5 Organizing techniques from Japan to cleanse, declutter, and refresh your home

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You might have heard of the popular minimalist inspirations originating from Japan, but what about implementing these concepts in your home? We explore five different Japanese organizing techniques that you can use to reinvigorate your living space.

These methods focus on creating an environment that nurtures mental and physical well-being. Learn how to declutter, clean and strategically organize your home following these simple yet effective approaches derived from Japanese principles.

1/ Embrace mindful minimalism: the ‘Ma’ technique

The first concept to consider when revamping your space is ‘Ma.’ It represents intentional emptiness within a room and teaches its practitioners to value both empty and full spaces in balance.

Embracing ‘Ma’ essentially means clearing out non-essential items and furnishing your house with fewer, carefully chosen objects.

This approach helps create a tranquil atmosphere that invites calmness into your life.

To implement the ‘Ma’ technique:

  • Focus on decluttering and removing unnecessary items from your space.
  • Leave enough open areas for free-flowing movement and energy circulation.
  • Choose functional and purposeful furniture to create a serene ambiance.

2/ Create joyful spaces with the KonMari method

Inspired by Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this method has swept the world as a comprehensive strategy for reorganizing homes and lives.

The KonMari method emphasizes only keeping items that spark joy in your life, transforming your space into a sanctuary of happiness.

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To adopt the KonMari method:

  • Begin by sorting your belongings into five categories: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous (komono), and sentimental items.
  • Determine which items bring joy to your life, discarding the rest with gratitude.
  • Create a designated place for every item that remains, so each has a “home.”

3/ 5S Methodology: a comprehensive organizing system

An efficient organizing system called the 5S methodology provides structure for effectively decluttering, prioritizing and maintaining orderliness. The 5S system consists of five Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke.

Incorporate these principles in your organizing process:

  • Seiri (Sort): Assess what you have and remove unnecessary items.
  • Seiton (Set in Order): Arrange possessions logically for easy access.
  • Seiso (Shine): Clean your living space thoroughly for an invigorating atmosphere.
  • Seiketsu (Standardize): Maintain a consistent organizing philosophy in all areas of your home.
  • Shitsuke (Sustain): Commit to maintaining a cleaned and decluttered space over time.

4/ Oosouji: deep cleaning tradition

This traditional Japanese cleaning technique encourages thorough organized cleaning of your home and its surroundings.

Based on minimalistic principles, oosouji represents a purifying ritual that eliminates waste and clutter, leaving your space spotless and rejuvenated.

To practice oosouji:

  • Start at one area in your house and work your way through it methodically.
  • Discard, recycle or donate unwanted items.
  • Clean every surface meticulously, ensuring no corner is left unattended.
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5/ Wabi-Sabi: celebrating imperfection and the aesthetics of aging

Incorporating the ancient concept of wabi-sabi into your home can create a sense of acceptance while still incorporating beauty. This philosophy embraces imperfection, aging and natural progression, encouraging you to let go of unrealistic expectations in favor of contentment with what is present.

To integrate wabi-sabi elements in your home:

  • Integrate imperfect, handcrafted items like pottery or textiles into your decor.
  • Appreciate signs of aging or wear on furniture and objects as part of their history.
  • Adopt natural materials and biodegradable products that generate warmness and coziness.

By learning and succeeding these Japanese organizing techniques, you will breathe new life into your home and enhance your mental well-being at the same time.

Though implementing all concepts may seem overwhelming initially, start by applying one technique and move forward gradually. Remember, transforming your home into a sanctuary of peace and harmony is a journey worth undertaking.


Justin, an avid writer, is equally passionate about gardening, especially cultivating beautiful flowers and productive vegetable patches. His writing skillfully intertwines his gardening experiences with vivid descriptions and keen insights, inspiring readers to appreciate nature's beauty and consider their own gardening adventures.