esach cleaning often feels daunting. Our days are already so packed; how can we fit anything else into our schedules? The trick is to utilize every chunk of time, no matter how small. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be showing your how to clean the house quickly and efficiently, room by room.
Maximize Your Minutes
Here are four MUST-DOs to successfully utilize any amount of time:
- Make a list Write down what you can do in each room for small, medium, and large blocks of time. Much of the stress of making Pesach is in our minds. A list will help transfer the stress to the paper, and minimize your wasting time thinking about what to do next.
- Clarify your goals Are you solely cleaning for Pesach, or are you using the time for spring cleaning as well? How much decluttering are you doing? Although usually unavoidable, decluttering should not be the focus of your cleaning sessions. If you’re pressed for time, avoid it entirely. Having clear goals in mind will allow you the focus you need to accomplish quickly.
- Know your halachos What constitutes chometz? How can you nullify it? How much cleaning is necessary? Get clear guidelines from your rav. Clarity will shorten your cleaning time significantly.
- Have supplies handy Create a Pesach cleaning basket so that you can jump right in when you have as little as 15 minutes. Put in some rags, a cleaning spray, a house coat to protect your clothes, a toothbrush, some toothpicks, a sponge, some garbage bags, and whatever else you think you’ll need. Keep it easily accessible (for you, not your kids) in the area you’re working on that week.
- Remove contents of night table
- Check for chometz, and wipe down drawer with rag and cleaner
- Return only what belongs in drawer
- Relocate items that belong somewhere else
- Throw out garbage
Dresser top (or another collection spot in bedroom)
- Put away all jewelry, accessories, head coverings, etc., in their correct spots
- Put away makeup (throw away dried-up or old makeup)
- Relocate items that belong elsewhere
- Throw out garbage
- Remove everything left on dresser top, and wipe down with rag and cleaner
- Return items, and arrange nicely
- Optional: add a pretty collection basket to catch clutter (sort through it weekly)
Catch That Dust
Dampened microfiber cloths are the best dusting rags. Unlike other rags, they prevent dust from becoming airborne.
- Relocate clothing/pajamas on bed to closet or hamper
- Return anything remaining on bed to its place
- Strip beds, and throw sheets in hamper
- Remove mattresses and vacuum/beat mattresses and pillows
- Check mattresses for chometz
- Wipe down bed frames with cleaner, or polish and check for chometz
- Return mattresses to beds and make up with clean sheets
A soft bristled toothbrush covered with gauze helps you scrub hard-to-clean corners.
Hanging section of closet / set of shelves or drawers
- Remove contents of drawer / a quarter of the contents of hanging closet at a time
- Fill a garbage bag with clothing that hasn’t been worn for the past year to donate or put in storage
- Set aside items that need dry cleaning for Pesach, throw dirty clothing in hamper, run wash if time permits
- Relocate items that don’t belong in closet
- Wipe bottom of drawer / closet down with rag and cleaner
- Check bottom of drawer /closet for chometz
- Check pockets and outside of clothing for chometz, and return to closet
- Call local charity organization to arrange pick up of hand-me-downs
SINGLE CLOSET SHORTCUT
Really short on time? Rather than cleaning all your clothing closets, remove only those items that will be worn on Pesach, and clean and check them. Clean just one closet thoroughly and relocate everyone’s Yom Tov clothing to that closet. Lock up remaining closets for Pesach, and sell the potential chometz in them.
(Originally featured in Family First Issue 384)
Yael Wiesner is a home management consultant, lecturer, and author of How Does SHE Manage? (Feldheim, 2011)
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