Rivka Slatin has a nice site called Jewish-Life-Organized.com, which lots of tips and techniques to organize the Jewish home. She was kind enough to let us post anything from her site that would be useful for the Beyond BT community.
Pesach advice as told to me by experienced Jewish homemakers.
Pesach advice collected. Being the researcher that I am, I am constantly interviewing homemakers who are very experienced, running a home for over 30 years. Here is some pesach advice that I want to share with you. See what can work for you in your own home.
My own Pesach Tip!!!-I don’t make a cent off of this recommendation. There is a product that removes the cold hard grease from any surface. I just cleaned my refrigerator and the gunk underneath is with a few sprays! It is really really important that you get this product if you want to clean easily. The only downside is that it is not a natural product so you’ll want to wear gloves and not inhale. I think it is from Israel. This company also makes the Magic Sponge and the two products when used together are pretty powerful degreasers.
* I think about Pesach all year round. Otherwise it becomes impossible. No food is allowed upstairs or downstairs EVER! If chametz is all over the house, pesach becomes much harder.
* After Purim I start cleaning the dining room. Empty out the buffet, wash everything. I put a sign on it and only return things that are clean.
* I work my way up the cabinets in the kitchen, consolidating everything on the top shelves. That way, by the time my grandkids can help me bring stuff upstairs, I have empty space for Pesach dishes. My bottom cabinets end up Pesachdik.
* My kitchen is Pesachdik 2 Shabbosim before Pesach. I use a bunson burner if I want to cook anything with Chametz.
* If you want to Spring clean, fine. We all do. But have it done before Purim. Or wait until Pesach is over.
* I kasher my silver and use it all year-round.
* I save my cabinet liners year to year, cut them to size, and write on the back which shelf it corresponds to.
* I don’t bake after Purim and I start minimizing the chametz in my pantry. The chametz mamash goes in a box in the hallway. I keep cans in my pantry and just tape it up over Pesach.
* I pull one all-nighter and by the morning of bedikas chametz my house is completely ready for Pesach.
* There are 4 weeks between Purim and Pesach, I spend the 1st week on bedrooms, (after which no one brings food upstairs), the 2nd week on the downstairs, and the 3rd week for the kitchen. Having defined goals keeps me focused.
* I spend one whole day planning my Pesach meals. I choose foods that I know will serve many people. I tear apart my recipes and make sure EVERYTHING is on the list. It takes a whole day. After that, I spend one whole day going shopping.
* I have two freezers. During the year, I keep one chametz free.
* BUY A SELF-CLEANING OVEN!
* It’s all about attitude! I feel that my home is a miniature Bais Hamikdash and I am like the Kohen Gadol. I keep this in mind all year long but when it comes to Pesach, the feeling is even stronger. For me, cleaning for Pesach is a spiritual cleansing.
* I start around Chanukah time…no food is allowed anywhere besides kitchen and dining room.
* I work in 20 minute intervals, one task per day. So if I have the time, I just pull out a drawer and clean it.
* I don’t clean one room at a time. That’s too hard. I break it down into tiny tasks to complete daily.
* After Purim I start on the kitchen. I clean out my pantry, take out real chametz and put it in boxes. I leave the boxes in the corner of my dining room. It never goes back in the closet. Slowly I work on the kitchen, one shelf and one cabinet at a time. Once a cabinet is done, I am very careful about putting my dishes back in there. Before I put the dishes away, I make sure they aren’t put on a chametz counter.
* Cleaning the oven takes one whole day. So does the fridge and the stove! If you think a task takes 2 hours, give it 4! You can’t do it all in a day.
* I try to have everything Pesachdik 4 days before. We will have our kitchen Pesachdik before Shabbos HaGadol this year. That means our Shabbos food will be Pesachdik. We will eat in the dining room on plastic. After shabbos, the tablecloth is literally thrown out the door. The Dining room is my last room to turn over.
* Making Pesach is a Family project. It is not only the mother’s job. I divide up chores according to what each person does best. Kids are responsible for doing their own rooms. Make it fun!
* Around Purim time, I make lists of everything that needs to done in each room. I clean one room each Sunday.
* My home is usually changed over Sunday night. Shabbos we eat in the kitchen. Motzai Shabbos I do the oven, stove, and sink. Sunday, I reline the pantry, put chametz downstairs and put out the Pesach food. Sunday night the Pesach dishes are brought upstairs. This is the one night a year that we go out to dinner.
* I reserve one day for cooking fleshigs and one for cooking milchigs. My kids do the baking.
* I spend Erev Yom Tov preparing the Seder plate.
* My shopping is done 2-3 weeks before pesach. I store the Pesach food in my second fridge. For someone without one, leave the food in boxes and buy the perishables later. I buy kosher for pesach brands all year round. I always ask myself-DO I REALLY NEED THIS, IT’S ONLY 8 DAYS!!!!!!??!!!!!!!!!
* I keep an active Pesach folder all year round with recipes, inventories, & lists.
Originally Posted June 2007