Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twas the week before Pesach

This is an account of my pre-Pesach-frenzied-cleaning week, though I don’t know when I’m going to actually get to post this. Anyway, as always, the mad cleaning race is upon us, and I try to stay away from pressure-inducing discussions of who already did what, because no matter what I do, it always seems as though it’s not nearly enough compared to what others did. :o)

Last Saturday night, my husband and I sat down in front of the computer, and together compiled a cleaning plan in an Excel chart, complete with division of chores through each day of the week, excepting Friday (which will be dedicated to Shabbat preparations) and an approximation of the time that will be spent on each task. The overall estimated cleaning time, in case you are wondering, came up to 24.7 hours, divided between six days.

Anyway, we stayed up until past 1 A.M. drawing out that plan, and went to bed dizzy with exhaustion, but I think it was worth it. Today has been the third day of me following the schedule, and I actually managed to stick to it, which is satisfying – and reassuring, because there isn’t much time left, and as always before Pesach, we’re racing against the clock.

The only problem, I guess, is that things we forgot to include in the plan keep coming up, such as for example washing the kids’ toys. By the way, I’ve adopted a fun and low-effort way of doing that: Shira takes her bath with a bunch of toys each night, then they go to storage until Pesach. :o)

I think that with all the cleaning and the satisfaction of it being done and over, women have a particularly easy time identifying with Israelites coming out of slavery in Egypt. :o)

Today I cleaned out the refrigerator, which is always a mountainous task, and for which I always allot an entire day of the pre-Pesach race. It includes taking out all the refrigerator’s contents, scrubbing it out on the inside (I almost cried when I saw some particularly neglected spots), taking out all the shelves and washing them in the bathtub, then drying them and putting them back in. When I moved the refrigerator to clean underneath, I discovered a whole treasure trove of little things I thought we had lost forever. Oh, and should I mention you must do all this as quickly as possible, because you don’t want the products to spoil, and two kids are loudly demanding attention in the background?

Anyway, that’s done and now, besides scrubbing out all the floors and another couple of easy tasks, I only have the oven, the stove, the microwave and the kitchen counters to work on. Should be a breezer, right?


Sarah Brodsky said...

Did you ask your rabbi whether you really need to do all that cleaning now? Some tasks like cleaning under a fridge aren't necessary for Pesach and can be done at some other time when things are less frenzied.

Mrs. Anna T said...


Practically speaking, to clean under a fridge I have to move it. To move it, I need to take all its contents out. Since I do it before Pesach anyway to clean the fridge from the inside, it only makes sense to move it and clean underneath at the same go.

Lady Anne said...

I would never have thought to make up a chart to clean up the house! Marvelous idea. Sticking to it is the trick, of course!

Slight back track. Some time ago you were discussing training children in "kosher behavior" such as not using the phone on the Sabbath, etc. You mentioned telling Shira "we don't use the markers on Shabat". I thought Sabbath was a time to relax, and wondered why an activity such as coloring would be forbidden. Are there certain games children cannot play then?

Mrs. Anna T said...

Lady Anne,

It has to do with the prohibition of creating something permanent on the 7-th day, just as all Creation ceased then. Look up the laws of Jewish Shabbat for detailed explanation.

Lady Anne said...

Ah, so. That makes sense. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have loved coming to your blog since before you were married. Thank you Anna for all the gentle instruction you give us on the holidays and their preparations. Also on life there. It does my heart good to hear of your young family and the beautiful life you and your husband are sharing. Sarah