Ever wonder how home influencers seem to post photos of their well-styled, sparkling spaces almost every day when you can barely keep your countertops clutter-free for an hour? We spoke with three influencers who shared comments on whether they naturally lean tidy or not, the steps they take to stockpile photos for their grids, and the degree to which they share messier moments with their followers. Life may not be a series of perfectly styled spaces for anyone—but when sharing images of your magazine-worthy home is your profession, a whole lot of behind the scenes planning and strategy is key.
Understand Your Innate Habits
Instagrammer Hattie Kolp naturally enjoys keeping her apartment clean and tidy. "As an adult, I have always been pretty neat," she said. "My physical surroundings affect how I feel on the inside, so I know if my apartment is a mess I’ll probably feel really stressed out." That said, as a frequent DIYer, she doesn't hesitate to show some behind-the-scenes action. "Of course, sometimes—especially during home projects—it does get messy and I gladly will show that on Instagram; maybe not on the feed but in stories," Kolp added, and perhaps this behavior only strengthens her online presence. Kolp noted, "I think my transparency on Instagram is a big reason why people connect with me!"
Instagrammer Jessie Ruane of Jessie Finds doesn't get as stressed about the state of her apartment. "I don't mind living in chaos at all, so the fact that I somehow became a home influencer is pretty funny to me," she noted. And her unit's layout makes containing clutter even more of a challenge. "I also live in a loft, so there is no hiding of any sort of mess," she explained. "I don't have a closet—not a single closet."
While Ruane is well aware of her natural tendencies, she keeps these concealed on the 'gram. "I rarely show a mess unless it's on purpose, and usually humorously," she commented. Days on which her apartment is fully organized and decorated become key for shooting photos. "When I deep clean and style an area, I usually try to take multiple photos and videos while it's looking good ... and then I try to use that content for a few months, and in rare occasions, up to a year," she explained.
Erika Ver of Peony and Honey is also a proponent of this tactic. "My best advice to anyone trying to keep their feeds full of well-styled photos is to batch content," she said. "When a particular room is clean or recently finished and styled, take a bunch of photos and videos capturing each angle of the space. Additionally, you can switch up the styling slightly between shots for a different look. Switch out things like throws, artwork, decorative objects, and pillows to create a whole new look in the same space."
By now, Ruane also has a strong enough sense of which sections of her apartment her followers favor and can resurface past content featuring these nooks or rooms if necessary. She stated, "If I'm in an engagement lull, I usually post an old video of my bathroom—which is so rarely clean, it has to be old videos—to help it get a spike again."
Ruane hesitates to capture certain areas of her loft and finds that photos of sections that are more completely styled resonate better with her audience. "There are a few spots in my apartment I've hardly shown because they have never felt 'done,' to me," she shared. "I try to make it all feel as complete as possible, or the photos don't really pop and they underperform."
In addition to wanting to keep their followers happy, influencers can also fall into the habit of comparing themselves with their counterparts. "There’s always this underlying pressure to create the perfect IG grid," Ver noted. "It’s not often talked about, but it’s there and very real. How do you not compare your home to the homes of other content creators?"
Embrace Highs and Lows
Despite this, keeping followers aware of life's highs and lows—and how they affect the state of her home—is important to Ver. "I keep it 100 with my 'Honeys,' as I call my followers. They know when my house is a disaster, I’m stressed, not feeling well—I am open and honest about all of it."
For Ver, posting to her static feed is not a daily practice but a moment in which to showcase well-styled moments around her home. "I treat my feed like a special occasion," she noted. "I dress up a room for it, and I don’t post unless I have something lovely ready to post. I think my people understand that the perfectly styled photos on my feed are that special occasion and a representation of my best days."
Celebrate the Imperfections
Ver urged other influencers to remain open to photo mistakes that may actually enhance their overall product. "Perfection is unattainable, so don’t put pressure on yourself to achieve it," she advised. "I find that people often enjoy the cat that snuck into the photo, the blanket that fell onto the floor, and all the little imperfections of real life. You don’t have to keep a perfectly tidy house all the time, you just have to work the angles!"