Minimalist Cleaning Tips from Japan
Created by: Elisabeth McKnight, Bella the Blog
Oosouji is an end of the year tradition in Japan. It literally translates to "big cleaning." Even if you're not thrilled about the idea of deep cleaning so soon after indulging in holiday treats or hosting out-of-town guests, follow a few of these tips for a calmer start to the new year.
- Remove clutter. You may like all your junk arranged on your shelves "just so," but the Japanese will tell you that less is more. Clean lines and clean surfaces are calming to look at and they create a soothing ambiance.
- Focus on what to keep. Instead of going through a room and trying to figure out what you want to get rid of, decide what things you want to keep. After you've rounded up these items, get rid of everything else.
- Skip the stacking. In her bestselling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing," Marie Kondo cautions against stacking. It's hard to keep things neat in a stack, and you're far less likely to use the things at the bottom. When it comes to things like clothing in drawers, consider rolling them.
- Clean from top to bottom. By starting at the top, dust particles will literally collect on the floor as you clean. By working your way downward, you guarantee that gravity is on your side and you end up with a spotless space.
- Fix the broken. If you have anything sitting around that you've been meaning to get repaired, now is the time. If it isn't worth fixing, throw it out. Either way, don't let the negative energy of the broken item weigh your home down.
- Tackle your closet. For many, closets are an overwhelming place to start cleaning. When you're deciding which items to keep, focus on choosing ones that "spark joy." By picking the ones you love, you'll wear them more often and keep a positive energy about you.
- Throw out the junk drawer. Having a junk drawer isn't the end of the world, but make sure it's out of sight. Sort through it and find a place for everything in it before New Year's hits. If you can't find a place, throw that item away. Start the new year with an empty drawer.