Year-End Cleaning

Yesterday, I went to bed without publishing the completed manuscript. This was because I was giving my parents a shoulder massage late at night. I was massaging my whole body with gratitude as well. I had planned to update it once I finished, but I forgot.

Now, in Japan, there is a tradition of doing a thorough cleaning at the end of the year. Generally, this “大掃除” (Oosouji or big cleaning) includes not only physical cleaning but also preparations and organizing as the year-end approaches.

This custom is believed to help welcome the new year with a fresh start, rid oneself of the troubles and misfortunes of the past year, and invite good luck. In simple terms, it involves getting rid of unnecessary things in the house and cleaning areas that are often neglected.

To welcome the new year with a refreshing feeling, I do this major cleaning every year with a plan. First, I list the areas in the house that I want to clean this year, aside from my own room. Shared spaces with the family, such as the kitchen, toilet, bathroom, and entrance, are divided among family members for detailed cleaning.

As I want to preserve precious weekend time for outings and shopping, I work on it a bit each day after finishing work until bedtime.

Considering living alone next year, I plan to thoroughly clean my own room this year. Since I started a blog this year, I also want to document the big cleaning process.

First, I want to organize my clothes. I’ll be storing spring, summer, and autumn clothes this time. Since Japan has four distinct seasons, clothes can be roughly categorized into these four patterns. I will discard items that I won’t wear next year, those whose interests have changed, and those that are worn out.

Especially, most of the clothes that I haven’t worn this year are likely not to be worn next year either, so I make sure to discard them. When I consolidated them into a 70-liter trash bag, one bag was filled up.

I plan to take it to recycling on my way home tomorrow and move it to the car. Before storing clothes that I think I will wear next year, I will wash them once.

Tomorrow’s weather is forecasted to be good, so I’ll set up the washing machine before going to the office to air them out. If I include innerwear, it turned out to be a quantity that requires the washing machine to be run about three times.

Since motivation tends to wane if you try to do the cleaning all at once, I’ll stop here for today. I took out all the spring, summer, and autumn clothes, sorted out what I need and don’t need, put the unnecessary items in a trash bag in the car, and put the ones to keep in the washing machine with a timer set.

The task was completed in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. I praised myself for the effort, and now I’m going to bed.