you have to wait.

Clea: All eight episodes are going to be at once. Each episode has two projects in it. So it’s a celebrity project and then a non-celebrity project, just a regular client of ours. And it’s really exciting. We get to see inside some of our all-time favorite celebrity clients, our new celebrity clients that we had never met before the show, which was, of course, nerve-wracking.

Joanna: Totally.

Clea: And then these amazing other clients that we meet through, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, we kind of, you know, trot all over the country.

Joanna: Yeah.

Clea: And I think that those projects are honestly just as great.

Joanna: And the families were so wonderful and welcoming and we just were so excited to be in their homes.

Clea: And they’re all full of so much joy watching. I mean…

Joanna: Each of the storylines of those families is really special.

Clea: It’s really special. And I really love it because I feel like it’s all very happy, like it’s all very joyful. Like you don’t you know, there are a couple of tears here and there, but it’s it’s happy tears you know…

Joanna: Yeah.

Clea: Like it’s everything feels really good.

Joanna: That’s because it was filmed in twenty nineteen. (laughs)

Clea: Because it was twenty-nineteen production.

Elsie: That makes so much sense. Yeah.

Clea: There are a lot of hugs and handshakes so I don’t want to…

Joanna: Yeah a lot of hugs, A LOT of hugs.

Clea: Hugs are scary now.

Joanna: Yeah I know. So yeah. Yeah it’s, it’s really exciting.

Joanna: I can’t believe it’s real and it’s here.

Clea: I know. The celebrities in the show are Reese Witherspoon, Khloe Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Retta, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burka.

Joanna: Rachel Zoe and Kane brown

Clea: Kane Brown and Kaitlyn Brown and Jordana Brewster and it’s just it’s so fun. It’s a fun show.

Elsie: I can’t wait to watch it. I have been inside both your homes in person, and I want to let everyone know that the magic is real and it really is organized, it’s beautiful and even like a closet, you know, every little detail is organized. So what advice do you have for those of us who still have a junk drawers in our lives and just like junk, junk stuff, stuff, stuff.

Clea: Stuff stuff stuff is a no, no, no. And, you guys, you’ve had six months. (laughs)

Joanna: You have to be to be cognizant about what you bring into your house. Like, if you can’t figure out a space that you’re going to put it, probably don’t bring it in.

Clea: Right. And if you have already brought it in, like in a junk drawer, you know, set aside a drawer is such an easy to tackle project, set aside literally 30 minutes of your day, edit out the things that don’t belong there. You probably have business cards from people you don’t remember, like gift cards that you’ve already used that have expired. Just random stuff, pens that have leaked. I mean, ther’re just so many things that probably don’t need to be there, that could be edited out. And then you just do a quick assessment of the different categories, group them into their own little sections, get some containment, get some little drawer organizers. You’re done. You’re good to go and use that knowledge and then start to tackle other spaces.

Joanna: `Right. Tackle a small space first.

Clea: And you know what, I now I just said we had six months, but I also haven’t read one word of one book in six months. So I also think I had goals too. But I was like, I’m going to learn a new language, I’m going to learn how to play the guitar.

Elsie: It’s two different universes for people quarantining with children and people quarantining without children. We’re all in the same camp for that one. (laughs) OK, so also you have a new book. So this is a big season for you. So I love the theme of it’s OK to own things because I love things that give me permission, especially like guilt…it’s like guilt is not a very 2020 thing anymore. I don’t need any more of that. So I love the rainbow cover and I just wanted to know what more can we expect from the new book?

Clea: I love our new book and I don’t — it’s not that I love it more or less. I don’t pick children. I love our first book too. But the second book, we got a little bit looser and more free with writing it because again, the first book is very…

Elsie: Nice.

Clea: It’s very room by room in the house.

Joanna: Right. You have to give the tutorials of how the nuts and bolts of it all work.

Clea: Right. And this book, we just took a deeper dive. We have a whole section on the enneagram. We have a whole…

Elsie: (gasp) Wow! What are both your enneagrams? I want to know.

Clea: Three, achiever with a two helper. And Joanna is a four.

Joanna: Yeah I don’t remember what I am. But I know you know what I am. (all laugh)

Clea: Joanna’s a four with a wing three. So basically I’m an overachiever who needs to achieve my goals at all times. But I also feel compelled to help people. And Joanna is like an individualist who is like, her feelings are very weird to her, but also really needs to achieve her goals. So we’re a good pair Enneagram-wise.

Joanna: Yeah, enneagram told us so.

Clea: But we, we also the reason for the enneagram, we really try and talk people through, like understand yourself. It will make you a better organizer and it’ll tell you your motivations and your goals for your process because every person is so different. So if you’re looking for like the one size fits all approach to organizing, it just doesn’t exist. You really need to organize for the way you live in the household that you run and operate.

Joanna: And you need to know whether it’s a you issue or it’s like a family issue. Like are you being reasonable with your request for your family? Like maybe not. If it’s so micro and detailed, it might be too hard for your children to line up all of the cereal bars. But if you’re just saying, can you just put them in a bin? That’s really reasonable.

Clea: You need to…like we try and coach people through like. All right, first, let’s understand yourself.

Joanna: Yeah.

Clea: Then let’s try and work through not the rooms in your house, but the contents of our life and like the things that we end up kind of incorporating into our homes that need to be there. Like right now, like you have podcast equipment, right? Like this, is…

Elsie: Mmm, not really.

Clea: You look pretty professional.

Joanna: You look professional.

Elsie: I have a pair of headphones.

Clea: Like you might start to accumulate…or you have a lot of spooky craft items.

Elsie: True!

Clea: You start to accumulate things based on the way you live your life and you have to not have it because that is part of your job, part of what you do. It’s part of A Beautiful Mess. And so we want to create storage and organizing tips for containing those items, but not necessarily getting rid of them. So our…

Elsie: I love that! I have an enormous collection of holiday stuff and also Halloween stuff. And it’s so important to me. It’s so special to me. So I love — I can’t wait to read the book and I hope it does, just like give me permission to keep it all and also organize it better.

Joanna: I mean like, I can’t think of anybody with the amount of craft stuff that you have and baking stuff and cookies. I mean, you I mean, like you’re good at it all.

Clea: And you need it.

Joanna: Yes. And it’s part your work.

Clea: And those are rules: you need to use it, love it, or at least have it be special and like make you happy. Like those are just the core rules. If it doesn’t check those boxes, then you probably shouldn’t own it in the first place. And again, the need it is important. It’s like you need a toilet plunger in your tax return. So like you can’t get rid of it. So there are those kind of philosophies in the book. But again, like we just want to show people how to organize for the things that they have. And I think…

Joanna: And not feel guilty about them.

Clea: Yeah. And it’s a fun book. It also has beautiful rainbow edges to the paper.

Elsie: Ooh!

Clea: Just like, it’s a fun book.

Joanna: Yeah.

Clea: There are a lot of quizzes and little tidbits and anecdotes.

Joanna: Yeah it is. It’s really fun. Yeah.

Elsie: I can’t wait. I’m so excited. OK, so I have a few listener questions I’ve collected.

Clea: Okay.

Elsie: So the first one is, I got a lot of questions in this same vein. Basically people saying is it even possible to organize when I have children or is it even possible to keep it organized, which I am sure you hear this question all the time. So do you have a little pep talk ready to go in your back pocket for moms who are afraid that it’s just not worth it?

Joanna: No it’s always worth it!

Clea: Always worth it.

Joanna: What you need is a smart, sustainable system. So something that is very child friendly and easy to put back. You don’t want to get too fussy. You don’t want it to get too micro in the categories. You need large groupings and you will succeed in putting things away and keeping the system in place.

Clea: If you have one bin that’s for Magna Tiles, the kids are going to put it back. They know where it goes.

Joanna: And it’s fun it’s a game. You have to think about it as a game to put things away.

Clea: But I also think that people need to remember that kids know how to operate in the classroom and like the classroom is full of bins of toys.

Joanna: Guess what, the home is now the classroom.

Clea: I know, but that’s the thing. There’s no pass for the kids.

Joanna: Right.

Clea: They have to put it back and the teachers are not going to give them a pass and the teacher’s not going to clean it up. Kids are expected to do these things. And I think that they come home and they think that they can pull one over on you. And it’s like, no, you know how to do this.

Joanna: Yeah, you do it all day at school, and guess where your school is now. Right here.

Elsie: Ha! That’s a good pep talk. I love it.

Clea: I’ll say this. There’s also when it becomes potentially a bridge too far for a child. And you also have to recognize that. And I will throw myself under the bus for this. My daughter, Stella, who is nine years old, must literally take like a shovel inside of her t-shirt drawer every day and, like, tear it up. And I have folded them so beautifully over and over again and taught her how to fold them over and over again. And truly, it’s all folded so neatly and upright. I don’t even know how she doesn’t know what she’s looking for, like it’s all right there. So she must just enjoy making a t-shirt solid for me every single day. And you know what? I’ve stopped because I’m like, I’m closing the drawer. If you want to live that way, then that’s the way you’re going to live. I’m not going to refold your drawer over and over and over again. And maybe at nine years old, having a perfectly folded drawer is just too much of an expectation for her. I don’t know. So I’ve started hanging more of her clothes because that there’s no excuse for. It’s like maybe you’re not going to get the perfect folding mechanism down, but you can certainly put something on a hanger. And so, again, it’s kind of just…

Joanna: I have another example.

Elsie: That’s really good advice.

Joanna: Both like on principle, we both make both of our children make the beds in the morning. However, because it’s our issue that they need to be made perfectly. We both independently of knowing from each other, go back and remake all two beds in each of our own houses for both of the kids.

Elsie: Funny!

Clea: And again, that’s an us problem.

Joanna: Right, like I’m sorry you can’t make it like a grown woman who does this for a job. I won’t expect my six-year-old daughter to be able to do that, but you do have to make it.

Clea: So again, it’s understanding what is reasonable and what’s maybe your own issue. And like for me, maybe I want Stella to keep her drawers perfectly folded, like I would fold in a client’s house. But that’s probably not realistic for her. Certainly not at seven o’clock in the morning when she’s getting dressed. So maybe I just need to reform my system and reduce my expectations for that. But can she put things away?

Joanna: Yeah.

Clea: Yes. They’re not going to be on the floor.

Joanna: Right.

Elsie: That’s really good advice. I think it’s always a mix of both for sure. Reducing expectations and continuing to try. Ok, so what are your best tips for adding more storage when the storage is not great in your home? So an old home, an apartment.

Joanna: Ywo magic tricks for you. One is an over the door storage unit you can buy at the Container Store. They’re by Elfa, and tool free!

Clea: Tool free! They hook on, you kind of clamp it and…

Joanna: And they’re like little shelves that go on the back of the door and it is magic, you can store so many things. I’m so obsessed with them that I have them throughout my entire house just because I think they’re so smart and I want to see them.

Elsie: Nice!

Clea: She literally have them in closets and I’ll open the closet and the closet’s empty because it’s all on the back of the door. And I’m like, you could have just used the shelves. And she’s like, I just really like it like that.

Joanna: Yeah! And it gives you lower space if you don’t have that much, like if your kids are short or small.

Clea: If you’re under tall like Joanna is.

Joanna: And all of the top shelves, it’s so annoying to get up there all the time. So it does maximize your lower shelf opportunities. Especially for kids to give them that any more things that they can put away themselves.

Clea: We do use over the door storage a lot.

Joanna: It’s a magic trick for me.

Clea: It is. And if you don’t have great over the door storage, meaning like maybe you have a sliding door, accordion doors, things like that. I see like the door behind you has like a arch to it. So that would not be a good candidate for an over the door hanger. We use a lot of carts. Love a cart.

Joanna: We love a cart.

Elsie: Ooh.

Clea: Coffee cart, bar cart, laundry cart, bathroom cart, art cart, home school cart…

Joanna: It’s so fun. A cart is so fun.

Clea: Carts are endless. We love them. There are so many different options for them. Most of them have divisions, you know, whether it’s three tiers or two tiers until you can really separate your categories.

Joanna: We just, we just started using our own and it goes perfectly with the bins that we create. So it is granular.

Clea: It is a full system.

Joanna: It is. It’s so cute and happy.

Clea: And it just it’s great. And the thing that’s so great about it, especially in these pandemic times, is if you’re creating a home school set up or a work from home set up or whatever it is, you can have your cart or even a layer of the cart if you want to be kind and share it with your family and you can roll it up to the table you’re using during the day and then roll it away when you’re done. So you’re really kind of like separating out those spaces and not…

Elsie: That is such a good trick for homeschooling. Ok, I’m going to link all of these products in the show notes. That is great. OK, so I love your Container Store line. We were just chatting about that a bit. I just bought a bunch of it and I’m so excited because, yeah, we moved recently and so everything is changing and it’s so exciting. So the question is actually, what are you go-tos when you’re avoiding plastic, though?

Clea: There are a lot of great options. I think that it depends on what you’re putting in it. First of all, like we love Hyacinth, which is like a sea grass. But it’s not great if you’re thinking like clothing because it kind of can shed because it’s a natural fiber. So there’s another basket called the Montauk basket that comes in like a ivory white and a gray, and it has a linen liner. So that’s much better for clothing. Sometimes we even Take out the liner, but like, it’s a material that doesn’t, it’s coated so like it doesn’t actually get fibers on clothing and things like that.

Joanna: And in drawers, you can use bamboo organizers, like bamboo wood organizers. Those are excellent.

Clea: Or rattan. We love rattan for things. I mean, honestly, we go through I mean…

Joanna: Baskets are great.

Clea: Baskets are the mainstay for us like we and some people also. It’s not even that they want to avoid plastic. Some people just don’t want to physically see items. They really want that concealment. And again, we always ask them, are you sure you want the concealment? Like, is it going to become a graveyard? Or we work through everyone’s preferences and needs and try to come up with a solution.

Elsie: That’s that sounds awesome. Yeah. I saw your Kim Kardashian fridge that was plastic free and thought it was so inspiring.

Joanna: Oh, yes. Yes, it was.

Clea: That house, we really de-plastic-ed everything.

Elsie: Nice. That is so cool. The next question is celebrity related as well. This is one of the listener questions. Are celebrity homes different, really different from average person homes.

Joanna: No, I mean, some of them are bigger or they’re design. They have a beautiful aesthetic.

Clea: When you open their pantry, their drawers, bathroom doors, it’s I mean…

Joanna: Stuff is stuff. But unless you organize it, it’s it’s still stuff that’s not organized.

Clea: Unless you’ve organized it, unless we’ve organized it, it’s not organized. It’s not to say it’s a mess, it’s just not organized. There aren’t systems in place. So I think that that’s kind of the most fun thing about our job, is that truly, when it comes to organization, again, like interior designers probably would not be able to have the same answer as us, because, you know, I’m sure a lot of high profile people have big design budgets and all sorts of stuff. But when it comes to organizing, it’s not — it’s not the same thing. It’s not drapery or like a custom couch. It’s still it’s the same products. It’s generally even similar size spaces. Like sometimes a closet is bigger or even a pantry might be bigger, but not like twelve times the space. You know, it’s like, a kitchen drawer is a kitchen drawer.

Joanna: That’s right, and you still have the same kitchen foods or pantry items that any other family would have.

Clea: I don’t care if it’s a celebrity bathroom or not a celebrity bathroom. It’s like we’re still honestly dealing with the same thing…

Joanna: There’s still toothpaste!

Clea: I mean, it’s kind of a it’s a nice unifying situation that that’s why people always ask us, do we get nervous in celebrities homes? And it’s kind of like the answer is really no, because every single…

Elsie: They should be nervous. Right? I was so nervous when you came to my home. It is like a very vulnerable feeling for someone to go through your pantry.

Joanna: We were most nervous to go to your house out of any person ever. Truly. And not because you’re so intimidating, but because you’re so creative and so talented.

Clea: And I said to Joanna, when we first left your house before we actually did the job, you were just looking at the space. I was like, we better get some talent by tomorrow. Like, this is not going to, like Elsie is.

Elsie: No, you changed my life. It was so wonderful. I was so sad when we had to leave some of the stuff behind, you know, because when you move, it’s like everything has to be reconfigured. So it was magical.

Joanna: Yeah. No, I’ve never seen Clea. So nervous. Honestly, she was like, Elsie is so talented. We better get this figured out.

Clea: I honestly…

Elsie: I love you guys.

Clea: I was starstruck by your blue floor, literally star struck by your rainbow glasses collection. And like the pink remember the pink floral wallpaper in your dining room, I was like, I can’t I can’t handle this. I can handle whatever…Gwenyth Paltrow. But I was so nervous in your house because I was like it just…

Joanna: I know. Well creativity is like your jam and you’re so good at it and it’s so inspiring for us. Yeah.

Elsie: Thank you. You guys are so creative too.

Joanna: No, we’re good organizers. (laughs)

Clea: We don’t make a spooky craft.

Joanna: No definitely not. (laughs)

Elsie: I want to have a craft day. I miss people!

Clea and Joanna: I know.

Elsie: So sad. OK, so we will link on Instagram, your new TV show, the new book and the Container Store line. Is there anything else you want links to?

Clea: We do have one other thing. You’re not able to link to it yet, but we do have one other thing. We have a home and personal care cleaning products line coming.

Elsie: Oh!

Clea: Rume by the Home Edit. R-U-M-E. And we’re…the first drop is going to be hand sanitizer, Hand wash or hand soap, hand lotion.

Joanna: Oh, let’s show her! I hope you approve of the…

Clea: It’s really it’s very pretty. It’s a matte white…

Elsie: It’s so pretty!

Clea: And the sanitizer. Yeah. And so and we’re…

Joanna: We have a wooden little tray that it’s going to go into.

Clea: Yeah. It’s going into…

Elsie: They’re gorgeous. OK, everyone is going to love these. Oh I can’t wait.

Joanna: You’re like the first person we showed it to that hasn’t been on the inside.

Elsie: Well I have a couple of questions. I like to always end with a flash question that is just so random. All right. The first one is, since it’s spooky season. Have either of you ever seen a ghost?

Clea: I believe I have.

Joanna: I have not seen one, but I fully believe in it.

Clea: I fully believe I have like, maybe…

Joanna: Don’t tell me it’s when I’ve been with you.

Elsie: Can you tell us your ghost story?

Joanna: Oh, God, I don’t want to hear it. La la la la la la.

Clea: It was in my first house growing up, like the two to three times I think that I’ve actually seen one and the house is like over 100 hundred years old. So I fully believe that it’s…

Joanna: I’m sure I fully believe it.

Clea: And I definitely think it was a man. It was like wearing a cowboy hat that was in my hallway. And I don’t know what he would be doing in this house, but I fully believe it. And then there was another time that it was like this, like white wisp of a thing that I saw out of the corner of my eye and it came up to my bedroom window, like on the outside. And sure. Could it have been like a helicopter floodlight or something? Maybe. But it didn’t look like it. It was like a milky white like almost like smoke or something. Anyway, I just I believe that I have OK…

Elsie: Yeah, that’s exciting. I love a good ghost story. OK, my other question is, what is each of your favorite nineties nostalgic movie, the one that gives you all the feelings?

Clea: Nineties nostalgic movie. Was when was Almost Famous?

Joanna: That was 2000.

Clea: I’m like, how old are we?

Joanna: That might have been like nineteen ninety nine. No, it was 2000.

Clea: What about…probably Forrest Gump.

Elsie: Do you have one?

Joanna: When was Legally Blonde?

Elsie: Oh yes. But I think that was in the 2000s. Maybe, wasn’t it?

Clea: But I still think that, like two thousand one was like three years ago, so I’m like, I’m having a hard time.

Joanna: I feel like it was in the 90s, Legally Blonde.

Elsie: It was 2001.

Joanna: 2001. Yeah, I was I kind of think I was in high school.

Elsie: It still counts.

Clea: I know for Forrest Gump, I was…

Elsie: I got so excited about the Legally Blonde sequel.

Joanna: Oh I know.

Clea: Wait until you see we organized Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde wardrobe in the show.

Elsie: Oh my God. It’s in the show?! Oh, that’s so exciting. Ok, well we can’t wait to watch and congratulations for everything and hopefully we’ll get to see you soon.

Clea and Joanna: Love you, bye!

Emma: Thank you so much for listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. We’ll be linking all of the cozy, spooky and organizational things in our show notes, which you can find at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. And if you have a chance to pop over to the show notes, then please let us know anyone else you’d like us to interview. We’re hoping to do more of these and we’d love to know who you want to hear from.

Elsie: We’re also going to provide a link in our show notes this week to register to vote. If you haven’t registered yet or maybe you just recently moved or maybe you’re just not totally sure where or how to vote. It only takes about five minutes to do and you will get your registration in the mail. Then you can know that you’re good to go vote in November. So be sure to do that if you haven’t done it yet or if you’re not sure if this is just we’re just begging you, please, please, please, please register to vote.

Emma: Vote! What do you hate democracy? Come on! (laughs)

Elsie: Voting time, woo! Most important thing ever. OK, talk to you guys next week.

Read More
  • Thanks for the shout out! Using real pumpkins they wedge in quite nicely. It was attempting to get them to spill out that proved a little tricky. ?
    I can’t wait to see all of your holiday decor!

  • At our Tea Room we typically do a cold soup for the summer months. Emma, being a soup lover- you should definitely try. Here’s a link for a Disney cold soup recipe:

    Also, have y’all seen the Halloweentown Etsy (marnie from the movie sells the cutest sweaters for fall)!!!

  • Would love to see some of Emma’s mug collection and/or links to where she found them on Etsy! Thanks!!

  • Hi ABM team! 🙂
    Lovely podcast at always, I will got through the notes now, I definitely enjoyed the part about organising and I would love to start a themed mug collection too 🙂 that would mean more mugs on rotation hehe!

    I just wanted to let you know that on Spotify I see this episode as #53, so I was worried I missed one (the one on Etsy collection being #51). But I see this as #52 here on the blog, so not sure if it’s just on my Spotify.

    • Huh. Thanks for the note on Spotify. I am not sure what the means…. so weird. But good to know so thanks

  • hi, would love for you to have your friendsgiving future “however you decide to share” be on the blog versus IG – it’s so nice when you can look at things on the blog versus how temporary IG is and especially when it’s one more place to have to check versus following along here on the original site.. also, would love another episode just about halloween – it was nice to get a little bit of that in this podcast but would love much more about your love of the season and the movies you most love (and why!!) it’s so fun and not nearly enough on this podcast! please!!

    • I would love that as well, since I have had to take a break with social media due to COVID triggers

    • An all Halloween episode would be fun! You could discuss your favorite costumes you’ve ever worn, rank candies, chat horror/spooky movies, any other childhood traditions you remember.

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