What a sh*t show. Not sure why this year it has been such an intense process. I can’t even remember what last year was like – maybe we skipped some things accidentally?! Used more disposable things maybe… I don’t know, but this year has just been manic.
The purpose of this blog post is to work out exactly what has gone wrong, so that I can make a plan of what I would do differently next year. Already I have started on a spreadsheet to make note of what we use over Pesach and what we need to buy fresh every year. It’s doing my head in going to the store every day, sometimes twice a day, to get another thing I’ve forgotten, and thinking that’s it, no more, only to discover something else I have forgotten!
3 weeks until Pesach (1 week after Purim): Start Pesach cleaning bedrooms, bathroom, and any area I think will need extra time. P.S Kids are now home from school as we start “social distancing” due to coronavirus. Buy a heap of things we need for Pesach like nice dinner service, etc. Do a “chametz audit” – and put pantry into boxes – eat now, can be stored over Pesach, and legit kosher for Pesach. Buy Pesach food. Clean and kasher open pantry area – remove anything not kosher for Pesach and put into the boxes.
2 weeks until Pesach: Continue with cleaning I procrastinated last week. Put kids to work seeing as they’re home they should contribute to Pesach cleaning… Also, buy any additional things I need for Pesach that I forgot last week (spatulas, mixing bowl, grater etc.). Buy more Pesach food. Mess up boxes of food on the ground. Sort them again. Clean lounge, and other communal areas for Pesach, except for dining room and kitchen.
1 week until Pesach: Tovel everything. Buy more things I realise I forgot. Fail miserably at corona-schooling children, entertaining kindy girl, and feeding and pumping milk for baby. Put off Pesach cleaning and make some phonebooks and family home movies. More Pesach cleaning. Clean out pantry and make kosher for Pesach.
6 days until Pesach – Get carried away moving furniture whilst Pesach cleaning dining room and end up re-arrange entire dining room and kitchen. Only just make Shabbat in time.
4 and 5 days till Pesach – was meant to finish all the Chametz the day before, but holding on for one more day, one more day, one more day… Actually finish all the chametz on Sunday. Totally procrastinate doing anything productive on Sunday…
3 days till Pesach – Monday. Do complete turn over of kitchen. But in small chunks making it as confusing and time consuming as possible. Tovel more things, this time at the beach because the Mikvah is now closed thanks to coronavirus. Have various boxes and washing baskets all over the house with random assortments of things that need to be either stored until after Pesach, kashered for Pesach, or put away for Pesach because they’ve just been toveled.
2 days till Pesach – Tuesday. Finally start Pesach cooking. Take bins out. All Chametz therefore REALLY needs to be gone. In the evening do the search for Chametz.
One of the ways in which I think this has been so stressful is that our kitchen is tiny and finding somewhere to put all the year round items is really hard. This year I tried to pack everything into just a few cupboards as best I could, but I still had plenty to that needed to be stored in boxes. I’m not sure if there’s any way around this – even if I had a bigger kitchen, it would probably still be full. Maybe I just need to be realistic about needing to pack things into boxes.
Next year I think it would be ideal to pack everyone a lunchbox for lunch and also dinner, and send them off with Luke for the day to play outside (please G-D can we be allowed to play outside in a year’s time…), and do a full turn over with no small people around to distract me or need feeding. Doing it in small batches, and trying to feed/nuture/mind other people is super stressful.
Next year – Yes to Luke being on holidays the week before Pesach, no to letting him go into the office to write and play VR every day. I was very out of touch with reality to let this happen.
Next year I really, really, REALLY need to have everything bought and toveled or kashered well in advance of Pesach. Like two weeks out at least. I am writing up a spreadsheet to help me with this. I will write down supplies I feel I am missing over Pesach.
Next year, try not to have chametz that need to be sold. It is a total pain in the bum. Some things we can’t help this year – like CC’s formula, and the alcohol Luke got for his birthday a few weeks ago. But moving forward, try not to have extra things like SR flour, and various sauces.
Next year – work out a creative storage solution for the KLP cooking equipment rather than putting it on the bench.