By Duby Litvin
Passover is a wonderful, joyous holiday, but it requires a great deal of preparation and coordination. (Translation: stress.) The following eight tips aim to help you organize and prioritize so you can fully enjoy the eight-day Festival of Freedom, observed this year from April 10-18.
1) Don’t Wing It, Plan It!
Think of your house as a corporation and you’re the CEO. Just like a company would plan out its functions, you want to work on “Project Passover.” With a plan in place, things will go much smoother.
2) Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
The more you delegate, the better off you will be. If you can afford it, hire a cleaning person to help. Have your spouse or a teenage son or daughter take care of the shopping. Even if you think the job is small and easy, the less on your plate the better. The best thing with children under 6 is to have someone else take them out of the house so you can clean without them underfoot. Older children can handle small jobs, such as wiping down toys and surfaces. In the kitchen, these little helpers can do peeling, juicing, cracking nuts or other introductory jobs.
3) Passover Cleaning Vs. Spring Cleaning
Imagine sitting down to a beautiful seder — the house is sparkling clean, the chandeliers are glistening, the windows are sparkling — and you’re falling asleep. Chandeliers and windows are not imperative to making your home kosher-for-Passover. Passover cleaning is any place there’s a very good chance that food was brought in. If you know there was no food brought there, then it doesn’t have to be cleaned. For something to be considered chametz, it needs to be edible and accessible.
4) Poor Man’s Bread Or Bread That Makes Us Poor?
For those buying only foods certified kosher-for-Passover, the holiday can be very expensive. But you don’t have to make matzoh or other processed foods mainstays of your meals. Instead, focus on in-season fruits and vegetables. Before heading to the supermarket, create a menu and shopping list, then stick to it.
5) Your Best Friend Is Your List!
From a cleaning to-do list to detailed shopping lists, from last-minute reminders to menus, lists will save your life. Get it all down on paper and rest assured nothing will be forgotten. Keep everything in one place (or on your smartphone).
6) Leave The Bitterness To Maror
The last thing you want is to have a chip on your shoulder when it comes to holiday traditions. If you do feel resentful about the amount of work that goes into holiday preparations, then something needs to change ASAP. Try to shift your thinking from “Yet another thing I have to do,” to a place of “We have an opportunity here.” Focus on what’s most important about Passover — the seders, time with family and loved ones.
7) Have Fun And Create New Traditions
Here are some ideas to make holiday prep work more fun: putting on music when cleaning, giving out prizes (to yourself as well as others) for accomplishing specific tasks, special new toys for the holiday, create photo contests with friends or family members of “funniest items found while cleaning for Passover.”
8) Get It In Writing!
Passover is over, and the last thing you want to do is look at one more list, let alone go through it. But hang in there and jot down what worked, what didn’t, if you bought too much matzoh or not enough. Write down that new trick you came up with to help the kids enjoy the seder.
You will thank yourself next year.
Duby Litvin lives in Louisville, Ky., owns a small kosher bakery and dabbles in writing children’s literature. Connect with her at MrsDuby@gmail.com or go to www.DubysPesachLists.com.
This article was provided by My Jewish Learning.com via the JTA international news agency and wire service.
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