Perhaps she is its most famous exponent. But the truth is that Japan has paradigms of order beyond Marie Kondo. Although it is said to be one of the most advanced places in the world and a technological country par excellence, little is said about its passion for order. This is, along with punctuality and cleanliness, one of the keys to discipline in Japanese culture, and the Kaizen method is a perfect example of it.
But there is more. If the guru of order par excellence bets on keeping only what makes us happy, the Dan-sha-ri invites us to live only with what is necessary. Meanwhile, the Oosouji is a catharsis that advocates a great cleansing to start the year leaving behind burdens, physical and mental.
Applicable to the home or any other scenario, the Kaizen method advocates applying the one-minute rule. In other words, performing the same task every day for 60 seconds in order to make it a routine. Thanks to the gradual development of new habits, keeping the house clean and tidy will become easier and easier.
Also known as "continuous improvement theory," the Japanese method gets its name from the Japanese words Kai (meaning change) and Zen (good, for the better). Its proponent, consultant and theologian Masaaki Imai, focuses the system on maintaining order in the long term.
To achieve this, we are committed to progressive improvement. This translates into the generation of new routines. It is about starting with simple tasks and objectives. Tidy a drawer, place the bookshelf, organize the shoe rack... And, little by little, add more time to each of them.
Transferring the Kaizen method to the home to ensure a simple and lasting organization involves knowing its basic rules. The first and fundamental one is not to make excuses. Nobody is passionate about tidying up the house, but it is necessary to stop procrastinating and get down to work. Establishing routines helps to internalize habits and that is the basis of the system.
It doesn't matter if the results are not perfect. What is essential is to perform the tasks on a daily basis and without excuses.
Correcting mistakes is the next step. Although the first few days immediacy takes precedence over results, the Japanese philosophy is based on learning, correcting and improving. In this sense, it is important to know where the origin of the disorder is, as this is the only way to solve the reasons that led you to chaos and prevent it from happening again.
Of course it is not an individual task. If you live with other people or in a family, all members must be involved in household chores to achieve the desired results.
In addition to its basic rules, it is important to be familiar with the 5 "s" of the Kaizen method which, in essence, correspond to the words: seire, seito, seiso, sieketsu and shitsuke.
The first step, as you can imagine, is sorting (seire) or, in other words, separating the necessary from the dispensable. This task should not take you a long time but should be approached instinctively.
Arranging things (seito) according to their frequency of use is the next level. Baskets or boxes can be a great help to ensure order. In any case, try to always leave at hand those things that you use daily and give a specific space to your belongings to have them always located.
Simplification (seiso) will be one of the consequences of applying Kaizen. As you arrange the spaces, you will realize that the process will become simpler and simpler and, consequently, you will need less time to carry it out.
The key to the successful application of Kaizen will depend on your ability to standardize habits (seiketsu) and maintain discipline (shitsuke). Make your bed every morning, tidy up the kitchen when you finish using it, tidy up the living room before you go to bed.... These small gestures that you will internalize as the days go by will help you to keep order at home effortlessly.