March 17, 2024

10 Best Spring Cleaning Ideas From Japan For 2024

Welcome the new season with a freshly cleaned and rejuvenated home with our Spring Cleaning Ideas!

While many of us know the term spring cleaning, few feel motivated to really do it or know how to approach it. Japan, often associated with efficiency and precision, gives an interesting vision of cleaning that may motivate and change your approach this year. 

Discover 10 top cleaning hacks from Japan to incorporate into your spring cleaning checklist for 2024. 

Are you you ready to add a little Japanese cleanliness and order into you life? Let us take a look at these best spring cleaning tips that will help you to get ready for the spring season.

Cannot get enought of Japanese tips and tricks for your cleaning? Also check out our guides 37 Best Spring Cleaning Checklist: Ultimate Guide From Japan and 45 Ultimate Tips For Spring Cleaning And Organizing!

The tips and tricks for Japanese-inspired spring cleaning

The tips and tricks for Japanese-inspired spring cleaning

What's Special About Japanese Spring Cleaning Ideas

What is Oosouji? Japan Cleaning explained

Oosouji is a Japanese tradition that goes well beyond the usual wiping and sweeping. At the end of every year, Japanese houses are doing the ritual cleaning.

Oosouji is not just about cleanliness; it is a practice that symbolizes the start of something new, clearing out all the mess and dirt from the past year while brining in fresh air, so the New Year begins clean. 

The tradition has its origins in the Shinto teachings that emphasize cleanliness and the provision of hospitable surroundings for the kami, the spiritual gods. Homes, schools, and businesses occupy a part and are thus a social activity to be restored, renewed, and revitalized. 

Including Oosouji in the preparation for spring when you are decorating does not only mean cleaning, it is a giving intention and carefully getting rid of unnecessary things from the past year. If you ask me, it is really the best way to get ahead on a "better foot" with the new year.

It doesn't need to be end of the year, do it now in spring, while 2024 is still building up, It's the perfect time of year to start fresh!

Unveiling the Magic of Japanese Cleaning Techniques

Cleaning your home with an annual spring cleaning is not just house cleaning; it is a spiritual activity. With the warmer weather approaching, deep cleaning your house helps you also refresh your mind. 

In its essence, Japanese cleaning is not only aimed at cleaning but in creating order and harmony. One of the basic principles is mindfulness, focusing on the "now" and regarding it more as self-cultivation than as work. Other approaches such as the idea of ‘wabi-sabi’ represent the glory of imperfection, calling you to attend to the core. 

Also, the world-famous KonMari approach promoted by Marie Kondo makes it easier to leave only what makes the residents happy, and therefore, in the long run, to create the spaces. Such techniques are not only the appearance but the lifestyle that appreciates the simplicity, functionality, and tranquility. 

Embracing these Japanese cleaning methods turns the mundane into a ritual of purifying your home and clearing your mind.

Why Japan Leads in Spring Cleaning Methods

Japan is famous for its spring cleaning practices and this is due to their way of life that considers cleanliness and order as a supreme form of respect—for themselves, for the others, and for the environment. 

Cleaning in Japan though is not just an exercise, it is a way of life, ingrained into the society. This can be observed in the cleaning stage, where a Japanese principle of ‘ichigo ichie’ is applied, reminding that every moment should be celebrated as it was never to happen again. 

This level of care is demonstrated in the attractive design of Japanese cleaning appliances and associated products that are normally multi-functional, space-saving, and made from sustainable materials. 

In addition, Japanese have a custom that a cleanup is a social process that promotes cooperation with other members of the family or colleagues (trained froma yound age already in elementary school).

Oosouji or Japanese-inspired spring cleaning

Oosouji or Japanese-inspired spring cleaning

Dive into the Top 10 Japanese Spring Cleaning Ideas

Strategy 1: Minimalism and decluttering

Minimalism and decluttering are the main practices of Japanese cleaning. The concept is simple: Simplicity is better. 

With the fewer items in the house, you reduce the amount of clutter, and it makes cleaning simpler. 

Begin by sorting through your belongings and reflect on whether each item is really needed and makes you happy. If not, appreciate it for its service and release it. This method is not only about making a tidy space, but also about releasing from the physical – and emotional- burden of unwanted items. 

This is a cleaner, more peaceful setting in which clean is the way one feels not just the way one looks. With minimalism, you have very little to clean and you’ll be free to enjoy a peaceful and simple home. This approach is not only spatial but it is also about developing a mentality of quality over quantity.

Strategy 2: Reduce visual clutter (store behind doors)

Minimization of visual mess is an important part of creating a serene and neat ambiance. This is frequently achieved in Japan by the clever use of storage to hide things, thus leaving a neat and uncluttered vista. 

Use closets, cabinets, and shoji screens to hide items and sustain a minimalist look. Storing items behind doors has a dual function of making spaces look neater and of helping the mind to rest.

This method is not for covering the mess; it is about arranging your things in such a way that will eliminate distractions and brings tranquility. 

This technique can be particular useful in confined living areas where space is at premium.

Making surfaces free and using storage systems that are hidden will make your house to achieve a cleaner look that reflects the sense of space in your home and order.

Strategy 3: Clothing - The Art of Fold and Roll

The art of folding and rolling clothing is a Japanese technique that changes drawers and closets. Rather than piling up cloths, fold them in uniform and compact figures and then roll them.

Such method, promoted by Marie Kondo, uses space efficiently and gives an opportunity to see all the goods and does not cause necessity to search through. 

Does it sound like something only a neat freak would do?

Let me try to convince you why:

  1. Folding and rolling are in a way almost meditative and make you take pleasure in arranging each piece of clothing with tender care
  2. This is a great way to ensure your wardrobe remains orderly, not to mention that you can easily avoid wrinkling of your clothes. 
  3. It also contributes to prolonging their life because not taking them off the hanger means less strain and stress on the fabric. 

This method should be applied to all things ranging from t-shirts and jeans to socks and panties. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can get into your space and how this approach makes your life easier.

Strategy 4: Love for Baskets and Boxes – Organizing the Japanese Way

Baskets and boxes are seen as one of the favorite tools in Japan to organize and to prevent a crazy hot mess. They are not typical baskets, they are often made by hand from natural materials such as bamboo or woven reeds, and they add a sense of beauty and texture to your home. 

They are available in different shapes and sizes and are therefore ideal for storing anything from magazines and remote controls to kitchen utensils and toiletries. 

Baskets and boxes are a decorative way of keeping things accessible in an orderly manner. They can be placed and stored tidily on shelf, under a table, or even on wall, maximizing on space.

This approach is to merge utility with beauty. When you use the basket in your organizing practice, you integrate a Japanese art concept and still maintain organized and linear rooms.
Here are some tidying tips from my Japanese mother and grandmother:

  • Put your summer clothes in a box at the end of summer and your winter clothes in another at the end of winter thus freeing some place in your closet. In my closet, I have my transition clothes for fall and spring (and strange cold/warm days) always near at hand.
  • A bowl of water with some white vinegar microwaved for 1 minute will help to quickly wipe out the microwave.
  • Owning an all purpose cleaner replaces many unnecessary cleaning supplies and helps prevent cleaning tool clutter.
  • Add a spray bottle with glass cleaner, a dish soap, and a toilet cleaner and you are set for the basic cleaning supplies you could need.
  • Stains on clothing are easily removed with a towel and soapy water, followed by warm water to remove the suds.

Strategy 5: Make a checklist for the entire house

Making a to-do list of every room in the house is a smart approach in effective cleaning task management. This approach prevents you from missing any sections and allows you to divide the work into small bits. 

Start by going through all the rooms and making a list of everything that needs to be done, starting from dusting the shelves to cleaning the curtains. 

When you finish each task, mark it off the list, which provide you with a kind of success and power to carry on. A check list also gives you the opportunity to hand over tasks to family members and this makes the cleaning process a team work.

In Japan, the methodology is detail-oriented and comprehensive, which is characteristic of the cultural respect for thoroughness and precision. With the help of a list, one can take this systematic approach, where everything has its place and nothing is left behind.

Strategy 6: In tip-top shape – Cleaning "non obvious" items

The well-maintained home, however, involves cleaning such items which are not obvious, because they can be a breeding ground for bacteria! This entails cleaning the baseboards, dusting the light fixtures, and removing dirt behind the appliances. 

Japanese people have a belief that caring of the invisible parts of one’s home is as important as taking care of visible parts as it contributes to the general ‘ki’ (気) or the flow of energy.

Consistently dealing with these forgotten areas helps to avoid the trap of grime and dust, which can impact on your home cleanliness and the health of the inhabitants. It is mostly about the respect for your space and everything in it, taking into account all the items as they are, no matter, they are at the first glance or hidden. 

By integrating this approach into your cleaning habits, you will be able to guarantee that every corner of your home is clean.

  • DAILY

  • WEEKLY

  • MONTHLY

  • YEARLY

Do these daily tasks:

  • Take out food and other organic-matter containing trash (think old Pizza boxes, fast food containers, old food)
  • Wash dishes
  • Exchange your towels, ESPECIALLY your face towels (anyone eager for acne?)
Doing the dishes daily

Doing the dishes daily

Strategy 7: Daily cleaning: dishes and kitchen sink, floors, toilet

Having a proper cleaning schedule helps you overcome decision fatigue. You don't need motivation if it becomes a routine.

You can start very easy: Begin by washing the dishes and scrubbing the sink after each meal. Not only does this deter pests but it also makes your kitchen more inviting to cook in.

Everyday sweeping or vacuuming of your floors prevents dust and allergens, and a wipe of the toilet every now and then keeps the freshness. 


Strategy 8: Weekly cleaning: bathroom sink, shower, surfaces

Dedicated time for the weekly cleaning activities like cleaning the bathroom sink, shower, and wiping all surfaces is important for the health and safety of the environment.

The bathroom, especially, is a perfect place for bacteria and mold to breed, hence, thorough cleaning of the place is important weekly. The sink and shower should be cleaned using a mild but powerful cleaner to eliminate the soap scum and lime deposit. For other surfaces in the house, dust and wipe them with a microfiber cloth to collect and remove the particles.

In Japan, souji is an aspect of regular maintenance, and cleaning is considered a virtue. By following this weekly routine, your home is not only kept clean and fresh, but the long-term accumulation of dirt is prevented, which makes your home a haven of comfort.

Strategy 9: Monthly cleaning: shelves, bed linens, kitchen appliances

Monthly pay close attention to those areas, which do not require attention daily or weekly, but which still gather dust and grime with time.

Begin with your shelves, taking the items out to dust them well and re-arrange as necessary. This is also a good time to make wash bed linens, thereby refreshing your sleeping space and possibly enhancing sleep quality.

Do not forget kitchen appliances: go through the inside of your microwave, oven and refrigerator in order to avoid unpleasant smell and make them work properly. The Teinei is a Japanese idea, in which, things should be done with care and correctness.

Translating this into your monthly clean ensures that you are not just scratching the service but giving your home the thorough clean it needs. This approach ensures that the life of your stuff is maintained and your house is a guest-ready at any time.

Strategy 10: Yearly cleaning: following the Oosouji Tradition

The annual clean in the Japanese culture is an important practice performed through Oosouji, which refers to the whole cleaning before the New Year.

This tradition, however, is not only about the fact that the house is clean but also about the sign of respect to oneself and one’s home by recognizing and preparing for the coming of the New Year.

Oosouji is a detailed cleaning process of the entire house, including wiping the walls, scrubbing the floors, and clearing the clutter. It is thought to cleanse the house for the new year and bring luck. It is the time for retrospection and a new beginning.

Bringing this tradition and ritual to your annual cleaning may give a new meaning to what you are doing and a sense of birth. Its not just a chance to do over your home, but also your thinking for the next year.

Spring cleaning is a great time to refresh and share this practice with others

Spring cleaning is a great time to refresh and share this practice with others

Understanding the Psychological Aspects of Japanese Cleaning Tricks

Aura of Minimalism

Japanese cleanliness minimalism is not just about cutting down on mess and clutter—it’s all about creating an environment that promotes a clear mind and a calm soul. Through surrounding ourselves only with what we need, we reduce the noise and can therefore pay attention to what is of real value in life. 

This minimalist approach finds its roots in the Japanese concept of 'ma' (間), the deliberate use of space, and sometimes, the space between things. It is the concept that the lack of things can say a lot about your chosen life style.

This philosophy can result in significant psychologic advantages, including decreasing stress, improving concentration, and enhancing the satisfaction with your living space. Minimalism is not just about cleaning your home; it is about simplifying your life and in return, taking care of your mental wellness.

The Zen and Cleanliness Connection

The philosophy of Zen, which center on simplicity and mindfulness, is closely associated with the idea of cleanliness.

Zen is an opportunity for meditation in every action, including cleaning. Tidying up is perceived as an opportunity to get rid of things and the mess outside. It is about mindfulness and doing each task with purpose and concentration.

Zen practices such as meditation and reflection are thought to be best done in clean spaces yielding a peaceful state of mind. However, cleanliness is not only about the physical act; it is more about developing an inner tranquility.

The link between Zen and the purity in Japanese culture illustrates how an organized space is essential for inner harmony. With these principles integrated into your cleaning habits, you will be able to create a peaceful environment that supports your mental and spiritual well-being.

How Tidiness Enhances Positivity

Cleanliness is not just a matter of beauty; it is a route to positivity. An orderly surrounding brightens up the spirit and enhances an optimistic attitude towards life. 

In an organized environment, you have easy access to your stuff and avoid frustration in unnecessary searching. This control of your environment also reflects to control of your own life, hence to increased confidence and a sense of I can. 

In addition, a tidy place can be a refuge from the disorder of the outer world, offering a peaceful refuge for rest and renewal. 

Cleaning in Japan is often an expression of respect and care, preserving the space and thus, also oneself and others who also occupy it. Such respect creates a positive climate where the house and its residents are both successful. You make your life more positive and productive if you keep your space clean.

Why Cleaning the Toilet Brings Luck and Prosperity

Ok, you are probably suprised by this statement. Do Japanese people really think cleaning the toilet brings luck? Yes they do!

Cleaning the toilet in Japan is a sort of a rite – it is said to bring happiness and abundance. The basis of this belief springs from the Shinto religion where cleanliness is akin to godliness. Since toilets are the dirtiest section of the house, they are believed to have spirits dwelling in them. There is even a god of the toilet.

The spirits are appeased by washing them, and they are believed to pay you back with good luck. This custom is also related to the concept that performing “ugly” tasks with a smile brings one rewards in the future.

It’s all about showing diligence and thankfulness in every single thing, no matter how little or worthless it may seem. 

Therefore, next time you clean the restroom, think that you polish your luck with the toilet.

Cleaning the toilet is believed to bring luck

Cleaning the toilet is believed to bring luck

Time and Cost vs. benefit: Is it Worth the Effort?

Considering how much time and money one spends at cleaning (and it gets so quickly dirty again!), is it worth it?

When viewed from a Japanese point-of-view, the answer is a clear yes. The beauty of a clean environment comes with more than the instant pleasure alone. 

Regular cleaning forms an economic practice in the long term. Properly kept things are longer lived, requiring less regular replacements. Additionally, effort put into regular cleaning now saves you from costly deep cleans later. The psychological advantages, however, result in value that cannot be expressed economically. 

Even though the beginning may look overwhelming, the long-term benefits of the Japanese cleaning approaches which are both tangible and intangible are worth the investment for your health and wealth.

Spring cleaning gives you not just a clean home, but a calm mind

Spring cleaning gives you not just a clean home, but a calm mind

How to Get Started

The Tools: What Japanese People Use for Cleaning

The first step of your journey into the field of Japanese cleaning methods is learning what the typical tools in Japanese households are used for. 

Necessities include a tawashi scrubber for stubborn stains and a soft-textured shuro brush made of palm fibers that provides a gentle yet thorough cleaning. 

Microfiber cloths are popular for their dust attraction and the polish they provide without leaving any streaks. ‘Hoki’ broom and ‘zokin’ cloth are typical floor cleaning tools. 

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Japanese people also use sponges, which one side is for wiping surfaces, and the other side is for scrubbing. 

A bit more of a geeky tool, ‘mop slippers’ tet you have your floors cleaned when you move all around your home. 

All these tools are created to be convenient and efficient, thus, your cleaning routine would be more productive than traditional ones.

The tools for Japanese-inspired spring cleaning

The tools for Japanese-inspired spring cleaning

Our pick
Must-have
For clothes
Most-loved
Small space-recommendation!
Laundry brush
Wood polishing
Everyday favorite
Drain cleaning brush
03/31/2024 08:34 am GMT Lasso Brag

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The Objects: The Areas of Their House Japanese People will regularly Clean

The cleaning of specific areas in Japanese homes is done on a regular basis and with a surpassing frequency and level of thoroughness. 

  1. Entrance: The genkan (玄関), is just like the front of the house and determines the general cleanliness of the place. 
  2. Kitchen: Being a center of the home where food is cooked, the kitchen is an object of everyday care, especially the stove and the sink. 
  3. Bathroom & Toilet: The bathrooms are also frequently cleaned for sanitation and prevention of mold growth in the high humidity climate.
  4. Living space: Tatami mats and other floors are regularly cleaned by Japanese people to keep a peaceful environment, where one can walk barefoot, or sit and sleep on the floor. 
  5. Entrance: Windows, mirrors, and surfaces that attract dust are constantly dusted, which emphasizes the Japanese philosophy that a clean space is a bright room and a well-balanced life.
A calm and serene dining room after spring cleaning

A calm and serene dining room after spring cleaning

How to Buy Authentic Japanese Cleaning Products on Amazon

The process is simple from Amazon: 

  • Start by finding Japanese cleaning tools or supplies and look out for products that have a high rating and good reviews. 
  • Verify whether the seller is in Japan or if the product is labeled as a ‘shipped from Japan’ or ‘imported’ as there are many imposters selling fake products under a Japanese-sounding brand name. 
  • Products of brands such as ‘Muji’ and ‘Nitori’ are of a high quality and can be easily found on Amazon. 
  • Check the shipping and returns policies, especially for international items. Some of the vendors offer ‘AmazonGlobal’ that makes it easier to buy from Japanese sellers. 
  • Finally, if the product descriptions are in Japanese, think of the use google translate to make sure you know exactly what you are buying before you put it into your cart.

Get started with Japanese Cleaning Today

The After-Effects: A Cleaner Home and Happier You

The change is mostly noticeable once you have adopted the Japanese clean practices in your routine. A clean home is associated with a variety of benefits, both psychological and physical.

A neat surrounding will most probably cut down stress and tension which in turn will help you to calm down and think more rationally. 

The process of cleaning turns to be a remedial ritual per se as it brings satisfaction and achievement. 

In Japan, cleanliness is believed to symbolize good health, and a clean home is a portrayal of a clean mind. Moreover, a tidy space will foster better relations, as it is an inviting area for friends and relatives. The pride in your home can reflect in other elements of your life and contribute to being happy and healthy. 

Begin your quest for the house free of dirt and a happy YOU all at once.

Have You Ordered your Japanese Cleaning Supplies Yet?

If you are not sure where to start, check out these must-haves from Japan for your spring cleaning:

Your home will be sparkly clean, airy, and comfortable in no time, and your will feel calm and refreshed.

じゃあね、Yama

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