According to Marie Kondo’s theory, it’s impossible to have a peaceful life focused on happiness if the home and feelings are in a mess. And she does make a very good point. Messy rooms and an apartment full of clutter doesn’t provide the relaxing atmosphere that we all deserve to go home to every day. Instead, we’ll be stressing about cleaning it up and then repeating the process all over again the next day. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid this scenario. One of them is to follow Japanese cleaning practices.
The Japanese live by simplicity and minimalism. They also observe the concept of “Osoji,” which means to clean the clutter, dirt, and dust of the past. More than just the physical sense of the concept though, Osoji also promotes a state of mind that treats cleaning and decluttering more than just a monotonous chore. It’s also a ritual to welcome a fresh start and banish bad habits. The Japanese normally practice Osoji at the end of the year to welcome a new start. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t practice this in your everyday home keep up. After all, you don’t have to wait until the New Year to pick up on your mess and clean up your clutter. So, here are some tips to practice Japanese cleaning to keep your apartment tidy all year round.
Discard What Doesn’t Bring You Joy
If you just keep moving the clutter around, it will build up over time and will keep filling up space in your apartment. So, to put your apartment in order, get rid of the unnecessary things in your home once and for all. The technique is not thinking about what you have to throw out but, keeping only what gives you joy or thrill. This applies to everything from clothes, to books and photographs. That way, you only surround yourself with things that are useful to you and make you happy and confident. This also provides you a deeper appreciation for the things you have and closure for the things you’re tossing.
One of Marie Kondo’s tips to keep your closet organized is to practice vertical storage. Folding your clothes neatly and storing them that way would make it easier to see your choices and to get what you need without making another mess. This also provides more room in your closet. You can also organize your clothes by type, color, and season so everything you’ll have everything you need right in front of you.
Order by Category
Instead of going room by room in your apartment organizing routine, try organizing by category. For example, if you want to organize and put away your clothes first, gather all your clothes in once place then start the separation process. Go through each piece of clothing and decide if it still makes you happy. If it doesn’t, toss it out or give it away. The same goes for books and other things that can easily build up over time without you noticing. One good tip to incorporate in this is to bring out everything from your cupboards, drawers, or other storage areas. That way, you can clean these spaces as well before you put everything back in.
Sweep From Top to Bottom Then Towards the Entrance
Cleaning from top to bottom is all about practicality. As you dust off the top of your cupboards, tables, and other furniture, the dust falls to the floor. It accumulates there ready to swept off or vacuumed away. One of the most efficient ways of sweeping it away is to start at the furthest points in the room and work towards the entrance. See, dirt and dust accumulate a lot easier at the entrance because of air drifts and human movement. Then, it drifts outward. So, by starting at the furthest corners, you’re moving from the cleaner areas to the dirtiest and you’re avoiding spreading the dirt and dust more.
Empty Your Bags Everyday
One of the things we clean the least is our bags. Often times, it’s filled with receipts, change, and other garbage from our everyday use. So, instead of just setting it down at the end of the day, rummage through its contents. Clean out the trash. Then, put papers where they need to be placed. This will also help you to get rid of things you won’t need for the next day and vice versa. It’ll also help you avoid rushing in the morning and just strewing things around your apartment in the rush for things you need. This also goes for groceries. Instead of just putting everything in the pantry, wrappers and all, take time to organize your stocks and place them in proper containers. This will make your shelves look neater much more organized.
If you can, repurpose things that you already have at home rather than buying new things. For example, if you have a few shoeboxes at hand, you can turn them into additional storage space. They can be pretty good organizers for cables, random knick-knacks, papers and other things you need out of sight.
Don’t Stop in the Middle
Last but not least, invest a good amount of time for your cleaning and organizing. Often times, we dedicate different days for different rooms of the house. But, this only makes our cleaning ineffective and turns it a lot longer and more tedious than we want. It also defeats the purpose of efficiency and starting better habits. So, dedicate at least one day. And when you start, don’t stop midway. Get everything done so that the only thing you’ll need to do for the rest of the week is to maintain the tidiness of your place.