Decluttering for the seasons: A year-round tradition

Spring into cleaning and keep the momentum through each festive season

Decluttering May 2024 image
: Declutter Tupperware by making sure every container has a matching lid. (Photo credit: Jessie Hearn Photography)

Spring is finally here-and so is the urge to declutter. Not long ago, we celebrated Passover, a holiday where cleaning and decluttering become a focal point in Jewish homes. But what if this ritual extended beyond just once a year? Imagine utilizing the turning of seasons marked by our cherished holidays-Passover, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, and Chanukah-as checkpoints for decluttering and renewing our spaces. A Jewish spin on spring cleaning, if you will, that lasts all year.

Passover: A fresh kitchen start

Passover naturally lends itself to decluttering, as we clean out our cupboards of  chametz  , the leavened products forbidden during the holiday. Why stop at just food items? This is the perfect time to comb through your kitchen wares. That blender collecting dust, the Tupperware collection missing half of its lids, the novelty mug collection from all your travels-are these items serving you, or simply taking up space?

Take this time to free yourself from the surplus. A decluttered kitchen invites ease into meal prep and provides a sense of liberation. It's not only about creating physical space; it's about fostering mental clarity. And, when we sit down to our seder, we can savor the simplicity and order we've created.

Sukkot: revel in spacious living

Come Sukkot, as we build our sukkahs and acknowledge the importance of shelter and nature's bounty, we get another opportunity to declutter. This festival inspires us to reevaluate our living spaces. It's about making room to breathe, to welcome guests, and to celebrate.

While decorating your sukkah, reflect on your home. How can you declutter to enhance the warmth and openness of your abode? Which items have outlived their purpose? Allow the spirit of Sukkot to guide you in creating an inviting, and cozy living environment for both everyday living and seasonal festivities.

Rosh Hashanah: Out with the old

With Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year pushes us to think forward. It's a time of introspection, growth, and setting intentions for the year ahead. What better way to honor this new beginning than by shedding the outdated and unnecessary?

Scrutinize each item in your home with a simple question: "Does this belong to the life I'm creating?' If an object doesn't align with the 'new you'-whether that's clothes, books, or tchotchkes-graciously let it go. Eliminate the noise of clutter to make room for tranquility and transformation as you welcome the new year.

Chanukah: Illuminate without excess

Our Festival of Lights brings warmth during the chill of winter. Chanukah's glow reminds us that beauty often lies in simplicity. In the same way that we rejoice over the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights, we can find joy in decluttering-making what we have suffice and cherishing the essentials

Before lighting the menorah, challenge yourself to identify the possessions that no longer brighten your home. By removing these items before Chanukah, we enhance the illumination of our celebration, undimmed by the shadow of excess.


Adopting a mindset of year-round decluttering through our seasonal holidays can become a cherished tradition that aligns with our values. Each holiday provides its unique occasion to reassess and rejuvenate, supporting us in cultivating homes filled with only what truly enriches our lives. We are not just cleaning-we're curating spaces that reflect our heart, our heritage, and our hopes.

Engage your family in these seasonal decluttering rituals. Together, create a warm, orderly, and nurturing home that echoes the essence of our Jewish customs. Happy decluttering, and  l'chaim  to your refreshed and lovely dwelling!

Jessica Litman is the founder of The Organized Mama, a Chicago-based organizing and media company.   

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