Pesach may be over, but there is always a lot to do to put it all away and go back to our usual routines. My husband and I spent most of the morning finishing the dishes, bringing our Pesach stuff downstairs, packing the leftover food away, and taking off all the odds and ends from Pesach (the signs, counter coverings, etc.). We still haven’t repacked the bins and put them away, but at least we are farther than most years! I will have to be sure to check my list to make sure we haven’t forgotten anything! See my post, “Putting away Pesach” on doing this.
But the most important part of ending Pesach is thinking about next year! I always like to think about a few things before wrapping up the current year:
1) Any things I want to change or do differently next year (see below for details).
2) Wish list for next year
– For us it was things that had broken (like our cutting mats) or more plastic containers, which always seem to disappear.
– We also plan to remember to buy more margarine. We got only one pack and it was not enough! We had to borrow from friends!
3) Inventory of what food we have leftover and plan to save for next year.
This list is very important so you don’t overbuy the next year. We have so many boxes of cake meal and matza meal left, that we won’t need it for several years! I also take the time to adjust my shopping list based on what we used. For example, we used 8-9 dozen eggs this year. That was a bit more than past years.
I will share with you the lessons I learned from this year.
∞ Changing your cleaning order is okay! I ended up cleaning in a backward order this year. When the week of Pesach came, I had only cleaned the two kids’ bedrooms. We normally would not turn over the kitchen until all the rooms were done (except maybe the living room and dining room). However, I knew with my husband’s and my work schedule, we had to take advantage of that Sunday to turn over the kitchen no matter what.
So I just ended up cleaning our bedroom and the basement (which were only an hour and a half or so total) and then the living-dining room last. It is funny how no matter how long you have been keeping Pesach, each year is so different. You might think that things will get easier as your children get older, or you are not working, or… But what I found in talking with my coworkers, every year brings something new. One friend had lost her father and was helping her mother move, another had a few-month-old baby, and another had a sick mother she was caring for. We never know what life will throw us. I think being organized, but willing to be flexible to get it all done, really helps!
∞ This year I also had to really resist the urge to spring clean to get it all done. With working three jobs and taking care of my family, I did not get as much cleaning done the month before as I had hoped. So with encouragement from friends that “dust is not chometz,” I forged on and lightened my standards, My house did get clean, but we do have some things to continue cleaning (and that is okay!), i.e. dusting, mopping a few areas of the house, and decluttering!
∞ Order paper goods early. In years past, I have compared prices on paper goods from websites and placed a large order with friends. However, I just never got around to it this year. I just couldn’t bare to buy from anywhere else (like a brick and mortar store) because you pay so much more! Thankfully, I was able to get within $.02 an item for most of the paper goods I needed from Amazon Prime. I ordered on Tuesday and my stuff was here Thursday, just in time for Pesach. Next year, I plan to remember that even if I don’t have the time to do the research and do a big order, Amazon has great prices and I should just order right after Purim so I will have some for that week before Pesach!
∞ Planning the week before Pesach is just as important as the cleaning and menu planning for Pesach. This year, I used some tips from a friend of mine, and planned some easy, but not necessarily chometz-free meals the week before (shul dinner, pizza bagels, soup and salad, salmon hash, hamburgers and chips). What helped make it a success was that we:
- ate outside every night
- only let the kids eat chometz outside
- had kitnios snacks and cereal that week
- used appliances outside the kitchen for meals (like we moved the toaster into the dining room for one night’s meal, grilled for another and heated a frozen soup in the crockpot for one)
∞ Don’t wait to do your Passover shopping! We kept waiting until closer to Pesach to get our groceries, but by the time we did our shopping, some popular items were already gone (like margarine, salad dressing, and pickles). So I will remember to at least get those few things early, even if I am not ready or do not have the money to do my full shopping trip yet.
Do you have any tips you learned this Pesach to share with the rest of us? Please share in the Comments!