web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



How To Get On Top Of, And Stay On Top Of, Pesach Cleaning

Baim-022114-Closet

People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell?  Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?

Some people have this misconception that I love cleaning and therefore relish the upcoming holiday of Pesach. They assume that because I write about organizing – it must mean I spend the whole day dusting and mopping.  Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, I do not enjoy scrubbing until my skin falls off (I really should invest in gloves), or sweeping the floor for the fifth time in one day, or wiping the accumulated salt-encrusted snow from my mudroom floor. On the other hand, what I do love is relaxing with my family in a clean, airy, organized space, where I can find what I need, when I need it.  When the time comes to clean, I do it by keeping my eye on the prize of a relaxing environment even as I mumble to myself over the inability of skirts to hold their shape while ironing the pleats of my daughter’s uniform skirts over and over.

So if I love the end result of an organized, clean house, I will find the easiest way to achieve that goal. Can you guess what that would be? That’s right: avoid clutter and grime in the first place. This is a method that takes practice before it comes with ease, but with Pesach a couple of months away, this is the best time to begin perfecting good habits.

I’ve spoken many times before about the ability to stay on top of household chores by developing a daily and weekly schedule which includes doing laundry, washing dishes and sweeping, setting aside a fixed time to mop and clean the silver, etc., and making sure to include all the children, thereby instilling in them not just the important midda of responsibility, but also granting them the gift of organization.

There are a few areas that can quickly become a gathering place for dust and clutter. Here are some specific ways to deal with them:

Mail: With the advent of e-mail, most snail mail these days consists of bills, junk mail, solicitations, and invitations from those who have not embraced the ease and economics of e-vites.Baim-022114-DVDs

1. Junk Mail should be chucked while you are still standing at your door or, even better, write return to sender, wrong address on the envelope and put it back in the mailbox.

2. Bills can be easily disposed of by going paperless. Most, if not all, companies sending you a paper bill have an option for paperless, and allow you to sign up online for monthly reminders to view and pay your account. Some companies even offer a financial incentive for having an online account, as this saves the company a lot of money, not to mention trees. Being able to view your account online has many other benefits as well – you no longer have to go hunting for the paper bill that corresponds to that month; you can simply click on the billing cycle of that month, and voilà, the list of expenses appears.

3. For solicitations, I recommend deciding which organizations to donate to, and then calling them up and asking them to send you an e-mail request instead of a paper one. This will save them money, thereby making your donation go even further. For those organizations that you are not interested in donating to, call them and politely but firmly ask them to remove you from their list.

4. Finally, for invitations, RSVP right away and put a reminder with the address of the event in your cell phone calendar.

Groceries, overnight bags and suitcases, and clothes shopping: In short, unpack right away. I would even suggest not putting down the bags at all, as they can easily get pushed aside, causing clutter and the potential for someone to trip over them. Instead, carry the bags straight to their destinations and unpack immediately. In addition, leaving the groceries out is an invitation for little hands to get curious. A better choice is to put away your newly acquired purchases, or packed suitcase, and take a couple of minutes to organize your pantry or closet at the same time, which brings me to…

Closets and dressers: Over the years, it’s so easy to accumulate a large amount of rarely-worn clothes. When the time comes to organize and purge those items we haven’t worn in years, we feel that tinge of  “perhaps I will wear it someday” and we put the item right back where it came from.

Here’s a handy tip: Hang your hangers the opposite way and turn items in your dresser inside out. After you wear an item of clothing, put it back the proper way. Next year (which will be here in an instant), see which clothes are still backwards or inside out and find them a better home promptly.

Important papers: Every home needs a file cabinet to hold important papers such as passports for every member of the family (you never know when crazy flights to Israel will come around), leases, warranties and the like. The crucial part is to not let that file cabinet overflow. Every time you add another paper to the file cabinet, take a few minutes to make sure all the other documents are still relevant. For example, there is no need to keep maintenance manuals on a vacuum cleaner that you no longer have.

Pesach cleaning: Count how many rooms you have in your house and begin cleaning that number of weeks before Pesach. Each week, tackle one room and finish all of it before beginning the next week. This year will be the ninth Pesach I will be making, and as far as I know, that is the only way to make Pesach cleaning stress-free.

 

As a postscript, this past weekend, I took the plunge into Pesach cleaning and tackled the kid’s room. However, before I began, I took my own advice, and after rubbing Vaseline all over my hands, put on a pair of long yellow rubber gloves. The warmth created by the cleaning helped the moisture repair my poor abused skin, and three hours later, I not only had a Pesach-cleaned bedroom, but soft hands.

Enjoy your fresh, clean, happy space!

About the Author: Pnina Baim’s newest novel, “A Life Worth Living”, about finding happiness and meaning in the land of Israel, is now available at all online retailers. Contact Pnina at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How To Get On Top Of, And Stay On Top Of, Pesach Cleaning”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Sections Stories
Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot together in concert.

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

Mordechai-082214-Armoire

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

Einhorn-082214-Water

Stroll through formal gardens, ride mountain bikes, or go rock climbing.

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

More Articles from Pnina Baim
Baim-081514

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Baim-071814-Boys

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

So, my dear sisters in the trenches, remember. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And who is tougher than the Jewish women of today?

People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell? Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?

It’s easy to get excited and start hunting for the perfect shade of champagne tablecloth to match the exact color of the bridesmaid dresses, or to insist that each guest must have a wine glass, water glass and soda glass.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/how-to-get-on-top-of-and-stay-on-top-of-pesach-cleaning/2014/02/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: