9 International Organizing Ideas
If you're determined to get organized or explore different cultures, you're in good company. Try these international organizing ideas.
Hygge, a Danish word that loosely translates to “coziness,” has become one of America’s popular lifestyle ideas. Hygge is all about being comfortable, which means getting rid of clutter. To get more hygge in your life, take the time to sort through belongings you no longer need or want and donate or toss them. Keep warm blankets, soft pillows and candles to promote hygge in your home.
Ryokan is a type of Japanese inn in which guests sleep and eat in the same room. The concept shares focus with the tiny home movement in which homeowners minimize their belongings and space to just what they need.
Here’s a question to ask yourself when you’re looking for organizing ideas for your home and life: Does it spark joy? That’s the concept behind KonMari. The answer to the question “Does it spark joy?” is a determining factor for what you choose to keep and what you choose to toss or give away.
One thing that Europeans are better at than Americans is taking their time. For instance, Europeans tend to take long lunches where they chat and enjoy their meal bite by bite, rather than eating quickly at their desks like many Americans. Try incorporating this concept in your own life by organizing your schedule so you can enjoy the things you tend to rush through.
A study by Nielsen shows those of us in North America tend to use paper towels for cleaning more than anything else, while people in other parts of the world tend to use sponges and washable cloths. If part of your organization plan is to cut down on waste, try using reusable cloths and sponges for those cleaning jobs. By the way, professional house cleaners trust these products the most.
Translated, the Swedish word lagom means “just the right amount.” Practice lagom by keeping furniture to just what you need, trying to use less water, reducing electricity use, reusing items whenever possible and cooking at home more often. Lagom is a powerful organizing idea because it promotes getting rid of unnecessary things.
MR. JAMES KELLEY/SHUTTERSTOCK
Minimalism has grown in popularity in the U.S., yet our concept of minimalism may still seem extravagant in some cultures. In Japan, visitors to capsule hotels sleep in rooms the size of a coffin. The capsules have a small bed and a television with a separate locker for you to store any belongings and a community bathroom. While you may not be able to incorporate this extreme form of minimalism in your own lifestyle, it’s something to keep in mind when deciding to keep or get rid of certain things in your own home.
Feng Shui is a concept from China that aims to create a flow of space. As an organizing idea, Feng Shui advocates keeping clutter at bay and relying on organization as every item has its “right place.”
Kura skymning is a Swedish term which translates to “sitting quietly and pondering at dusk.” With busy schedules, it can be difficult to enjoy just a few quiet moments of reflection. Next time you feel stressed and unorganized, think about kura skymning and try to slow down and take a moment for yourself each evening.