There aren’t closets in Israel. What?! NO CLOSET? We have Aronot (ah ro NOTE) in the which is the plural of Aron (AH ron). This is not to be confused with the boys name Aharon (AH ha ron). You have probably heard of an Aron Kodesh, which houses our Holy Torah. An Aron is a closet, a free-standing cabinet that is not built into the wall.
Aronot or as I call in my grammatically incorrect Hebrew “arons”, generally have a combination of shelves, drawers, and sections to hang clothes. Some are well-designed while others are poorly designed.
One of the biggest organizing challenges for Olim (immigrants to Israel) is adjusting to lack of spacious closets, or more specifically, no closets at all. Now is also a good time to mention that most people don’t have a chest of drawers either. Huh?? Yes, no drawers because drawers are big, bulky, and use up a lot of floor space. With these two major differences in clothing storage, here are my Pearls of Wisdom regarding closets and clothing:
- Less is more. The less you have, the easier it is to find your clothes. I recommend having a box or bag for giveaways. After each load of laundry, weed out the items you don’t want any longer or kids’ clothes that no longer fit. Once the box is full donate it to a second-hand clothing shop or gemach.
- Purge often. Take a drawer or a shelf and get honest with yourself. Which items do you never wear? If you’ve been through many laundry cycles and there are clothes that are never worn, consider passing them on. If you really liked them or they “sparked joy” as Marie Kondo says in ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ would say, put them in your giveaway box.
- Store out of season clothing elsewhere in your home.
- Hand-me-downs for younger siblings should be limited. But..but..but…I can already hear your arguments. My reply: there is precious little storage space: NO GARAGE, NO ATTIC, NO BASEMENT. Most people have a machsan (storage room), but you can only store but so much. Everyone has their unique combination of ages and genders, but what I can say with working with many clients, siblings don’t always like the clothing from the sibling that proceeded them. Additionally, the season and size factors can complicate matters. I will write a post on hand-me-downs another time. In the meantime, be ruthless on how much you save.
- Straighten up frequently. It is not uncommon for a young child to select one outfit for the day, yet every item of clothing they own is on the floor. A quick tidy up once a day keeps things looking neat.
- Use matching hangers for a coordinated look. Too many types of hangers look messy.
- Consider a capsule wardrobe. I know that sounds like you should be flying to the moon. A capsule wardrobe consists of staple pieces in coordinating colors where you can mix and match practically everything. I have a capsule wardrobe and it makes getting dressed easy because basically every top matches a bottom.
Another suggestion is to purchase a bed with storage underneath. Whether the kind where the mattress raises up revealing storage or a drawer that pulls out these are excellent options.
–Karen, The Klutter Koach. February 12, 2017