Pesach is just around the corner! This week we’ll be focusing on the living area as we utilize every chunk of time to get ahead.
Distractions can whittle away at our precious cleaning time. Here are four MUST DOs to help keep you focused during a cleaning session:
- Disconnect Unplug or mute your house phone, cell phone, inbox, and any other communication devices that may interrupt you while you’re cleaning.
- Give kids the heads-up Let your kids know that for next x number of minutes you are completely unavailable, unless there’s an emergency. When they inevitably interrupt you anyway (“can you just…”), gently remind them that you’ll get to it when the time is up.
- Set a timer Don’t permit yourself to leave the room you’re working on until the buzzer goes off. Use the length of a CD as your timer if music helps you work.
- Track it Write down future jobs as they come to mind during a cleaning session, instead of getting sidetracked and tackling them on the spot (organizing pictures, reviewing old magazines, sorting through CDs etc…).
Pesach Picks (pick one of the options)
- Go through your silver and serving pieces and choose what you’d like to kasher for Pesach. Pack the rest away.
- Select the seforim and books you’ll be using over Yom Tov. Shake them out well, check for crumbs, and wipe down covers.
- Go through the toy cabinet. Select a few toys and games which clean easily (without too many openings, nooks and crannies), making sure you have something for every age. Put them aside for you or the kids to clean later.
Desktop in Home Office
- Sort through miscellaneous papers and categorize into piles. File papers, or label each pile and set aside to be filed later.
- Return all books, office supplies, and gadgets to their homes.
- Wipe down computer, printer, phone, etc. and check for chometz.
- Clear off anything remaining on desk and carefully lift up all machines. Wipe desktop down, and check for chometz.
Use a toothpick dipped in alchohol to clean the areas around the keyboard and telephone buttons.
- Remove display pieces one shelf at a time and check items for chometz.
- Wipe down each shelf with rag and cleaner and check for chometz.
- Shake out tablecloths, cloth napkins, and challah covers from chometz. Wash if necessary.
- Clean challah board from crumbs and wipe down with appropriate cleaner. Shake out bentshers (wipe down if laminated). Lock up for Pesach.
- Empty, wipe down, and check drawers for chometz.
- 1. Remove all items from closet floor. Return lost gloves, scarves, sweaters, earmuffs, and miscellaneous items to their homes. Make a pile of items which may be used on Pesach and wash them.
- Remove one coat from the closet at a time, check outside pockets, inside pockets, and external of each coat for chometz. Make a pile for the washing machine or dry cleaners, if necessary.
- Remove and open all knapsacks, handbags, and other accessories and check for chometz. Wipe down or wash the bags you need for Chol Hamoed.
- Check hat boxes. Brush hats or set aside to get professionally cleaned.
- Wipe down floor and shelves with rag and cleaner and check for chometz. Return all contents to closet.
Get Your Silver to Sparkle
A homemade dip can brighten your silver better than polish! Line your sink with aluminum foil and fill with steaming hot water. Add one tablespoon of baking soda per liter of water. Dip each piece of silver in the solution, making sure it touches the foil, and keep it in for five minutes maximum. Buff with clean rag. This take only minutes and reaches all crevices!
LASTING LISTS SHORTCUT
Save all your Pesach lists from year to year to speed up preparations. Keep your cleaning schedule, mechiras chometz list, menus, shopping lists, and a list of the quantities your family consumed of basic foodstuff (matzah, wine, potatoes, onions, eggs, etc.) to save planning time and brain space. Don’t lock these lists up in a Pesach box. File them somewhere you can access immediately after Purim.
(Originally featured in Family First Issue 385)
Yael Wiesner is a Home Management Consultant, lecturer, and author of “How Does SHE Manage?” ( Feldheim 2011).
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