Monday, March 5, 2012

Plannin' for cleanin'

When Pesach rolled around last time, we were living in a house with two bedrooms and one bathroom. Now we live in a house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an office, which obviously means I have more to clean.

Now, I will be honest with you. Pesach preparations have always been a daunting task for me. No matter how well I prepare and how hard I try to work beforehand, the last days before the holiday are always a mad race against the clock. Not in the least, of course, because chametz (leavened bread) is eaten until the very last, and crumbs have a tendency of spreading. Close to the end I begin wistfully thinking how nice it would be if we were all gluten-intolerant, and would never eat wheat.

So, I might have said this before, but... when doing a lot of cleaning, it's easy to get carried away and say it's "necessary" to do this, and that, and that. But this year, in order to survive, I really feel I must separate cleaning and getting rid of chametz. The two don't always overlap.

So, which spring-cleaning tasks have nothing to do with chametz?

Bathrooms - bathrooms should be clean and bathroom cabinets orderly, but it doesn't mean this must be necessarily accomplished before Pesach to a degree of perfection. My family never eats in the bathroom, so even if it gets messy, it's free of chametz.

Closets - if I have no time to re-organize the closets before Pesach this year, I will not feel guilty about it. So long as I only let clean clothes in and check the pockets, I should be fine.

Windows and shutters - while on the inside, there's still the remote possibility that some little sticky finers got some chametz between the window and its frame, on the outside this most certainly didn't happen. I won't lose sleep over dusty windows.

Bookshelves - I'm not going to flip through every book in the house. None of us eats and reads at the same time.

Sprucing up the garden - yes, there's a lot of junk to throw away, and I should dig up some more gravel to make a neater path, but it doesn't have to be done before Pesach.

Does it mean none of these things will get done? Not at all; I have this list saved here, and will return to it when the holiday is over and the pressure recedes.


priest's wife said...

Your spring cleaning is so much more involved than mine- you are an inspiration!

TanyaL said...

I had wondered about that, if you just didn't eat grains (we are grain-free), would you not have to do any cleaning for the holiday?

Thanks for the blog, I enjoy it, for many reasons.

Laura :) said...

What is Pesach? And I hope you'll blog about Purim. I would love to hear about that from your point of view. We have some library books to read about it. The family we know is going to synagogue this evening but other than that, I don't know how they will celebrate.

Annie said...

I had that same photo you used in this post, up on my refrigerator as homemaking inspiration, for the longest time. I admire your sensible approach toward what could seem an overwhelming task!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Laura, Pesach is more commonly known as Passover.

SubWife said...

I am fully planning to forgo washing windows until after Pesach, inside or out. Unless there's a big piece of bread stuck to it, I see no reason to include them in Passover cleaning. Unless I will have extra time, which we all know will never happen:) I like washing my windows in May, when it's very warm.

Tammy said...

Good plan! I'm new to observing Pesach, and tend to go crazy. Thanks for this down-to-earth post. You are a great help!