New Year’s Cleaning/お掃除


Today is my fiancé’s household’s cleaning day. お掃除 (おそうじ/o-souji) is a big cleanup that occurs in Japan before the New Year. It’s similar to spring cleaning in America. The idea is to clean out all the dust and dirt that accumulated over the past year so that you start the new year fresh. The end of the year is really a close to a chapter that is over, and it’s kind of a sense of not looking back, and only moving forward with the next year.



Laundry out to dry, futons out to air at an aparment building – photo by kei

お掃除 includes airing out futons, vacuuming, scrubbing down everything like counters, floors, etc., cleaning curtains, washing cars, and pretty much cleaning everything else you can think of. Since my fiancé lives close to his parents’ house, we are involved in their household お掃除 as well as our own. Of course, my fiancé’s apartment is nice and small, so it makes scrubbing things down easier. Japan is fairly humid and the closets are places that mould loves to grow, so we’re also trying to get rid of some mould in the apartment that has attached itself to thick coats that he rarely wears.


I’m waiting for the electrician to fix the bathroom light right now, because it has decided that it only wants to turn on sporadically. Also, it occasionally turns off while in use, which is a pain since it is on the outside of the bathroom and it is completely dark inside the bathroom when it goes off. The porch light and the nearby street lamp also went out recently, so it will be nice to be able to see at night without an iPhone flashlight.


The electrician is done now, so it’s back to cleaning for me! Do you do cleaning for New Year’s? Or do you save it for spring? It’s a refreshing feeling, but where I live in the states I’m not able to do it quite as thoroughly at this time of year due to the snow. It’s 8 C here right now (50 F?) and I’m not looking forward to washing the car. Oh well! Mata ne! またね!


6 thoughts on “New Year’s Cleaning/お掃除

  1. It hasn’t been a ritual to clean at the end of the year but I do tend to simply because we are taking down decorations and getting the house back to regular order. Maybe this year I will do it more deliberately. I like the idea of starting the new year clean. Happy New Year!


    • Wow, once every three months? I wish I had that kind of time. Maybe once I graduate I can do that. Right now I use cleaning as a way to procrastinate, but then the guilt of not studying overwhelms me and I stop cleaning ^^


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