When in Rome do as the Romans do. The next time you feel like being friendly, knock on your Israeli neighbor’s door to say good morning and take a look inside. You’ll notice that they only have a table and chairs, a bookcase, and maybe a couch. No overflowing magazine rack, no baby bouncer and two extra strollers, no toys spread all over the floor, and no papers strewn over the dining room table. Ask to borrow some sugar and sneak a peek inside their kitchen – the counters are bare! Where are all the chatchkas? The cute coffee mugs, the ring holder, and the designer towel basket? Where did everything go?
While many of us from chutz la’aretz grew up in large homes, most of our Israeli neighbors grew up in small apartments. From birth, they’ve been taught to rid themselves of all extras in order to manage their homes. If the family isn’t using it now- out it goes! There are no “What if one day I’ll need those extra pajamas/shoes/head coverings?” “But great-aunt Zelda hand knit this sweater!” “But maybe this broken CD player/microwave/cell phone can be fixed!” “But maybe Rivky will wear this hand-me-down in five years!” There is simply no room for excess things when you need to make room for people and the items they need today. We, on the other hand, were raised to stock up when there’s a sale and store things in the garage when we no longer need them. The problem is, that here (if you haven’t already noticed) there is no garage, no basement, no attic, and no walk-in closets (where are they?). When we save our things for the one day we might need them, we put it…under the bed? … next to the front door? …into garbage bags piled up in the corner of a bedroom?
Of course, to every rule there are exceptions. May you be blessed with a big machsan and messy Israeli neighbors. Exceptions aside, to manage a successful home in Israel, try to live like an Israeli. No chatchkas, no “one-day”, no extras. Clear out your home to make room for the here and now.
Yael Wiesner, author of “How Does SHE Manage?” Feldheim, works as a Professional Organizer and Interior Designer around Israel. Yael helps women design and manage their homes through her private appointments, online courses and training programs. She crafts beautiful rooms that will streamline your day, maximize your space, and increase efficiency, putting you at the center of the design. She can be reached at 053 310 7512 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.yaelwiesner.com