Japanese organization

Spring Cleaning the Japanese Way: Danshari - The Art of Life Cleanse

“DanShaRi” (断捨離) is a new Japanese word to describe the action of eliminating physical and mental clutter in order to simplify your life. A more direct translation is "life cleanse."

Dan: Say no to unnecessary things
Sha: Throw away unnecessary items
Ri: Separate from obsession of unnecessary things

Danshari is not about just throwing stuff away and cleaning your home, but about purifying your mind.

Dan: Say No to unnecessary things.

When you are invited for to a party which you are not terribly interested in but feel you have to go to, you might go. But will you be happy about it afterwards? It's perfectly acceptable to decline the invitation - it's OK to say NO! Although many Japanese individuals struggle with refusing invitations, understanding and adopting the idea of saying NO is crucial for our mental health. This concept holds significance not just for the Japanese, but for everyone in general.

Sha: Throw away unnecessary items.

Clear away and remove unnecessary items from your surroundings. Physical clutter makes mental clutter. For example, you might be holding onto an old cap that was given to you by your friend, but you haven't used it since receiving it. Now, it's only taking up space, and is an obstruction of your mind because you may feel guilty for not using it. Instead, we recommend that you donate, sell or even throw it away. Your friend might not be happy if they learn you're not using it anyway.

If you haven’t used an item in over a year, give it away or throw it away, even if it's new or expensive. In Japan, there is a concept called “MOTTAINAI”. Mottainai means feeling bad because a new item isn't being used, that it's going to waste. Take for example, a new shirt you bought a year ago and haven't worn or used since, you feel MOTTAINAI.

Ri: Separate from obsession of unnecessary things.

Stop being materialistic. You need only what you use. Eat only what you need. Do only what you need to do. Speak only what you need to say.

Japan is a small country and homes are small in general, so this danshari idea is very fit for their lives. But it’s not an idea just for cleaning the house, but also about cleaning life. Now, people read books, take seminars, do club activities, and more, for danshari. It’s a huge boom. As a Less is More Japanese brand, all the Mirai Clinical members are working on danshari too!

Here are our favorite danshari expert’s rooms. Believe it or not, she, her husband, newborn baby and 3 cats live here!


DanSyaRi expert’s room

Cleaning House

Our favorite DanSyaRi expert’s rooms

DanSyaRi expert’s rooms with cats live here

6 items to throw away/give away from your home:

  1. Clothes that you are not wearing or have not used in over a year. You might think you will wear one day but know that if that day didn't come in the last year, it probably isn't going to come in the next five. Trends and personal preferences change often so if you buy new clothes, throw out or donate your existing ones to balance things out.
  2. Points Cards or Coupons for shops and restaurants which you don’t go to.
  3. Expired or unused medicines and skincare items.
  4. Souvenirs from your friends or past trips, which are not used.
  5. Brand items which are not used.

8 rules of Danshari:

  1. Tidy up quickly.
  2. Decide where to put the items at the end. Decide what to throw away first.
  3. Throw away any items that you haven’t used in over a year.
  4. Throw away any items that doesn’t spark joy.
  5. Tidy up in the order of 1) Clothes, 2) Books, 3) Papers, 4) Small items, 5) memorial items.
  6. Basically, throw away all papers, except important papers.
  7. Every time you throw away one item, say “thank you” to the item.
  8. Every time you buy new clothes, get rid of an existing one.

Did you know that Japanese DanShaRi guru Marie Kodo was selected as one of the 100 most influential people by TIMES in April 2015?

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