Spring Cleaning time is here!
But did you know that there is no such thing as "Spring Cleaning" in Japan? Instead, the Japanese do Osoji, the biggest cleaning of the year which happens at the end of the year. They do this to welcome in a fresh new year.
The Japanese take Osoji very seriously, so when I heard from my American friend who was surprised when his Japanese friend turned down a golf invitation because of his family's Osoji plan, I had to explain the importance of Osoji to him. I think you get the idea, haha! So let us share some strategies and tips to make your Spring Cleaning easier and more fun.
Step 1: Preparation
a. It is useful to check if you have enough cleaning items such as detergent, wash rags, etc in advance.
Some families may even strategize on papers to plan who will do where, what, when, how, etc on a spreadsheet that's kept on the fridge.
b. Throw away unnecessary items, so it's easier to clean. The Japanese call this practice "DanShaRi". DanShaRi is not just for cleaning physical items but also about decluttering your unnecessary mental blocks, appointments, to do lists, even friends.
c. Set aside the cleaning items in the right places. Then you don't have to look for them when you want to use. The closer the items are, the easier it is for you to start cleaning.
Step 2: Holistic Cleaning
As you move on, you might find that more cleaning needs to be done. This can mess up your cleaning schedule, so it's good to view your home holistically, not separated into separate areas that need to be cleaned. Remember that you want to clean the house as a whole, not only certain limited areas.
Tip 1: The dirtier the areas, the faster you clean.
For example, clean the restroom and kitchen first, so you see the difference clearly and so the space feels fresher. This keeps your cleaning motivation going.
Tip 2: Top down.
Clean the house from top down, so the dust from the lights can be cleaned up whenever you clean the floor.
Step 3: Tips By Items
Mix baking soda and water to make a paste, then spread it over the dirty areas. Let it sit for a few hours, then wipe away with a damp cloth.
Place a bowl of water with lemon slices or vinegar inside and microwave it for a few minutes. The steam will loosen up any food particles, and the lemon or vinegar will help deodorize.
Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it to the showerhead. Leave it overnight, then remove the bag and run the water for a few minutes to flush out any remaining vinegar.