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9 International Organizing Ideas

If you're determined to get organized, be more mindful or explore different cultures, you're in good company. Here are 9 organizing ideas from around the globe that you may want to incorporate in your own lifestyle.

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hyggeNick Beer/Shutterstock


Hygge, a Danish word that loosely translates to “coziness,” has become one of America’s popular lifestyle ideas. Hygge is all about being comfortable, which means getting rid of clutter. To get more hygge in your life, take the time to sort through belongings you no longer need or want and donate or toss them. Keep warm blankets, soft pillows and candles to promote hygge in your home.

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Ryokan roomPOM POM/Shutterstock


Ryokan is a type of Japanese inn in which guests sleep and eat in the same room. The concept shares focus with the tiny home movement in which homeowners minimize their belongings and space to just what they need.

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Man organizingElnur/Shutterstock


Here’s a question to ask yourself when you’re looking for organizing ideas for your home and life: Does it spark joy? That’s the concept behind KonMari. The answer to the question “Does it spark joy?” is a determining factor for what you choose to keep and what you choose to toss or give away.

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Couple eating lunchbaranq/Shutterstock

Slow Down

One thing that Europeans are better at than Americans is taking their time. For instance, Europeans tend to take long lunches where they chat and enjoy their meal bite by bite, rather than eating quickly at their desks like many Americans. Try incorporating this concept in your own life by organizing your schedule so you can enjoy the things you tend to rush through.

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Cleaning with spongeLikee68/Shutterstock

Greener Cleaning

A study by Nielsen shows those of us in North America tend to use paper towels for cleaning more than anything else, while people in other parts of the world tend to use sponges and washable cloths. If part of your organization plan is to cut down on waste, try using reusable cloths and sponges for those cleaning jobs.

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Clean room with minimal


Translated, the Swedish word lagom means “just the right amount.” Practice lagom by keeping furniture to just what you need, trying to use less water, reducing electricity use, reusing items whenever possible and cooking at home more often. Lagom is a powerful organizing idea because it promotes getting rid of unnecessary things.

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Japanese hotelMr. James Kelley/Shutterstock


Minimalism has grown in popularity in the U.S., yet our concept of minimalism may still seem extravagant in some cultures. In Japan, visitors to capsule hotels sleep in rooms the size of a coffin. The capsules have a small bed and a television with a separate locker for you to store any belongings and a community bathroom. While you may not be able to incorporate this extreme form of minimalism in your own lifestyle, it’s something to keep in mind when deciding to keep or get rid of certain things in your own home.

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Organized living roomPhoto Serg/Shutterstock

Feng Shui

Feng Shui is a concept from China that aims to create a flow of space. As an organizing idea, Feng Shui advocates keeping clutter at bay and relying on organization as every item has its “right place.”

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Woman in field watching sunsetJan Faukner/Shutterstock

Kura Skymning

Kura skymning is a Swedish term which translates to “sitting quietly and pondering at dusk.” With busy schedules, it can be difficult to enjoy just a few quiet moments of reflection. Next time you feel stressed and unorganized, think about kura skymning and try to slow down and take a moment for yourself each evening.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.