Japanese design and culture is based on simplicity and minimalism. This can be seen in the interior design and the gardens in Japan. In Japanese culture a concept called MA is very important. It refers to the pure and essential void between things. With MA, things have the space to exist, stand out and have meaning. This space is like the spirit of possibility, a life to be lived. This is seen in the lack of clutter in Japanese homes. Clutter is the enemy of MA. To be able to maintain MA and a clutter free life is as important as keeping your house clean and tidy. Tidiness and organisation is a universal trend in recent times. There are many methods being employed to ensure that we keep our houses clean and clutter free. The Japanese method of cleaning provides a wonderful way of keeping your house tidy, organiSed and allows for more MA in your life. homify takes a look at how to employ Japanese cleaning methods in your home.
Interior design in Japan is based on minimalism and the concept of MA. Everything that is included in a space has a function. If possible things will have more than one function. These spaces are then very easy to clean. To start cleaning your spaces Japanese style begin by removing all things from cupboards, drawers and storage areas in a room. Place all items on the floor. Decide which items you require and which can be discarded. It is now time to clean. Clean the insides of these drawers, cupboards and storage areas. Make sure that there are not stray pieces of paper or dust. This will affect the MA in your house. When the spaces are clean, it is time to return your belongings. Be sure to replace these items in a tidy, orderly manner. This room was designed by Takaoka-Kyoto.
Feng Shui is popular in Japanese society. Many people base the design of their homes on the principles of Feng Shui. These Feng Shui principles can also be applied to cleaning a home. The idea of cleaning from the top to the bottom is not just a Feng Shui principle, but also a practical consideration based on gravity. It makes sense that you start at the top and move down, allowing for the dust to settle. When cleaning your home consider starting with the top; above cupboards, wardrobes, ledges, windows and pictures. It makes sense then to work your way down to the lower levels, ending with the floor. When you are cleaning the floor, the accumulated dirt from the other levels may well have collected here, ready for disposal.
When you are ready to sweep the floor there are certain methods that are better than others. It may seem like a simple task, not worthy of much consideration, although there are ways to do it well and ways to do it better. One of the most effective ways to sweep a space is to start at the furtherest point in the room and move towards the entrance. There are many reasons why this is the most practical way, and the way that is encouraged in Feng Shui principles. The most used spaces will be around the entrance. Dirt and dust are brought into the space by air currents and human movement. This then drifts to the outer areas of the room. By starting at the cleaner outer areas and moving towards the entrance you are moving the dirt from the cleaner areas to the dirtier areas and out of the room. See also 6 Ways to Deep Clean Your House.
Japanese philosophy believes in every object being respected for the task that they perform. It is not uncommon to see the Japanese thanking inanimate objects for assisting them with the chores of the day. The Japanese have a reputation for respecting their belongings. This is certainly the case when it comes to the cleaning process. When cleaning Japanese style be sure to take care with all items in the house. Ensure that you do not use harsh cleaning solutions on items you are cleaning. This may damage the surface of items such as wood and leather. Be sure also not to scrub or scratch the surface of items by applying excessive force. This may cause long term damage through scratches and scratches.
When foreigners live in Japan they are often dismayed by the lack of mops in retail outlets. How do they keep their floors so clean and tidy without the use of mops? Moping is not the traditional way to clean floors in Japan. In keeping with the Feng Shui and minimalism of a house, there is an attitude of only keeping what you need and what you will use. A mop essentially does the job that can be easily done with a broom. When floors need a good clean, the Japanese believe in doing the job well. How can a floor be cleaned without getting down to the same level and seeing what you are doing? For this reason floors tend to be cleaned with a bucket and sponges. This provides them with a practical way of keeping their floors clean using minimal equipment.
The simple and functional way of living that the Japanese culture presents is also presented in their connection with nature. Japanese homes often have designs that connect the inside of a house with the exterior seamlessly. This connection with nature is also present with their use of cleaning supplies. Vinegar is a popular choice of cleaner for the environmentally aware Japanese people. Vinegar can be used to clean any room in your home. Use vinegar to clean kitchen cutting boards, toilets, in the laundry instead of fabric softener and on glass tables to keep them streak free. Vinegar can also be combined with other household items such as baking soda to remove odours and to clean tougher areas of the house such as ovens and laundry areas.
Japanese culture has a reputation for simple and functional living. It is seen as the essential minimalist lifestyle. In our busy modern lifestyle of excess, we can always learn a thing or two from the Japanese minimalist style. One of the best areas we can learn from is cleaning. The Japanese way of life encourages a tidy, organised and clean house. We can adopt this style in many ways; declutter our houses by removing all our belongings and throwing out unused items before cleaning, clean our homes from the top down and from the back forward, respect our possessions by gentle cleaning and natural, non abrasive cleaning products. These are just a few Japanese cleaning tips. For more inspiration see the Best Tips on how to Clean your Home Like Magic.