Oosouji: The Japanese Art of Spring Cleaning

Origin: Japan

The Japanese consider it unlucky to drag past baggage – including clutter and dust – into a new year. Before you make any New Year's resolutions this year, why not observe the Japanese ritual of Oosouji?

Oosouji, which translates to "big cleaning," sees families all over Japan meticulously clean their homes, office spaces and schools. However, it's not just a matter of cleaning off dust and dirt; the Japanese believe that along with purifying your physical space, you can let go of stagnant memories and past problems and make room for new beginnings and experiences.

While in other parts of the world, there are similar traditions such as "spring cleaning," there is one crucial difference. To observe Oosuji, one should adopt the attitude of cleaning and declutter as a ritual, not as a monotonous chore. When you sweep the dust, you are also cleaning away the negative energy of the past. st. 

How to cultivate Oosouji in your home:

  1. Start from the top of the house by dusting off the ceilings and then work your way down.
  2. Always start by the entrance of each room and work your way clockwise to end where you started, with a fresh state-of-mind.
  3. Place boxes in all rooms for items that are no longer needed. When on a break, bring these boxes to charity.
  4. Leave one box for trash and remove it immediately you finish with a room.
  5. Involve everyone in the family. Everyone should have a chance to decide what they want to keep and what they would like to let go.
  6. Remove all stains, whether in the bathtub or the couch. Old stains remind you of the past in a negative way.

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