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 holds a B.S. in Health and Nutrition from Brooklyn College and an MS.edu from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Program. She works as a nutritionist, a certified lactation consultant, a home organizer, and in her free time writes as much as possible. She is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at email@example.com.
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