Being American living a minimalist "Zen" lifestyle is not something that comes naturally to me. I'm used to ample space, spacious lawns and backyards, and a commodious garage packed full with crap I barely ever use. Over the years Japan has worked wonders on me. Its overpriced cramped living spaces have afforded me the privilege of aggressively implementing a minimalist Zen lifestyle. Thank you, Japan. You can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but I still love you.
I'd like to share some things I've learned along the way that have both allowed for space maximization, as well as life simplification. Because face it--at least half the stuff you own could probably be thrown away with minimal impact to your quality of daily life. And life simplification is like a breath of fresh air inhaled into lungs you never knew you had.
I'm writing this not to serve as any professorial lecture or authoritative "how to," but merely as a list of things that have worked for me thus far. I still am, after all, a consumerist American living in consumerist Japan--an American boy that struggles constantly with reducing the amount of crap he owns.
Read more: Life in Japan - Minimalist Zen Living Spaces