Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to make your home in Japan more comfortable and livable.
#1 Go Vertical to Make the Most of Your Space
You can clear up a lot of valuable real estate in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area by using hooks and hanging things from walls.
This family is so organized they hang up their toothbrushes and their toothpaste! Photo: ikea.moo.jp
Don’t let a small kitchen cramp your style. Buy the metal storage rack on the left at a home goods store or online, but the high-tension pole and hooks can be found at your local 100-yen shop. Photo: recruit-life.jp
For more ideas for kitchen organization please see: How to organize a small Japanese kitchen
Store laundry supplies on the side of your washing machine. You can buy strong magnetic hooks at the 100-yen shop. Photo: blogimg.jp
You can also buy efficient vertical shelves that are designed to fit above your washing machine. They are available online or at home and interior goods stores like Nitori.
If you want to create a lot of space above your washing machine, you can buy a laundry rack. The one pictured costs about ¥13,000 ($117) at rakuten.co.jp
Get hyper-organized and hang your jewelry on 100-yen shop hooks.
#2 Make the Most of the Space Under Your Sinks
Make the most of the space under your bathroom sink by adding a high-tension plastic pole and plastic storage boxes for your cleaning supplies.
Organize the space under your bathroom to sink with inexpensive plastic containers and a lightweight high-tension pole from the 100-Yen shop. Photo: blogimg.jp
Add labels to take it to the next level! Photo: roomclip.jp
For more kitchen organization ideas, please see: How to organize a small Japanese kitchen
#3 Be Organized About Separating Your Garbage
Separating garbage in Japan can be complicated. Make it easy on yourself by having a bin for each of the different categories.
Have a separate bin for the different types of garbage (burnable, non-burnable, bottles and cans, PET-bottles, and recyclables). Photo: blog-imgs-29.fc2.com/
#4 Organize Your Cables
Cables all over your room can be an eyesore.
One simple way to clean up cables is to use double-sided tape to attach our power strip to the side of a desk. It makes it easier to vacuum, too!
Hide messy cables in a cable box. Make you own re-charging station using a shoebox or cardboard box from the 100-yen store and a box cutter.
#5 Get Your Clothes off the Floor
Many Japanese rental apartments do not have a lot of closet space. When you have just moved in and maybe for a long time afterward, your suitcase or floor may be your closet. Here are some ways to get your clothing off the floor!
You can buy metal clothing racks at home interior stores if your apartment does not have closets. Photo: rakuten.co.jp
Some Japanese-style futon closets come equipped with a metal bar for hanging up clothing. You can also buy high-tension plastic poles at interior goods stores. Photo: andouhouse.com/
Here are some other simple and inexpensive ways to organize your clothing if you don’t want to invest in storage furniture.
Place smaller boxes inside a larger cardboard box and roll up your T-shirts, socks, and underwear. Photo: nikkeibp.jp
Buy door hooks (at the 100-yen shop) to hang up suits, shirts, and purses.
Use pocket hangers for small items. Photo: alicdn.com
#6 Clean Up Your Shoes
If you live in a typical Japanese rental apartment, you will not have a lot of space to store your shoes, and your entryway (or genkan) may end up getting a bit cluttered.
This blogger says her genkan (entryway) is really messy, but we say this happens to the best of us, especially if you have more than a few pairs of shoes and a small genkan! Photo: Vtwei
Fortunately, the folks at Daiso have thought of a way to help you maximize the precious space in our entryways. Look for shoe hangers at your local ¥100 shop.
Daiso shoe hanger hook. The katakana for shoe hanger is シューズハンガーPhoto: 100yen-zukan
Save valuable space and de-clutter your entryway with shoe hangers. Photo: cdnanapi
Even if you have much more room for your shoes, hooks make your closet more organized. This is the closet of a hyper-organized shoe person. Note the photos of the shoes on the plastic storage boxes! Photo: roomclip.jp
#7 Organize Your Drawers
Once you get the big things squared away, you can move onto the little things, like the drawers.
Use A4-sized plastic file boxes from the 100-yen shop to organize your kitchen drawers.
Size-adjustable plastic drawer dividers are very versatile for organizing drawers. They are called shikiri (仕切り) in Japanese and can be found at 100-yen shops. Photo: blog.livedoor.jp
Use shikiri to organize your freezer. Never go digging around for that last popsicle again! Photo: matome naver
Organize your kids’ toys with versatile shikiri. Photo: matome naver
Organize your stationery and art supplies using shikiri plastic dividers. Photo: matome naver
Do you have any other ideas for organizing a Japanese apartment? Please share them below!
You may also be interested in: Small Room Decorating Ideas from Japan and How to Organize a Small Japanese Kitchen