With the success of Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix and her KonMari method of tidying and organizing rooms, everyone’s now looking to Eastern philosophy for other innovative ways of interior cleaning and decoration. Luckily for us, there are plenty of philosophies and techniques overseas that focus precisely on those two aspects.
The following are some tips that will give you a broad picture of how to decorate a room according to many Asian ideas about interior decorating, and then keep it shiny and clean all the time. Let’s learn how!
Here are some Asian house cleaning secrets and decoration ideas!
The five “S” of Japanese cleaning.
There are five main concepts that the Japanese observe when cleaning, both at home and the workplace: Seiri, to organize and discard your possessions; seiton, to tidy and arrange items for ease of access; seiso, to scrub, wipe, polish and physically cleaning objects in general; seiketsu (to keep things neat and shiny after cleaning); and finally, shitsuke, which is the discipline required to practice the other four every day.
These can be translated as Sort, Set (in place), Shine, Standardize and Sustain, and while they were originally meant to create a sense of total organization in the average Japanese workplace, they can be applied to a household as well, especially one with a big family living in it. The goal of the “5S” is to provide a safer, more efficient space arrangement, and who doesn’t want that for their own home?
The power of MA.
Japanese design and culture, in general, are based around simplicity and minimalism. This can be easily seen in their interior design and gardens, and it’s all thanks to a concept called MA, which refers to the pure and essential void between things, giving them the space to exist and have true meaning. This means that clutter is the natural enemy of MA because it robs things off their “possibility space”.
With tidiness and organization becoming a universal trend in recent years, MA is more important than ever. One way to clean a room around this concept is to remove all things from the place you have given them in a particular room, like cupboards, drawers, boxes and such. Then, after every container is empty, clean them and the space around them, leaving no residue or stray waste. Finally, it’s time to return your belongings to their rightful place, but not all of them; get rid of those that are not immediately useful or functional in that space. MA in action.
The Chinese Lunar New Year is here to help.
Da sao chu is the house cleaning ritual of the Lunar New Year, one of its biggest and most important for observing families. Days before the new year, everyone in the house cleans, sweeps and scrubs every corner of the house in order to purge bad luck and leave enough room for the future. This means that every nook and cranny must be impeccable and well-organized.
Some da sao chu cleaning tips that might help you clean the house fast are these:
- Get rid of dust bunnies easily by rubbing a stocking against another piece of fabric and wrap it around a broomstick; this will create static that will attract dust particles.
- Cleaning the carpet is a homeowner’s headache, but baking soda can make the job easy. Just spread the soda evenly over the carpet and let it sit overnight. Vacuum thoroughly and there you go, no scrubbing needed.
- Who doesn’t hate lingering food odors in the microwave? The natural solution is simple: Heat fresh orange rinds for a full minute and then wipe down the oven.
- If you didn’t know you could clean dirty windows with half an onion and some old newspapers, well now you have to try. Simply smear the cross-section over the window and wipe with the newspaper before the juices dry.
- To remove scratches on leather furnishings, an egg white is your best friend. All you have to do is scrub it over the scratch and watch it shine again.
Water features bring a whole house together.
If you want to take your Asian-style decoration game to the next level, a water feature is hard to top. Not only is the sound of water a positive and calming feature according to Feng Shui, but they can also bring an undeniable sense of harmony to any space, so they’re great for entrances and backyards, any space big enough to let them shine.
A koi pond might prove too much for most living spaces, but a small sculptured fountain or even a reflecting pool will bring a fluid effect and become a lively conversation piece for any visitor social event that you host.
Looking for inspiration in Asia on how to clean house fast and easy and decoration a new spin is a perfect way to encourage the family to tackle these seemingly boring chores together. Of course, getting some outside help is perfect, too.