The kitchen therapy

By on March 3, 2013
The last thing you want to see when you come home from a long day of work is a mess.  More so if you live in a small apartment in Tokyo with young children. The floor plan of an average Japanese apartment is different from that of other countries where the first thing you see as you walk through the door is a living room.  If you have a floor layout like mine with a kitchen that greets you as you walk in, then your concern would be to have what everyone else desires -a clutter-free room that’s clean and odor-free at all times!
In terms of stressors, it doesn’t rank as high as the global recession but seeing this mess leads to a certain anxiety. Mainly, it reminds us that, at best, we have two hours of daily downtime, which is clearly not spent cleaning and organizing. You will never be able to avoid dealing with constant stuff unless you make it a second job. Instead, keep everything away from sight  so that, at the very least, you don’t have to look at the disarray when you should be focusing on family and children.The best way to free yourself from stress is by arranging your stuff in the kitchen.

Put all cleaning stuff in one basket or plastic containers
Store them in a compartment away from foods or dishes.  Many of these containers are slim enough to fit a small cabinet in the kitchen area.

Have a small shelf for recipe books
Group books by size, donating or recycling anything you haven’t picked up in years. Instead of displaying them hide the clutter by creating a curtain or putting them in a cabinet with doors so they won’t collect dust.

Before you put back cups, saucers, and plates onto the cupboards after use, check for spills or stains that may cause bad odor.

Never let your counter top get cluttered
Never bring into a kitchen hair brushes, money or objects that do not belong there. Refrain from using laptops, cell phones and other water-sensitive items in the kitchen. Flowers are good.

Use scented candles
Mostly, because they’ll get rid of that “stale apartment” smell. Try fruity scents like grape, lemon, orange or vanilla scents.  They tend to give a pleasant energy to the room.

Have you got a home story idea or tip? Email us at

About Tokyo Families