Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ending the year on a terrific note...the great big end of year clean up!!!!

In Japan, it's pretty common to have a very big end of year house clean up. You know, out with the old... in with the new. Or in this case, out with the dirty and in with the clean. : ) This is probably one of my favorite things in Japan, this end of the year clean up. I really look forward to this every single year. And if you look at my older blog posts, I've written about this many times in the past. However, with knowing we'd be gone for Christmas and a few days afterwards. I wondered how I'd break the cleaning up. So, what I did was...a week before Christmas. I went to our bedroom and Noboru helped me move our bed and bedroom furniture around. So, I switched the bed from facing 1 direction to a totally different direction altogether. Vacuumed in there and dusted. Of course I'd have to go and dust and vacuum a few extra times before New years but getting the brunt or hardest part done beforehand helped me. My walk in closet is still clean since I deep cleaned it in November, miracle against miracles. : ) It stayed that way. But of course I did vacuum it a few times and windexed the window in there too. Both the boys rooms, I did not switch their bed directions at all, but I did vacuum under their beds, but flipping the mattress and leaning it onto a wall, leaving the bed frame there and vacuuming it with the canister vacuum. Vacuumed and dusted. And that was pretty much it before we left to Guam. After we returned on the other hand. we went right back to our "end of the year" cleaning, for example on the 30th. We decided to do the entire downstairs. Everyone living in this house has a job/task. Noah and Branden's kitchen jobs were, cleaning all the windows including the big patio window. This was also both sides of the windows.
Noboru vacuumed the blinds and then wiped them each with a wet sponge and then dry cloth.
I wiped down all counters and then got started in on the fridge.
What's this thing in the sink? A piece of the fridge. Hot soapy sudsy water and I scrubbed and scrubbed and got the entire insides of the fridge spic and span.
And the boys cleaning the outsides of the patio window.
Because I would be mopping the floors down afterwards the chairs went outside. The boys also wiped the chairs down also. They really helped a lot.
Nicely clean now... time for everything to go back into the fridge. Yogurt, cheese, milk and whatnots.
And now onto the vegetable area, Noah with a Clorox wet wipe wiping the whole area down really good and then rinsiing it with a hot wet sponge. And then drying it with a paper towel.
Meanwhile I washed all the vegetable bins with hot soapy water and dried them. We had music playing, we were jamming and singing and cleaning. And some straight tea every once in a while if we got thirsty.
Branden meanwhile did all the baseboards with a hot sudsy sponge and he really did a great job with it.
I lay down 2 paper towels down and then the fresh potatoes 5kg on the potatoes, bag of onions and pack of carrots.
2 packs of mushrooms.
Other veggie bin, lettuce and a half of cabbage.
Noboru still working quite hard on the blinds. Everyone pitched in.
The kitchen mats hang to dry.
The pictures that usually sit on that corner cabinet were laying down on the table. Because I just dusted it and then put the frames back. The Christmas table runner and mats put away until next year. Some fresh mikans and bananas in a bowl sit on the table. The plant taken outside and dusted.
I dusted the kitchen ceiling fan. Light bulbs and everything @_@
Took all the magnets down scrubbed the front of the fridge.
The whole fridge really got a thorough scrubbing. And then Noah kindly put all the magnets back on the fridge. Took down the 2011 calendar and hung the one we bought in Honolulu this past July. The one we'll use for 2012.
So the entire kitchen was 100% spic and span. Scrubbed, dusted, mopped and wiped to the millionth power. So Noboru and the boys got started on the living room. Meanwhile I mopped the kitchen floor. With hot soapy sudsy water. Scrubbed the heck out of the kitchen floor.
Then scrubbed the genkan tiles. Scrubbed the heck out of those too. Then rinsed the kitchen and genkan. Then, joined my family in the living room and we cleaned the heck out of the living room. After that, I scrubbed the toilet downstairs. Noah vacuumed the actual stairs and Branden scrubbed the toilet upstairs. And we were done for December 30th. I finished my Guam post. And then just relaxed.
December 31st. While Noboru was outside washing both cars.The boys and I scrubbed the sink and laundry room upstairs and the shower/bath area. Branden did the tub, Noah scrubbed the shower door, I scrubbed the floor and walls. So we all did a part, again with music playing it's really quite fun. Same with the laundry room. Everyone took a part and it was 3 times faster sharing the work. I vacuumed the entire upstairs, the boys rooms and our bedroom. Dusted the blinds. The boys wiped/windexed the windows. And we were done. We ran to the store to get any last minute things. Though the bigger chain grocery stores will be open, and in the bigger cities it could be more like business as usual..but for us in the country side.... the 2 grocery stores nearest me will be closed January 1st, 2nd and 3rd. So, I picked 2 loaves of bread from the bakery. Versus just 1 like usual. 2 cartons of milk versus just 1.

Took the groceries home and for dinner December 31st we went and had ramen. We were tired from all the cleaning we did for the past 2 days. We had finished and were so happy to be done. So, we enjoyed ramen and gyoza. Melon soda. And then we left.
Mystery bags. These are quite popular in Japan. You buy something you have no idea what it is. I know some people really like these bags and look forward to them every year. Some people don't care for them. As for me, I really don't care for them. If I walk into a store in Japan for example. Likely, yes there will be 10 things in there I really like and think is cute. But there will also be things not really my style either. I would hate to buy the price says, 5250 yen $60 US. And get something I disliked. My husbands friend bought a mans/guys mystery bag last year and he loved what he got. I think Noboru likes the mystery bag idea. I'd meanwhile just prefer buy something I can actually see first. @_@ Sorry...gomen ne~ Anyway, for those of you not in Japan, I just thought this might seem interesting to you.
Before we went to Guam, I was at the store near the swim school. This is my new weekly store I do my weekly shopping at now. I don't shop at Cainz weekly anymore, I go there only once a month now. I'm at the store near the swim school. And I didn't want too much stuff since we were leaving Japan soon. However they had soda on sale for 120 yen each. Regular price 198 yen each or so. Hmmm, that is a great deal. Not going to buy it... I said to myself. I'll get it when I get back from Guam. But as I looked at the sale sign it said, sale ends December 23rd. @_@ That is (was) today I thought to myself, Don't buy it. So, I kept shopping from aisle to aisle. Then I you should buy. The sale be be long gone by the time you get back and the price will surely be back to 198 yen. That's true, I thought. So before I left, I bought 2 of each. 2 orange Fanta (Branden's favorite), 2 grape Fanta (my favorite) and 2 Cokes (Noboru's favorite), Noah's not picky he's just grateful he gets a soda. Because he's usually drinking jasmine tea (no sugar) or water or 20% juice or regular milk. Poor kid. : )
Also went to Cainz. 2 cases of jasmine tea, 1 case of Kirin straight tea. And I felt all set for when we got back from Guam. Only needed to buy a case of water and we'd be ready for when the shops close down for the first 3 days. Anyway we were ready and set to say good bye to 2011. And ready to ring in the new year 2012 in a nice clean house!