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S/O excuse... Americans vs. Israelis
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heidi




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 12:48 pm
amother wrote:
Generalizations often have a core of truth. There is no denying the fact that there are general cultural differences.

My parents were immigrants to North America, they came with literally nothing (one of them from Israel) and after 30 years their home was almost as cluttered as most Americans'. It's a mentality. I think some of it has to do with the weather. Cozy and overdone homes seem 'warmer' in cold climates, and just a dusty headache in hot climes.
The general decor sensibility here leans toward spartan. People also like to be able to clean easily. That said, lately there is a proliferation of cheapo home stores here, and some Israelis have become addicted to MaxStock and its ilk, filling their home with junk.

Also as people are becoming more interested in decor, minimalism is making space for other styles too.
Still, Israelis (esp Moroccans and Yemenites) prioritize the spanking clean look over the lived-in look some olim seem to favor.

Except that my parents live in Florida and have tons of stuff.
I live in an Israeli neighborhood with really large homes. 300 square meters is considered on the small side. Every Israeli home I've been in has been decorated very spartanly. Even if the furniture is custom made it's more compact, less bulky. Lots of empty space. Small, even if expensive couches. Even shabbos table and chairs are not lavish and ungepatchked. And lordy, are those homes neat. The floor are clean. Even when the kids are home and the house is "flying" it's not dirty or cluttered. Not so with the Americans homes here. And most Americans here have cleaning help. A lot of the Israelis I know don't.
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imorethanamother




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 2:04 pm
heidi wrote:
Except that my parents live in Florida and have tons of stuff.
I live in an Israeli neighborhood with really large homes. 300 square meters is considered on the small side. Every Israeli home I've been in has been decorated very spartanly. Even if the furniture is custom made it's more compact, less bulky. Lots of empty space. Small, even if expensive couches. Even shabbos table and chairs are not lavish and ungepatchked. And lordy, are those homes neat. The floor are clean. Even when the kids are home and the house is "flying" it's not dirty or cluttered. Not so with the Americans homes here. And most Americans here have cleaning help. A lot of the Israelis I know don't.


That's huge!! What neighborhood is this? You can PM me if you don't want to say where you live.
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amother




Violet


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 2:46 pm
heidi wrote:
Except that my parents live in Florida and have tons of stuff.
I live in an Israeli neighborhood with really large homes. 300 square meters is considered on the small side. Every Israeli home I've been in has been decorated very spartanly. Even if the furniture is custom made it's more compact, less bulky. Lots of empty space. Small, even if expensive couches. Even shabbos table and chairs are not lavish and ungepatchked. And lordy, are those homes neat. The floor are clean. Even when the kids are home and the house is "flying" it's not dirty or cluttered. Not so with the Americans homes here. And most Americans here have cleaning help. A lot of the Israelis I know don't.


Actually the trend the past few years here is to buy one massively huge couch and two armchairs. But yes, even the huge couch is not usually bulky.

Most Israelis simply favor modern decor. I am not a big fan, and I can tell you it is a challenge here to buy things that are not on the modern side (there are a few big stores that sell a more country rustic look).

Not all Israelis are super clean by the way. There are certain groups that are well-known to run a messier home, and I've been to many.

I understand the appeal of these clean homes, and I also see the price that is paid. The appeal is that cleanliness is lovely, and fresh, even if here in Israel it is sometimes too correlated with bleach. The bleach story above made me laugh. My teen dds love entering a home and smelling ריח של ניקיון, by which they mean the smell of bleach.

There is a price to pay. First off, these women (yes it's usually the women) work very very hard to keep the homes this clean. Many Israelis do have cleaning help, but these women still dedicate a lot of time and mental and physical energy to their homes. It preoccupies a big place in their minds. They are proud of it, too. I constantly hear women here humble-brag that they are חולת ניקיון.
The other thing is that some of these homes are ruthless about keeping out clutter, and that includes kids' artwork and so on. After a couple of days, it is just chucked out.
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Shuly




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 4:10 pm
Something else to add - the Israelis I know who have cleaning help use them to clean things I would probably never think of cleaning!

My friend cleans her kitchen cabinets, counters, floors and bathrooms every day. Then she has cleaning help once a week to clean her walls (!), her tris boxes and trissim (Israeli shutters), her doors and her windows.

She also has a girl come iron for her, which is another topic. The only thing I iron are those perler beads my kids make projects with!
Somehow she has 2 hours of ironing every week!
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amother




Lavender


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 4:59 pm
mommy3b2c wrote:
I personally think it’s a lot easier to clean a big home then a small home. I recently moved from a 1400 sq ft apartment to a 2400 sq ft house. I am having a much easier time keeping my house neat. I used to have 14 hours of cleaning help and now I’m down to 4 and my house is still neater on a daily basis.


I have the opposite experience. I went from 1200 sq ft to 7800. I was done with my house in 20 minutes in the morning. I had a cleaning lady half a day on Fridays. I didn't need help from the family except DH took out the garbage.

Now, I take a cleaning lady 30 hours a week and have substantial help from everyone in the house.
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amother




Violet


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 5:16 pm
amother wrote:
I have the opposite experience. I went from 1200 sq ft to 7800. I was done with my house in 20 minutes in the morning. I had a cleaning lady half a day on Fridays. I didn't need help from the family except DH took out the garbage.

Now, I take a cleaning lady 30 hours a week and have substantial help from everyone in the house.


How can one be done with the house in twenty minutes a day, even if it's a small house? Just dishes alone take up that amount of time. Laundry, sweeping all need to be done daily if you have a few people in the house...I dont see how 20 min begins to cover it.
Big houses are way easier on the clutter, because they have more open vacant space to draw the eye. It doesnt mean they are cleaner, just that a large expanse LOOKS cleaner and tidier than a small place, where you already trip over shoes and bags at the door.

You have the same amount of dishes, laundry and garbage whether you live in a small space or a large one. The main thing that can make a large house harder to clean is more bathrooms and a larger kitchen. More floor space is usually not a huge issue, unless it's in a dirt-prone area like the kitchen.
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mha3484




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 5:22 pm
I went from 1000 sq ft apartment with one bathroom to a 1400 sq ft house with a full basement, 3 bathrooms and a laundry chute (we have not finished the basement yet so its just used for laundry and storage).

Even the extra 400 sq feet make a big difference. I think having an extra bedroom for my oldest to keep all his toys with little pieces in helps a lot too. Clothing no longer collects in bedrooms once it gets worn it goes down the chute and waits next to the washer. Taking out garbage does not require going down two flights of stairs. In the winter when its cold and icy no one wanted to take the trash out.

When its over 50 degrees my kids love playing outside which keeps the inside neater. Its a whole different universe.
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ROFL




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 10:04 pm
Had this experience with my morracan boyfriend. 8 kids in a two bedroom apartment with a tiny kitchen House was always spotless Hugh meals - on Friday always a big milchig lunch and what a wonderful Shabbat Seuda
I loved his mother. Fortunately for me I did not love him !

Chayalle wrote:
some and some. Maybe it depends on your roots and priorities and culture....

My Israeli roommate in seminary came from a spotless home. I remember going to her family for Shabbos - we got there on Friday and her mother had a spread fit for the army for us, just for lunch. All homemade.

She was of Morroccan Sephardi origins.

The house shone. The walls were white. Not a speck anywhere.....
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amother




Lavender


Post  Thu, Jan 10 2019, 10:26 pm
amother wrote:
How can one be done with the house in twenty minutes a day, even if it's a small house? Just dishes alone take up that amount of time. Laundry, sweeping all need to be done daily if you have a few people in the house...I dont see how 20 min begins to cover it.
Big houses are way easier on the clutter, because they have more open vacant space to draw the eye. It doesnt mean they are cleaner, just that a large expanse LOOKS cleaner and tidier than a small place, where you already trip over shoes and bags at the door.

You have the same amount of dishes, laundry and garbage whether you live in a small space or a large one. The main thing that can make a large house harder to clean is more bathrooms and a larger kitchen. More floor space is usually not a huge issue, unless it's in a dirt-prone area like the kitchen.


I threw out the breakfast dishes. Made the beds, picked up any things the kids left around from the morning rush to the bus. Swept the kitchen if the kids were messy and the house was presentable in 20 minutes.

The house itself was junk, so it never looked good. Laundry, dusting, and toilets didn't have to be done to leave the house. I had very little counter top in my tiny kitchen and that was formica. My appliances and sink were enamel which is easy to clean. Floor were a cheap home depot closeout which didn't show dirt.

Now everything is high maintenance and high gloss. The lines are sleek, so you see anything out of place.

Also, you have no idea how hard it is to keep a big house clean. Everything is supersized. Everything is taller and ladders are needed to clean the light fixtures. There are a lot more light fixtures and doors. Dusting takes several hours. More floor space means it takes longer to clean the floors. More bedrooms mean more guests which means more cooking and more laundry.
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amother




Violet


Post  Fri, Jan 11 2019, 4:04 am
amother wrote:
I threw out the breakfast dishes. Made the beds, picked up any things the kids left around from the morning rush to the bus. Swept the kitchen if the kids were messy and the house was presentable in 20 minutes.

The house itself was junk, so it never looked good. Laundry, dusting, and toilets didn't have to be done to leave the house. I had very little counter top in my tiny kitchen and that was formica. My appliances and sink were enamel which is easy to clean. Floor were a cheap home depot closeout which didn't show dirt.

Now everything is high maintenance and high gloss. The lines are sleek, so you see anything out of place.

Also, you have no idea how hard it is to keep a big house clean. Everything is supersized. Everything is taller and ladders are needed to clean the light fixtures. There are a lot more light fixtures and doors. Dusting takes several hours. More floor space means it takes longer to clean the floors. More bedrooms mean more guests which means more cooking and more laundry.



Why would you say I have no idea how hard it is to clean a big house? Do you have any idea what size my house is?

I don't know anyone that cleans very high light fixtures often. I have light fixtures hanging from a cathedral ceiling. So I don't dust them. I would say it's a bit OCD to get up on the ladder more than once a year to clean very high light fixtures.

Your new house is harder to clean because of different finishes and a different style, not necessarily because of size. Glossy and high maintenance will be hard in a small house too.

I still maintain a larger house is not necessarily harder to clean, unless you really are a clean freak. Because a larger house just naturally looks cleaner all the time (as you said, your old place 'never looked good'). It's much more effort to make a small place look neat and tidy if you have a big family living there. Less storage, less nooks and crannies to hide the mess.

Hosting more often is your choice. I don't host strangers, and I always hosted family, regardless of the size of my home.

Cleaning floors - yes, there is more floor to clean in a big home, but all the clutter (shoes, bags, trikes etc) is assigned to designated areas, so the public space that needs the most cleaning is usually empty and ready to clean.

In any case, to return to the topic at hand, there are many Israelis with big houses, especially in yeshuvim or the smaller towns. They keep those big houses clean, but yes I will agree if you are a clean freak and every window needs to gleam, then a big house will be more work.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jan 11 2019, 4:24 am
imorethanamother wrote:
That's huge!! What neighborhood is this? You can PM me if you don't want to say where you live.
Its not so huge if you live in a place where people are living in two story or multiple story private homes. I know many such homes, and not in just one area.

Not everyone in Israel lives in small apartments Wink
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etky




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jan 11 2019, 4:39 am
shabbatiscoming wrote:
Its not so huge if you live in a place where people are living in two story or multiple story private homes. I know many such homes, and not in just one area.

Not everyone in Israel lives in small apartments Wink


Proportionately speaking though, such large homes are still quite the exception here.
According to figures from 2015, 63% of Israeli households live in regular apartments, 11% live in larger apartments like a penthouse, garden apartment or a duplex apartment, 12% live in attached cottages (like a row house) or two-family homes and 14% live in private one-family homes.
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Harried mama




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Jan 11 2019, 4:51 am
Israelis, hands down.
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