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Danshari concept

Danshari the Japanese concept meaning to declutter

4 min read

What is the Danshari Method and why should you apply it ?

Your home is supposed to be a haven of peace. However, it's hard to feel that peace when you're surrounded by a pile of laundry, overflowing boxes of toys and a lot of things lying around.

Are you ready to reclaim your space and peace of mind ?

Discover the Danshari method.

Today we will explore what this movement involves, what it means and how you can apply these minimalist ideas to your own life.

Want to learn more ? Then let's get started !

What is the Danshari Method?

Imagine having to organize everything you own in 30 square meters.

That's exactly what Fumio Sasaki did, by cleverly arranging everything he owned (150 things) in an apartment of this size. This Japanese author and lecturer has been compared to Marie Kondo, the organization's professional who has made a name for herself in recent years thanks to her KonMari method of putting everything in order and simplifying everything.

For his part, Sasaki advocates radical minimalism and explains that the concept is not so much about getting rid of "things", but rather about wondering what emotions they give you. The concept, known as Danshari, quickly gained acceptance.

However, although it may sound like a fashionable word, the concept has been rooted in Japanese culture for centuries, known as "Wabi-Sabi" or simply "Wabi".

In short, Wabi describes the state of Zen that you enter when you no longer depend on the material aspect to feel happiness and peace. In fact, a Zen master, Daisetsu T. Suzuki, explained it best when he described Wabi as the state of satisfaction that comes from a small hut, a good little dish, the sight and sound, and nature. In 2020, Sasaki developed this idea by explaining that in reality, less is more, especially in a society determined to accumulate as much as possible.

Japanese Lotus zen

How to put an end to the mess: Danshari style 

The three syllables of the word Danshari each have their own meaning in Japanese: they mean in order :

  • Dan 断 : to refuse
  • Sha 捨 : to dispose
  • Ri 離 : to separate from

These three principles can be interpreted individually, but Danshari's concept is based on their combination, as they relate to minimalism. Let's take a closer look at what each one means.

Danshari Meaning


In this case, refusal refers not so much to self-privation, but rather to critical thinking. When considering buying a new object, think honestly about its importance in your life. Is it absolutely necessary?

If the answer is "no", then the followers of the Danshari method say that you should refuse to integrate it into your life. By doing so, you make sure that you have few but precious possessions. Each object must have a particular purpose and meaning.

Here are some ways to put this principle into practice in your life :

  • Have a range of experiences or give homemade gifts rather than meaningless objects.
  • Refuse to accept a gift just because it is free of charge.
  • Refrain from making meaningless purchases and "impulse buys".


One of the basic concepts of the KonMari method is "sparkling joy". If an object is not of physical or emotional importance, it is time to get rid of it.

In the same spirit, the Danshari method encourages everyone to closely observe their living spaces, cleaning and tidying up as they go along. If an object is not of physical or emotional importance, it is normal to get rid of it.

From monks to Silicon Valley millionaires, people all over the world have adopted the concept of reducing what they own. However, the idea may be more difficult to implement than it seems. Here are a few practical tips for getting your house in order :

  • Take pictures, family heirlooms and items of sentimental value before you dispose of them.
  • Invest in a capsule wardrobe rather than ephemeral fashion items.
  • Rationalize your kitchen accessories
  • Collaborate with a charity and donate your old clothes
  • Store seasonal items that you don't use in an attic, out of sight.

Let us stop on this last point. Before you start putting away your big winter comforters, vacation sweaters or summer pillows in the attic, it would be best to protect them. Use our airtight, vacuum-sealed storage bags that protect your favorite things from moisture.


Man has, by nature, a tendency to become attached to things.

Psychologists explain that this tendency develops early, when we are still young children. Things" define us, and the sense of ownership begins early and evolves throughout our adult lives. Over time, it becomes almost impossible to conceive of our identity outside of what we own.

The Danshari method seeks to change this trend. It encourages people to break these deep-rooted bonds and to learn to see themselves as entities distinct and independent of the things they possess. In particular, if you have become very dependent on your so-called intelligent devices, gadgets and other accessories, this can be the most difficult step of all.

Here are some good resolutions you can make to detach yourself from your material possessions :

  • Start by cleaning up things that are easy to throw away (for example, old shoes you never wore).
  • Practice meditation and listen to your inner voice.
  • Learn to appreciate the space and room to move rather than the "stuff".
  • Set a time limit so you don't get overwhelmed.

Japanese kid meditation

The mental and emotional aspect of the disorder

Basically, the Danshari method is not limited to the material aspect. It also takes into account the emotional and mental stress you may feel when you suffer from an imbalance in your life and materialism threatens your psyche.

The principle of the method is that once you have taken the time to eliminate excesses from your personal space, you are free to explore and evolve as an individual. You not only get more physical space, but also a new vision of life.

Put the Danshari method into practice

Learning to reduce what you own in order to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle can be disconcerting at first. The Danshari Method takes this into consideration, proposing three steps that can help you make the transition less disruptive.

When you feel ready to become more organized, we will help you find the storage solutions you need. We offer you innovative and practical systems, adapted to each space in your home, so you no longer feel like you're trapped in "things".