Image source: Decluttering Queen
Pesach is associated with the seder, the haggadah, matzo balls soup and, of course, cleaning. Starting about a month before the holiday, Jewish households begin to be turned upside down as every nook and cranny is searched for stray crumbs of leavened bread. If you think doing this outside the kitchen is an exaggeration, you should know that I found a coated peanut in the girls’ room two days ago. I have no idea how long it had been living under their bookshelves and how it got there. Probably the same way as the broken ventilator or the rolled-up length of garden hose I found under a pile of toys.
I’ve never been what you might call a cleaning freak – give me a choice between cleaning and reading a good book, or cleaning and baking, or cleaning and working in the garden, and I don’t have to lie awake all night trying to make my mind up. Which, of course, is why I constantly seek out ways to make cleaning more effective – I want it to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible! Normally, I hugely resent the pre-Pesach frantic rush for disrupting my routine and depriving me of peace, sleep, downtime, and fun activities with my children. But there is something I relish about the pre-holiday prep, and that’s decluttering.
We all have too much stuff in our homes (well, I know I do. Maybe you don’t. If so, you have my fervent admiration). Every year before Pesach as I go through the clothes, bookshelves and toy shelves, I find piles upon piles of stuff that can be given away – or, let’s be honest, that should have found its way to the dump a long time ago. This year, we freed up our home from bags upon bags of old, outgrown or unused clothes, and two large boxes of toys. I can guarantee that none of this stuff will ever be missed. Last year I did an especially rough purge of the toy piles and, taking advantage of a spell when the children were playing outside, just hauled out half of it all. Nobody ever missed or asked about what was taken away.
Some useful decluttering tips can be found here.