You may think that cleaning your apartment is pretty straightforward, but it can be a bit different than typical cleaning. Check out our article on how to properly clean your apartment walls.
Living in a Japanese apartment seems like it wouldn’t be any different than any western version. The layouts are similar and the Japanese design has become more like western apartments over time. The toilets have been the western standard for years now and the basic amenities have mirrored the western style apartments except for the dryer hook-ups. There can be some differences when trying to clean the apartment as well, and the walls must be kept upin a particular way. It isn’t anything unreasonable, but you will need to perform some simple maintenance and even repair before leaving if certain things look different from when you took possession of the apartment.
Japanese walls are interesting in that they fulfill the requirement of closing your area off from other people, but they are very thin. The material is not very thick and it can be damaged easily. The wall material is close to that of paper and can have the same problems of paper when it comes to humidity and discoloration. You have to be careful with how you treat them when hanging pictures or decorations. They can be easily scratched leaving unnecessary damage that will cost you in the end.
The first thing that you will need to do is make sure to keep all sticky substances away from your walls. Sticky adhesive will tear away pieces of the wall the moment you try to remove it. There have been some new brands of adhesive that have been sold at the 100 yen shops, but some have been proven to be the same as the normal brands, and walls are damaged in the process. You will need to buy special hooks that are held up by small needle pins. They can hold 1kg or and they do little damage to the walls. The needles will fit in the tiny holes that line the wallpaper and they are easily removed.
It may a good idea to not hang anything as you don’t want to end up inadvertently costing yourself more than you need to. It may hinder your ability to decorate your surroundings as you like but it is helpful if you don’t plan to stay in one place for longer than two years. You can find some furniture that will help you hang some things or that allow you to make the most of your space.
Cleaning the walls isn’t difficult, but you can easily mess them up more than need be. Your best bet to keep them clean is to avoid using water or general cleaning products one them. If you have some small marks or discoloration you can buy special wipes or cleaning material from the local grocery store, pharmacy, or 100 yen store. They sell wipes that can clean walls while not harming the wallpaper or causing any unnecessary damage. You shouldn’t need to worry about anything more than light dusting and vacuuming the difficult corners. Just give them a light cleaning every other week and you should be fine.
Before Moving Out
Vacating your Japanese apartment can be a difficult ordeal. There are some rules that need to be followed before you can try to leave, and there are some cleaning procedures you will need to follow as well. The general rule to follow is to do light cleaning throughout the entire apartment. Hit all of the usual places where you would be able to see obvious dust or dirt. This includes your walls and other fixtures.
Your walls need to be left in the same condition as they were when you arrived. They don’t need to be sparkling clean, but they need to have no large visible problems. Any scratches will need to be fixed by you. There are easy repair kits you can buy at department stores and 100 yen shops. They can help in trying to fix any mistakes you may have made, but it will still be noticeable. Any damage will result in a high cleaning and repair bill so you need to be as careful as possible. If you find that you have caused more damage than you can fix, it would be best to tell the landlord and try to calmly discuss what happened. You will need to pay for the repairs since you were the responsible party for the room at the time of damage.
It takes a while to get used to the types of walls in Japan, but it becomes second nature over time. As long as you try to be careful in your apartment and not cause large amounts of damage to your surroundings you should be fine. Try and be respectful of your apartment and realize that landlords take the well-being of their property seriously.