Actually, I’m always thinking about Pesach. I never let my kids eat outside of designated areas, stopping at the living room rug. And of course the biggest hessed that we have is that we don’t have to clean up from Pesach for Pesach, since that’s when the biggest messes happen. Like that we don’t find one of the pieces of Afikoman that was hidden under the baby booster seat until Shavuot… So now that Purim is indeed behind us for this year (although the remnants of the mishloach manot are still in plain sight), I must address this whole Pesach business. It’s not that I want to or that I’m that organized, but someone asked me to help her figure out a sane way to do it. She tends to be completely crazed to the point that her husband absolutely can’t take it anymore, so she figures she would ask me… Oh, did I mention that she’s new to town, so she really doesn’t know me? So what the hay I can pretend, can’t I? Of course I figured that I would do a little search on the old googlenet and see what I could come up with. Here’s an interesting listing on Facebook from two years ago:
1. Clean out refrigerator
2. Clean out pantry
3. Clean out top kitchen cabinets
4. Clean off countertops
5. Clean out bottom kitchen cabinets
6. Clean windows and sills
7. Clean baseboards
8. Clean sliding glass door sill
9. Dust ALL FURNITURE, light fixtures and wall hangings!
10. Vacuum couches
11. Weekly cleaning: clean kitchen sink, bathrooms, floors, change sheets and towels.
12. Remove all leaven by Nissan 12 (11 if 12 is a weekly sabbath)!
13. Clean oven
14. Clean microwave
15. Clean out vacuums by noon on Nissan 13!
16. Clean dishwasher
17. Clean highchair/booster seat
18. Clean table and chairs
19. Clean trash cans
During or after week of Unleavened Bread
Change out pictures in frames
Now, did you notice anything bizarre in this accounting? And did you figure out why I didn’t hyperlink the source yet? I think the weekly sabbath should have been a big clue, but then “change pictures” thing should have given it away for sure. Now I will give my source, but I’ll add a fact here, too. It’s a link from Messianic Homeschooling on FB.
So let’s go with another approach from mistress organizer Rivka Slatkin.
Get into Pesach mode with a family meeting
Look over the calendar and fill in your cleaning and shopping schedules
Review notes from last year Work on completing House purchases and renovations
7 Weeks to Pesach
Complete major house purchases (I have no idea what constitutes this—dishes? Pots? Furniture?)
Set appointments for other house needs-carpet cleaning, renovations, other work dates
Whoa! That’s a problem. We’re already overdue on this one, so maybe I better find something more reasonable. Or can we cram everything she wants into the little time left? I guess we better…
But she has at the bottom a very important point at the end that I’ll reproduce here but shortened a bit:
Let’s go into the very first task together on the 8 week list and understand it well, the Family Meeting.
An effective productivity system has three steps. Collect, Clarify, and Organize. Your meeting is essentially a Collection basket. Before your meeting collect all the thoughts running through your head about Pesach. Also collect all your menus, recipes, and lists, etc., from previous years. Tour the house with a voice recorder or notepad, entering everything that has to be done. You can have fun doing this with your husband and the kids. Have people “call out” when they see something that needs to be cleaned or completed. Ask everyone what his or her own thoughts are with regards to making Pesach.
Clarify what needs to get done for Pesach. Use checklists. Create your own or use the ones found in my book. Get very clear about what needs to get done.
Organize. Decide when you will do all of the tasks you’ve clarified. All of your decisions about Pesach are personal and unique to your family.
The family meeting is a great first step for getting everyone into the Pesach mode. Its goal is to bring you together as a family around this major project of the Jewish year: what tasks need to be accomplished, who is available to assist, and any other requests or opinions that family members have.
Except when it’s just me and ISHI, and I know he’s not going to get involved with anything except the actual koshering of the kitchen. I have no other expectations and I’ll just do it on my own and stay out of his way for the part that he does.
That’s when I go shopping.
It’s much much healthier for our marriage that way.