Useful ideas

How I cleaned up in Japanese and threw away things worth $ 2,000


"Cleaning in Japanese" is a term that is widely known today, and the book Con Mari's Magical Cleaning, by Yukiko Kaneko "Life Without Things", played a significant role in its popularity. The principle the authors write about is simple: you need to get rid of any things in the house that do not bring joy.

They say that cleaning helps everyone and not only relieves trash, but also changes the person himself, his views and approach to life. Is it really?

Today I will tell you how I put into practice the Japanese method of cleaning the house and what came of it.

When I first heard about the Japanese cleaning, I thought: "Oh! I know people for whom this idea will definitely come in handy!" For example, a friend who keeps a dress from her prom - just in case. In my own home, to clean my conscience, I conducted a superficial audit and found no trash.

The second time I remembered the Japanesewhen moving to a new apartment. I do not have my own furniture, from the dishes - just a coffee cup and glasses for wine, of the technology - a laptop and a smartphone. Despite this, a lot of time and money was spent on packing and shipping things. Then I decided to conduct a more thorough check.

  • To make the process of getting rid of rubbish more efficient, the Japanese recommend conducting an audit not on the premises (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom) but on categories of things: clothes, shoes, etc.


Like many girls, all my clothes can be divided into several categories: every day, on the way out, just in case, just in case I lose my mind (I'm sure many of you have such things too).

Of course, things are divided into groups only in my head, and in the closet they are in a state of permanent chaos and anarchy, that is, they are piled up in one big pile. So I just opened the closet with spring-summer clothes and dumped its contents onto the sofa.

This is how the first stage of cleaning looked like in Japanese (I suddenly realized that I had a special relationship with yellow).

This is the result of a cabinet revision with spring-summer things.

I left the denim jumpsuit, skirt, dress and a few t-shirts. The choice was slow and difficult. It was hard to part with many things, because there were a million excuses: for this I will lose weight, I will remove the stain, it does not sit well and it is not clear what to wear, but you can think of something.

  • Yukiko Kaneko's advice helped me: such excuses are stealing from oneself. Clothes in which we will look good in the future (if we lose weight, get rid of the stain, think of something), prevent us from having those things in which we can be beautiful now.

The process of parsing the cabinet with spring-summer things eventually took a month, but then with winter clothes, underwear, shoes, things went much faster.


Left: products found on the shelves, in a cosmetics bag and even in the fridge. Right: what I really use.

Most of the unnecessary funds were purchased for the purpose of so-called savings. For example, I have long and successfully been using a certain cream of rosacea, which costs about 1,500 rubles. But sometimes I tried to replace it with a cheaper tool. As a result, during the cleaning 5 creams were found with a total cost of 1,730 rubles, each of which was used no more than 2-3 times.

Other categories

This is the result of checking the jewelry, from which I left myself only a red elephant.

Having finished with costume jewelry, I proceeded to the other categories, where many surprises awaited me. For example, a sandwich maker, a drip coffee maker and an electric kettle, which I forgot, because I did not use these devices for about 5 years. There was enough rubbish in other groups:

  • Souvenirs and home decor. Magnets, decorative dishes, toys, figurines and other dust collectors.
  • Textile. Uncomfortable to use bedding and towels, a pair of tablecloths, tulle, a few disgusting synthetic blankets.
  • Equipment. Poorly working headphones, terribly uncomfortable desk lamp, flute curler, electric depilator.

Where to put it all

It is better to find the answer to this question even before proceeding to the audit. Otherwise, the junk is transferred to the pantry or on the balcony, and then quietly returns to its former place. I had 4 main sales channels:

  • Animal Shelters. Here I brought unsuitable for wear things, bed linen and everything that can be used as bedding.
  • Help groups. The volunteer organizations that I found on Facebook have left things that can be sold at charity fairs. Almost all outerwear went to a large family, which was left without shelter due to a fire.
  • Presents. There, on Facebook, I found several groups in which participants donate their belongings to those who want it. In this way, almost all of my jewelry, new cosmetics, some clothes and shoes went away.
  • Garbage bins. All that failed to sell the first three ways, I just threw it away.

In addition to the above methods, there is one more: to sell or exchange an unnecessary thing. Some internal problems prevented me from trying this option, but my friend successfully uses this method, and it motivates her greatly.

What to do so that it does not happen again

One example of clothing that had to get rid of.

Yukiko Kaneko compares the process of getting rid of rubbish with losing weight: if you just throw things away without changing the system, then they, like those extra pounds after a debilitating diet, will soon return again. Therefore, I analyzed the main reasons for the appearance of unnecessary things in order to prevent their occurrence in the future.

  • Sales, promotions. The idea that a product, even if of dubious quality or incomprehensible purpose, costs "only 500 rubles," often made me buy really useless things. For example, a red dress in the photo. Not my size, not my style, not my color. Why did I buy it?
  • Saving. "I need a thing for 1,000 rubles, but now I don’t have them, so I’ll buy them for 300." As the cream example showed, this scheme does not work.
  • Things that have lost their value. Once they benefited, and it’s not easy to get rid of the thought that this time will come. Therefore, I introduced the rule to buy any new thing only after getting rid of the same old one.


In general, the cleaning took half a year, and this is what has changed since its completion:

  • Due to the fact that the apartment has become much fewer things, restoring order and maintaining it takes much less time and effort. Just imagine: now I wipe dust on any horizontal surface, without moving the objects that are on it, because there are none.
  • Because of the half-empty closet with clothes disappeared traditional morning question what to wear. There was a time to prepare a normal breakfast, and not to throw bread and sausage into the course as it was before. In addition, leaving the things that really go to me, I began to feel more confident, if not look better, then more confident.
  • The eloquent result of cleaning was the amount of $ 2,000 - the approximate cost of the items given away or discarded (new or almost new clothes, equipment, etc.). If this figure seems far from reality, go to any of your cabinets and divide its contents into 2 categories: what you really need and what you can do without. Just be honest. Calculate the cost of things from the second category. The amount will certainly surprise you. This is an excellent antidote against the tricks of marketers and other factors, because of which we are overgrown with rubbish. Over the past 3 months, I bought only sneakers. The main thing is my conscious choice, and not a strict ban in order to save.
  • The girl, whom I gave one pair of jeans, said that These will be the first jeans in her life. Not that I felt like a fairy fulfilling desires, but began to better understand philanthropists. Helping people fills the heart with the emptiness that many of us sometimes have.

And what about the change of the man himself?

The Japanese did not lie: I really changed. Cleaning made me more morally and physically free. Gone worries about purchases that need to be done or have already been made. Disappeared bouts of self-blame for thoughtless spending. There is more time and money. What is this if not freedom?

Anyone who has ever encountered the idea of ​​minimalism, I recommend paying more attention to it. The connection between the state of a person and the things that surround him is negligible, and you will be convinced of this by getting rid of the first 2-3 bags of junk.

A source