Soon we will be celebrating Passover, which commemorates our liberation from Egyptian slavery. With it, comes our ancient home cleaning practice to get rid of all the “Chametz”.
The famous American “Spring Cleaning” does not magically coincide with Passover; it actually has its roots in our jewish holiday and it is now practiced in many homes at the arrival of Spring.
We will not give you the religious guidelines for the Passover cleaning, that is up to you and your religious commitment to do it as thorough as you want. It is also a matter of family traditions, so we do not want to get in the way. There are great religious sources online to help you with the details.
We can sure help you with the aesthetic part since we are all about “tradition meets design” so we thought we could bring you some tips to take advantage of the cleaning and leave your house, closets and cabinets looking like The Container Store catalog pictures. A dream come true!
We met with Cindy Huzenman, the founder of "Cindyology®", a professional organizing firm, for her tips on organizing the house. Cindy is based in Miami Florida but available to travel anywhere for her organizing services.
When you are done with the vacuuming, wiping and spraying after cleaning the Chametz follow Cindy's tips:
- Take everything out and lay out over the counter
- Divide by category (dry foods, snacks, cans)
- Toss anything that is expired or damaged
- Place dry foods (rice, beans, pastas) in hermetic containers
- Put back everything on the pantry shelves by category, each category on a different shelf according to your needs. For example if you have kids and you don’t want them to easily reach the snacks section place them in a higher shelf, place the items you use more closer to your reach.
- Label for better control
- Group categories in bins or baskets
- You can transfer spices to glass jars and keep them close to the cooking area
- If you bake challah every Friday a great idea is to make a bin with the challah baking specific products and tools (sesame seeds, flour, yeast etc…) that way on Fridays you just take out that basket
* For the rest of your kitchen follow the same pattern. Take out, categorize, label, and store back in a way that makes sense for your personal needs
- Start at the door and work clockwise around the room
- Take out old clothes, clothes you do not like anymore or clothes that don’t make you feel good. Give away or donate to you local community or organization of your choice. *As a rule of thumb if you haven’t used an item for over a year you can give it away (rule does not apply to formal clothes)
- Invest in uniform hangers. Choose the hangers that work for you. Cindy suggests using slim velvet hangers because you get to fit 30% more in the same space. Donate your old hangers
- Treat your closet like real estate. Prime real estate is what you visualize. Everyday clothes should be easy to reach. Special occasion clothes can be on the harder to reach area.
- Remember tops on top bottoms on the bottom
- Use dividers for shelves and drawers
- Separate one shelf for personal things
- Put away old items and memories that you barely use in closed labeled boxes
- It is always better to organize by color. Start with light colors and end with darker colors. Use the ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) guideline
- After cleaning up your entire kitchen sell your opened chametz products
- Store in a tight large plastic sealed container your unopened chametz products. Put away and lock until the holiday is over and you can bring back to your kitchen
- You can leave ready your bins and jars labeled for chametz products and fill after the holidays
- Go through drawers, closets, cabinets for chametz and take advantage to organize while you are doing this
- Don’t forget your car, handbags, pockets, cleaning cabinets, medicine cabinet, playrooms, laundry room and wherever you think there has been food involved
Some product related tips:
- Air tight containers are very important for dry foods
- When labeling use what makes more sense to you, label is by preference. Use tags or write directly on the bin. It is a matter of taste more than anything. Michael stores is the best source for an excellent variety of labels
- When labeling she recommends using oil based markers for permanent labeling and water based markers for removable labeling (for example expiration dates)
- Container Store is the best source for all type of organizing products but if you are on a budget Walmart, Target, Ikea and Home Goods will work as well.
- For the kitchen, plastic see through light bins are the best
- Don’t forget to measure shelves, drawers and spaces before you go buy organizing products
Cindy recommends following these guidelines every 4 months
Our favorite tip of all: Only keep what makes you happy!
Cindy Huzenman Contact Info:Instagram: @cindyology