7 Japanese House Cleaning Hacks, That You’ll Want to Copy NOW!

Cleaning can be stressful!

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Between work, kids and other responsibilities, tidying your home can be the very last thing on your mind.

Because of our busy lives, we often find ourselves living in cluttered and disorganized living conditions.

Luckily, Marie Kondo, Japanese professional organizer and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” has swept the world (no pun intended!) with her simple yet very effective “KonMari” method for cleaning your home from top to bottom with minimal effort. 

If you would like to know what these secrets entail, keep scrolling below to check them out.


Japanese Cleaning Tips

Japanese cleaning secrets that will make your life easier.

 

1. Discard what doesn’t bring you joy.

Simply putting things away makes us think that our clutter problem has been solved. However sooner or later the clutter begins to pile up and we are eventually left with even less space and more frustration.

That’s why the first step to maintaining a clean and organized home starts with discarding things that we don’t really want or need.

To make the discarding process easier, Kondo suggests taking each item and asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does keep it if it doesn’t throw it away. 

 

2. Tidy by category instead of by room. 

When you begin your discarding process, Kondo recommends thinking of your clutter in terms of categories instead of by room.

For example, the category you would like to declutter first would be “clothes”. So you would gather all of the clothes in your house and place them in one spot. You will take each individual garment and ask, “Does this spark joy?” and thus begin the separation of things you will keep or toss.

By doing this, it allows you to quietly dispose of junk without disrupting your family as well as simplifies the process of tidying up.

 

3. Fold items vertically. 

Fold your clothes vertically in your dresser to save space and prevent clutter.

Via One Kings Lane

According to Kondo, you should always try your best to fold what you can hang. In other words, instead of hanging sweaters and shirts, it’s better to fold and place them in your clothing drawer.

Similar to how the spines of books are displayed, she also recommends folding items vertically and placing them side by side instead of stacking on top of each other.

This makes it easier to view and select clothes without making a mess.

4. Show deep appreciation for your belongings. 

For the Japanese, many share a cultural belief that items in the home have a soul.

With this in mind, Kondo suggests “thanking” items for their hard work and service before discarding them. This provides one with a deeper appreciation and a little closure before tossing items you no longer need.

 

5. Dedicate a whole day to cleaning. 

When deciding to declutter your home, you want to set up a single day for the entire process. Deciding to split your cleaning into separate days may cause your cleaning efforts to be ineffective and go on longer than required.

 

6. Shoeboxes are the best organizers. 

Via The Kitchen

Shoeboxes are an item that’s found readily available in anyone’s home. Kondo believes that these are the perfect organizers and should be repurposed as such.

7. Live in the present. 

When you begin to discard items, do not get attached to the memories. “Cherish who you are are now,” says Kondo. In the end, you want to want to keep things that you love and get rid of things that you have “just because”. The purpose of decluttering this way is that in the end you are only surrounded by things that “spark joy” and truly makes you happy.

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7 Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy Every Day!

Often times people tell me that they can’t tidy up every day, they’re too busy, it’s too much, etc.  Marie Kondo has a lot of amazing tips for us to use on a daily basis, she’s helped many people worldwide learn how to tackle their unorganized homes. 

My mother raised us with nearly this exact list.  She is very OCD about keeping things tidy, in order and simply kept up with.  She hates a mess. 

If you don’t have a lot of time, follow these steps every day!  

7 Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy Every Day!

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Task 1: Make your bed

While making your bed each day might sound like a tedious task, you’ll be surprised at how tidy your room will look with a made bed. As soon as you get out of bed in the morning, take the time to make your bed.

 

Task 2: Do a morning tidy

Marie Kondo believes that one of the secrets to a tidy home is tidying first thing in the morning. By doing a quick tidy in the morning, you are starting your day off on the right foot! Choose a trouble spot in your home, and start by tidying this area first thing in the morning.

 

Task 3: Let in some fresh air

Our homes can sometimes feel stuffy, especially in the winter months when we are spending more time indoors. Open up the windows for a few minutes to let in a fresh breeze.

 

Task 4: Put things back where they belong when you’re done using them

As our days go on, we may find ourselves bringing out pots, pans, clothes, and other belongings to use. As soon as you’re done using these items, remember to put them back where they belong.

 

Task 5: Fold your clothes

Marie Kondo believes that the best way to store clothes is by using her folding method. This method takes a little bit of extra time but has a great payoff! If you are doing a load of laundry today, take the time to fold your clothes.

 

Task 6: Make sure everything in your home has a home

If you are finding that items in your home are constantly out of place, this might be because these items don’t really have a home. Take time to find a home for these items. If you find that something you’ve stored doesn’t work well for you, take the time to change it.

 

Task 7: Tidy in the evening

Before you go to bed or prepare for bed each night Marie Kondo suggests making one last tidying effort for the day. This might be as simple as making sure the toys are put away or tidying up your counters from dinner. Take this time to clean up your home so that you can have a fresh start in the morning.

This really does wonders for your mood in the morning to come!  Try it out!  

 

Do you follow any of these?  

4 CATASTROPHIC ORGANIZING MISTAKES YOU’RE MAKING (THAT ARE BREEDING CLUTTER)

Are you making these four catastrophic organizing mistakes?

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Most of us are surrounded by clutter. We didn’t intend to be surrounded by clutter. It just sort of happened. I also think it’s fair to say that when we were little, none of us thought, “I want to grow up to have a messy, disorganized house!” Yet here we are. Our wildest dreams have not come true.

There are myriad reasons most of us struggle with keeping our homes clean and organized. Here are four you may not have thought of. (See if these pitfalls have happened to you and learn how to avoid them!

Four Fatal Organizing Mistakes You’re Making

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  1. Not dealing with paper as soon as it comes into the house.

Papers, oh the number of papers we get nearly on a daily basis, from schools, the mail, work.  It’s like a government conspiracy to fill our homes with paper! Maybe they are secretly subsidizing the lumber industry and encouraging the proliferation of paper. Whatever the cause, it has to go and it has to go AS SOON as we bring it inside.

I go through my children’s backpacks every day we choose papers that we’d like to hang up (A+ Spelling and Math tests and things of that sort, the rest gets put in the recycling bin, with the mail just walk straight to the recycle bin before you even set a single piece of mail down. Go through the mail and throw all the ads, coupons, and other items you don’t need or want in the bin. (There is no need to keep all those coupons you get, no matter how enticing they might seem. If you are an avowed extreme couponer and have a system for keeping all your coupons under control, then you can keep them. Otherwise, put them in the recycle bin immediately. You can always grab them out again if you REALLY need new windows or a $1.00 taco).

Then all the other papers that need attention (bills, payments, etc.), put them all in ONE place (preferably a plastic see-through folder). This way you will be reminded of what you need to do, and you won’t have to go searching for these important papers, nor will they clutter up your desk or counter.

2. Only throwing out what you don’t like.

Sounds counter-intuitive, right? After all, we should throw out things we don’t like. But what about all the things we sort of like? What about all the things we don’t care about? Consider that a great deal of your clutter consists of these things that would fall into the “maybe” pile if you were to sit down and go through all of them. Instead, we should focus on what we do like, and what we like a lot. In fact, we should only keep the things we love. Can you see how drastically this would cut down on your clutter? Imagine how amazing it would be to only have things that you loved! The next time you declutter, take everything into your hands and see how you feel about it. If you love it, keep it. If not, get rid of it. Somebody else will like it better than you.

3. Thinking too much.

“My Dad gave this to me.”

“I used to love this!”

“After I lose a little weight I’ll wear this.”

“What if I need it for the zombie apocalypse?”

A huge part of our clutter problem stems from our emotional attachment to things, feelings of guilt, and our unrealistic, almost desperate thoughts of “I might need this later.” Here’s the thing. None of these are good reasons. These stem from a reluctance to let go of the past, or a fear of the future. We don’t want to be stuck in the past, nor do we want to be scared of what might happen tomorrow. If we were to give anybody advice for their lives in general, we would tell them to let go of their past and to enjoy today! The same thing applies to your “things.” Only keep what you love NOW, and don’t be held hostage by the secret messages from all your stuff.

“If you get rid of me, you’ll regret it! I know I’m just an ugly orange t-shirt with your high school logo, but if you throw me out, you will lose all your memories from high school!”

“I’m the best hand-knitted wool socks you’ve ever had! Even though you never wear me, your mother-in-law made them for you, and she will know if you get rid of me. SHE WILL KNOW!” 

Tell your clutter to be hush, then get rid of it. (Believe me, it will be fine and so will you)

4. Trying to declutter and organize at the same time.

Have you ever tried to dig a hole in the ground while someone else was filling the hole with dirt?

This is what it’s like when we pair decluttering with organizing at the same time. We pull an item or two off our shelves, then rearrange the rest of the junk we have decided to keep (or that we sort of like or that we don’t care about). You need to pull ALL of the items off the shelf, decide what you love, and discard or donate the rest. Only when that shelf is empty and you are left with what you truly love should you put things back on the shelf. Likewise with clothes. Don’t pull out one pair of pants, decide you like it, fold it and put it back in the drawer, then pull out another pair and do the same. You’ve got to thoroughly declutter and have an empty space staring back at you so that you will know how to fill it.

Now you have the tools to overcome these four organizing mistakes and keep clutter at bay!

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31 Ways You Can Reorganize Your Life With Dollar Store Stuff

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1. Hang baskets on the wall to hold towels in the bathroom.

makinglemonadeblog.com 

Try using two different sizes to keep it from looking too boxy. Get the tutorial here.

2. Hide hot tools in a file box on the side of your sink.

dreamgreendiy.com

And free up storage space under the sink. Get the tutorial here.

3. Keep your favorite nail polish colors in a spice rack.

lizmarieblog.com

Now, you probably can’t fit all of your colors in there, but use a spice rack to display your seasonal inspiration. Or leave out the colors you want to wear more of.

 

4. Add a second shower rod for extra bathroom storage.

Redditor Teruterus / Via lifehacker.com

Hook hangable baskets to the second rod and store all the body washes.

5. Or DIY bottle holders with suction cups and hair ties.

dollarstorecrafts.com

Suspend bottles to keep them from cluttering the shower ledges. Learn how to make them here.

6. Keep makeup in a binder.

dollardesigndiva.blogspot.com

When you travel, open the binder locks and pull out the bag you need. Organize bags by themes (like everyday makeup, evening makeup, etc.) so you have everything all in one place.

7. Organize medicine by category and store it in clear bins.

askannamoseley.com

Because you shouldn’t have to go through a sea of bandages before getting to the Pepto. Get the tutorial here.

familiesthatstick.blogspot.com

Which will cut down on the times you drunkenly use your roommate’s brush.

9. Make a tiered tray for jewelry and perfume.

lizmarieblog.com

You need candlestick holders, metal trays, super glue, and a sponge brush. Get the tutorial here.

10. Store your kid’s small toys in travel soap box holders.

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Keep track of playing cards, crayons, beads, stickers, and more.

11. Place plastic cups inside a muffin tin to make a mobile art caddy.

12. Put baskets on the stairs for kids to place their loose toys.

mamawithideas.com

Cute and helping you stay clutter-free.

13. Use dollar-store pizza pans for on-the-wall magnetic storage.

dollarstorecrafts.com

Magnets have found a new home (besides the fridge). Put them in your kid’s room to keep them inspired. Learn how to make them here.

14. Stash bobby pins and barrettes in a craft box.

theidearoom.net

Type A pro-tip: Organize them by color.

15. Slide books into a napkin holder.

yesterdayontuesday.com

Organize a desk space by stacking books vertically in a napkin holder. Get the tutorial here.

16. Use buckets to organize their art supplies.

17. Use a mesh laundry bag to hold toys kids like to play with at the beach.

theidearoom.net

That way you’re not scrambling around day-of the outing gathering up toys to take with you. Just grab the bag and go.

18. Keep your car clean by using a cereal container as a trash can.

skilledwithkids.com

Line it with a bag and prevent random trash from flying around.

19. Keep car essentials in a hanging shoe organizer.

decorganizecrafts.blogspot.com

Hang it from the back of the passenger seat and have everything all in one place.

20. Use velcro and office trays to organize your drawers.

tatertotsandjello.com

To keep trays from moving around when you open the drawer, stick adhesive Velcro tabs to tray and drawer bottoms so that each container has a sturdy spot. Learn how to make this here.

21. Organize jewelry on accordion hooks.

adorableantics.blogspot.com

So cheap. So easy.

22. Stash hair ties with a carabiner.

hiitsjilly.com

Keep the clip in a bathroom drawer for easy access.

23. Hang the second bar in the closet for your sweaters or your kid’s clothes.

alexharalson.com

If you’re hanging folded-over pants or skirts on a high rod (with a lot of space beneath it), hang a second rod to double up on closet space. You can do this for kids’ closets, too. Get the tutorial here.

24. If you need a shelf, hang a few baskets instead.

organizingmadefun.blogspot.com

If your TV console could use a shelf to store remotes and the like, screw in a few hooks and hang a row of baskets. Get the tutorial here.

25. Use shower curtain rings to hang belts.

livesimplybyannie.com

Secure a rod to the inside of your closet wall and keep belts organized. Learn how to make it here.

26. Use shelf dividers to organize bags.

organizingmadefun.blogspot.com

Keep bags from getting wrinkled up with cheap shelf dividers. Group them by season.

27. Use self-adhesive hooks to hold measuring items in a kitchen cabinet.

ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Making cookies just got easier.

28. Keep tea in trays.

handymancraftywoman.com

Stash tea bags in a drawer without them clogging up the cabinet.

29. Use storage baskets in your fridge.

thedomesticgeekblog.com

And feel a wave of serenity every time you open the refrigerator door.

30. Baskets are your friend when it comes to the pantry.

howtonestforless.com

And here is where the god/goddess stores their edibles. Get the tutorial here.

31. Turn magnetic baskets into spice racks.

instructables.com

Or glue magnets to the backs of any baskets you like.

Which one do you like most?  Do you do any of this?

THE VERY BEST ORGANIZATION IDEAS ON PINTEREST TODAY

These organization ideas are going to be your BFF in the new year to come!

Who is ready to get their ducks in a row.  This is the point each year when I begin to crave organization.  There are so many things happening, that I long for the days when everything is in order and the to-do list is much more manageable.  There is something about the holidays that has me wanting peace more than anything else and that begins right in the walls of my home.  What is a girl to do?  Head to Pinterest and get some organization ideas that will have me armed and prepared to tackle the weeks ahead!

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Weekly Cleaning Schedule by 30 Handmade Days

Weekly Cleaning Schedule by 30 Handmade Days

Cleaning Closet by The 36th Avenue

An Organized Cleaning Closet by The 36th Avenue

Organizing Ideas by The Real Thing with the Coake Family

20 Organizing Ideas by The Real Thing with the Coake Family

7 Steps to an Organized Fridge by Decorating Your Small Space

7 Steps to an Organized Fridge by Decorating Your Small Space 

Bathroom Cabinet Organization by Living Locurto

Bathroom Cabinet Organization by Living Locurto

School Paperwork Organization by I Heart Organizing

School Paperwork Organization by I Heart Organizing

Kitchen Countertop Organization by The Kitchn

Pretty Kitchen Countertop Organization Ideas  by The Kitchn

Closet Organization Ideas by The Creek Line House

The Simplest Closet Organization Ideas that No One is Using by The Creek Line House

Home Office Organization Ideas by A Bowl Full of Lemons

Home Office Organization Ideas by A Bowl Full of Lemons 

Use painters tape to make a toy garage parking lot from I'm an Organizing Junkie

Make a Toy Garage Parking Lot from I’m an Organizing Junkie

Mudroom-1

Shoe Cubby from Sincerely Sara D

I think you’ll also love these organization tips, too! 

Family Organization Stations

Family Organization Stations 

Home Organization Tips

What’s your favorite?  Do you do any of these?

The MEGA List of Zero (Low) Waste Alternatives

These are the list of items we use in our home. Alternatives are what I am aspiring to work towards doing more of.  We need to be more self-conscious about what we are doing to our beautiful Earth. Also, this is a brilliant way to be creative and save more money.

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No packaging/Biodegradable/Reusable

Item
Bath: Bar for body, hair, and handwashing; the moisturizing bar for body
Bath: Cotton fabric rounds
Bath: DIY mouthwash
Bath: Recycled/biodegradable toilet paper wrapped in paper (Tushy) + bidet
Bath: Shhhowercap
Bath (ladies): Thinx period panties and menstrual cup
Cleaning: All-purpose cleaner (make at home in a reusable container)
Cleaning: Compostable bamboo brush heads for dishes
Cleaning: Bar soap for dish soap
Cleaning: Rag towels for cleaning
Clothing: Thrifting clothes
Dog: Flush dog poop down the toilet
Eating: Beeswax wraps instead of cling/aluminum/ziplock
Eating: Cloth napkins
Eating: Pyrex and stainless steel containers for food storage
Eating: Reusable Cinemark popcorn and drink container
Eating: Reusable straws
Food: Bulk hummus, pesto in a mason jar
Food: Flour/sugar/salt from bulk
Food: Compost egg containers
Food: Compost pizza box
Food: Condiments: Make pickled jalapenos
Food: Distilled water made at home
Food: Make juice at home
Food: Make kefir at home
Food: Make own bread/buy a fresh loaf in own bag
Food: Make own ice cream
Food: meat packaging (the butcher paper) in compost (bokashi)
Food: Nuts/dried fruits/spices/chocolate/candy/popcorn from bulk
Food: Oils: Vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil, honey in bulk
Food: Package free produce
Food: Scraps composting (bokashi!)
Laundry: Wool dryer balls
Paper: Books (library + kindle)
Paper: Credit card mailings opt-out
Paper: Digital newspaper
Travel: Boarding passes + tickets in-app
Travel: Hotel toiletries when traveling: bring all from home in reusable containers (shampoo bars, body soap bar, face soap bar, face lotion de-potted, body lotion de-potted)
Travel: Que bottle for water

Aluminum

Item Alternative
Bath: Hair + styling spray* Best option atm
Bath: Shaving cream can Bar shave soap
Bath: Sunscreen spray Best option atm
Dog: Canned food Best option atm
Dog: Toothpaste in a metal tube Best option atm
Food: Baking powder Best option atm
Food: Canned sparkle water Best option atm
Food: Canned veggies, sauces, pantry items Best option atm
Food: Cider* Fill reusable growler
Food: Cooking spray Make at home using a refillable can or don’t buy anymore

Paper

Item Alternative
Dog: Treats Make at home; buy bulk
Food: Baking soda The best option at the moment
Food: Butter; compost paper The best option at the moment
Food: Cereal inbox (plastic liner inside can be recycled) The best option at the moment
Food: Cookies, crackers in a box (but also with plastic at times-not recyclable) Buy in bulk with own bag; make own
Food: Cream cheese wrapper in paper box The best option at the moment
Food: Garlic bread (but also with plastic-not recyclable) Make at home
Food: Milk and cream in a box The best option at the moment
Food: Pasta in a box The best option at the moment
Food: Tea Buy tea in bulk with own bag
Food: Vegetable/chicken broth Make at home using veggie/chicken scraps
Home: Candles Make at home using old jars; buy beeswax candle kits from Etsy; buy soy wax/wicks from Refill Revolution (packaged in the paper)
Laundry: Biodegradable laundry detergent in cardboard The best option at the moment
Paper: Amazon boxes Buy self without packaging; save boxes to re-ship
Paper: Junk mail Contacted to remove self from catalogs and mailings
Paper: Magazines* Digital edition; only get ones you love
Paper: Receipts Email whenever possible

Glass

Item Alternative
Bath: Antiperspirant – European Nivea (husband) The best option at the moment
Bath: Face + body oil Buy bulk from Refill Revolution
Bath: Face wash Bar soap
Bath: Nail polish (8-free)* The best option at the moment
Bath: Natural deodorant – Meow Meow Tweet (me) The best option at the moment
Food: Condiments (siracha, pastes. ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, bread yeast, jam) Make at home (too much work); reuse glass containers for storage
Food: Pasta sauce Make at home using canned tomato
Food: Peanut butter Buy bulk
Food: Salad dressing Make at home
Food: Vanilla extract Best option atm
Food: Yogurt Reuse glass container for storage
Home: Essential oils Buy from Refill Revolution and mail back bottle
Home: A room spray Make at home

Recyclable Plastics

Item Alternative
Bath: Face sunscreen, moisturizer, masks Find in glass; no pump; Return to Origins
Bath: Haircare products Use aluminum or glass container; Return to Origins
Bath: Medications No other option
Bath: Nail polish remover Switch to a non-toxic formula in a glass bottle
Bath: Toothpaste TerraCycle; metal tube
Cleaning: Dishwasher Packets Biodegradeable dishwasher detergent in cardboard
Cleaning: Shower + toilet cleaner Make at home
Dog: Teeth spray TerraCycle
Food: Baking sprinkles* Find in a glass jar or packaged in paper
Food: Berries Buy from farmers market; bulk pick at berry farm once/year
Food: Plastic container lids Lids are generally small and fall off the recycling conveyor belts. Always make sure that a plastic lid is attached to a plastic container so that it gets through the system.
Food: Granola Buy in bulk; TerraCycle current bags
Food: Salad box Buy in bulk? (difficult to find)
Home: Ant killer/household chemicals Get from city’s chemical reuse facility for free/reusing
Laundry: Dry cleaning bags Don’t dry clean?
Paper: Amazon boxes interior packaging Buy at the store without packaging; buy bulk orders; save packaging for re-use

Landfill

Item Alternative
Bath: Beauty product pumps Stop getting things with pumps; Return to Origins, TerraCycle
Bath: Brush heads/toothbrushes TerraCycle; Switch to bamboo brushes
Bath: Floss container TerraCycle; water flosser + dental lace
Bath: Floss picks (Meera) and floss (AJ) Biodegradeable floss
Bath: Hair elastics Eco-friendly version
Bath: Makeup products* Buy products that containers can be returned to the maker or recycled; Return to Origins
Bath: Razor blades Safety razor
Bath: Tissues Hand kerchief
Cleaning: Trash bags Find biodegradable
Dog: Dog food bag (split with canned) Best option atm
Eating: Wax paper Stop using it!
Food: Cheese wrap Buy in bulk and ask to put in beeswax wrap
Food: Chips/snack bag On TerraCycle waitlist
Food: Frozen fruits/veggies Buy fresh and freeze at home
Food: Take out containers/styrofoam Bring your own takeout container;  stop using this (it can’t REALLY be recycled!)
Home: Air filter Reusable air filter
Home: Pens Refillable pens using ink in glass jars (use up existing first); donate old to Pen Guy Art
Home: Water filter Ship back to recycle (for a fee)
Laundry: Lint roller Ever lint
Paper: Gift cards Online only cards
Paper: Label stickers No avoiding this
Paper: Tape Use washi tape when possible; get a boxed tape with refillable dispenser