It has come to my attention that while the title of this column includes the word “confessions,” my essays have not contained many.
So, here is a confession: I get a tiny bit nervous when spring cleaning comes along.
It’s actually not really spring cleaning that gets me nervous. It’s Passover cleaning, which is like the Turbo XXVI version of spring cleaning.
Throughout the year, Jews across the globe, whether Persian, American or European, are free to feast on—and fill their homes with—all sorts of starchy foods. Suddenly, for eight days in April, they are off limits to eat, enjoy or even own a crumb of fermented wheat, known as chametz.
The transition is tough, but the months of preparation and cleanup are tougher. Luckily, I have a talent for procrastinating.
Here is my list of excuses to push back cleanup for one more glorious day!
1. It is too beautiful out to stay home and clean.
2. It is too terribly cold in the house to clean.
3. It’s too early in the season to start cleaning!
4. It’s too late! I’m already doomed!
5. Why do I always have to be the only one cleaning?
6. There is simply no way there can be any crumbs in the top of these closets!
7. There are so many bread products in this pantry!
8. I’m too hungry to clean.
9. I’m so full, I can barely stand.
10. The kids are awake now.
11. The kids are asleep now.
12. I better pay the bills first.
13. I have a phone call.
14. I have 97 new WhatsApp messages.
15. Well, well. I got 19 likes on Facebook.
16. Instagram @!#
17. I need some music to help me.
18. Wow, this music is so distracting.
19. It’s all going to be messy again right after I clean it.
20. No rush. I always get it done eventually.
Never despair. There are plenty more excuses. I will find them, until my pep-talk mode finally kicks into gear.
After all is said and done though, the cleaning is actually an ironically befitting historical testament to how our ancestors in Ancient Egypt were miraculously freed from slavery. As a bonus, each year upon completion of this daunting task, the rewards are infinitely greater than the effort.
First, there is the satisfaction that comes with completing any great endeavor. Also, it is a brilliant way to wake us up to appreciate all the space we have been blessed with and, more so, to become cognizant of how many possessions we own.
It’s a great opportunity to donate unwanted clothing and housewares. Not to mention, it’s a great way to find so many items that went missing. Plus, our homes are glistening and shining, free of all clutter.
Wouldn’t it be great, if we could also find a way to declutter other aspects of our lives, and maybe even our souls?
Wishing you all happy cleaning—and a beautiful, joyous spring!