Your home is meant to be a peaceful oasis. However, it’s hard to feel at peace when you’re surrounded by piles of laundry, overflowing toy boxes, and piles of clutter on the floor.
Are you ready to reclaim your space, along with your sanity?
Enter, the Danshari Method.
Today, we’re exploring what this movement entails, what it means and how you can apply its themes of minimalism to your own life.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
What is the Danshari Method?
Imagine packing everything you own in a 30 square metres.
That’s exactly what Fumio Sasaki did, comfortably storing his 150 possessions in a home of that size. The Japanese author and public speaker has been compared to a Marie Kondo, the professional organizer who rose to fame in recent years thanks to her KonMari method of decluttering and simplifying.
For his part, Sasaki is adopting a message of radical minimalism, explaining that the concept is less about eliminating “things” and more about reconsidering how they make you feel. The concept, known as Danshari, is quickly catching on.
However, though it might be a modern buzzword, the Japanese culture has embraced this very concept for centuries, calling it Wabi-Sabi, or simply, “Wabi.”
In short, Wabi describes the state of Zen you enter when you’re no longer reliant on materials to bring you happiness and peace. In fact, one Zen master, Daisetsu T. Suzuki, explained it best by describing Wabi as being satisfied with a little hut, a plate of good food, and the sights and sounds of nature. In 2020, Sasaki is expanding on this idea, explaining that less really is more, especially in a society bent on accumulating as much as possible.
How to declutter, Danshari-style
There are three characters in the Japanese translation of Danshari. They represent, in order:
- Dan: To Refuse
- Sha: To Throw Away
- Ri: To Separate
While each character is up to individual interpretation, the basic concept of Danshari hinges on embracing them as they relate to minimalism. Let’s take a deeper look at what each one means.
In this case, refusal is less about self-deprivation and more about critical thinking. When you’re considering purchasing a new item, think honestly about its importance in your life. Is it absolutely necessary?
If the answer is “no”, then Danshari advocates maintain that you should refuse to bring it into your life. By doing so, you keep your possessions small but valuable. Each one holds a special purpose and meaning.
A few of the ways you can put this into practice in your own life include:
- Gift experiences or homemade items rather than meaningless objects
- Refuse to accept a “freebie” just because it’s free
- Refrain from mindless shopping and the “impulse buy” mentality
To throw away
One of the pillar concepts of the KonMari method is “sparking joy.” If an item doesn’t elicit feelings of happiness or excitement and instead weighs you down, it’s time to dispose of it.
In a similar vein, the Danshari Method encourages everyone to take a close look around their living spaces, cleaning and tidying up as they go. If an item isn’t deemed physically or emotionally important, it’s OK to let it go.
From monks to Silicon Valey millionaires, people all over the world are embracing the concept of paring back possessions. However, the idea can be more difficult to implement than it seems. A few practical ways to declutter at home include:
- Take pictures of heirlooms and sentimental items, then let them go
- Invest in a capsule wardrobe over fast fashion
- Streamline your kitchen accessories
- Partner with a local charity and donate your castoffs
- Store unused or seasonal items in an attic, away from everyday sight
Let’s talk about that last bullet. Before you start stashing all of your heavy winter duvets, holiday sweaters or summertime pillows in the attic, it’s smart to protect them, first. Use our airtight vacuum storage bags to keep moisture out and protect your beloved items.
These duvet vacuum storage bags are ideal for bulky bedding, while our clothes vacuum storage bags compress and store the whole family’s coats and quilted jackets in minutes. This way, you’re not tripping over snow boots in July!
It’s human nature to feel attached to possessions.
Psychologists explain that the inclination develops early, when we’re mere toddlers. “Things” define us and ownership thrills us from the very beginning, morphing throughout our adulthood. As time goes on, it becomes virtually impossible to discern our identities apart from the items we own.
Danshari seeks to change this tide. It urges people to cut those deeply rooted ties and learn to see themselves as separate entities apart from the goods under their roof. Especially if you’ve come to depend on your smart devices, gadgets and other accessories, this can be the most difficult step of all.
A few of the steps you can take to detach yourself from your possessions include:
- Start by decluttering an easy area (e.g. those old shoes you’ve never worn)
- Practice meditation and listen to your internal voice
- Learn to cherish free space and room to move over “stuff”
- Give yourself a defined time limit, so you’re not overwhelmed
The mental and emotional side of clutter
At its core, Danshari applies to more than just physical objects. It also takes into account the emotional and mental stress you can feel when the scales of your life are unbalanced and materialism threatens to overtake your psyche.
The premise of the method is that once you’ve taken the time to rid your personal space of excess, you’re free to explore and grow as an individual. You don’t just gain more floor space — you gain a new outlook on life.
Put the Danshari Method into practice
Learning to scale back on your possessions and embrace a more minimalistic lifestyle can be daunting at first. The Danshari Method takes this into consideration, offering three steps that can help make the transition less jarring.
When you’re ready to become more organized, we’ll help you find the storage solutions you need. We offer innovative and practical systems for every space in your house, so you never have to feel trapped by “things” again.