8 Weeks Until Pesach! Here’s a Passover Checklist

Get into Pesach mode with a family meeting

Look over the calendar and fill in your cleaning and shopping schedules

Review notes from last yearWork on completing House purchases and renovations

7 Weeks to Pesach

Complete major house purchases

Set appointments for other house needs-carpet cleaning, renovations, other work dates

6 Weeks to Pesach

First Phase of Cleaning-Bedrooms, Closets, and Storage areas

First Phase of Clothes shopping

5 Weeks to Pesach

Look over your Pesach Kitchen Inventory

Order Matzahs

Create a pantry for Pesach food: include storage for non perishable foods, frozen foods, and matzah

Move your Chametz foods out of this newly assigned Pesach food area

Accumulate your Kitchen Inventory (i.e., pots and pans, cutting boards)

A Freilichin Purim!

4 Weeks to Pesach

Continue to build up your Kitchen Inventory and non-perishable Pesach shopping

Buy paper goods, kitchen lining supplies

Order meat, wine, fish

Create Meal Plans

Make personal appointments

Clean Dining room Breakfront

3 Weeks to Pesach

Clean fridge and freezer designating one chametz area

Begin giving kids Pesachdik snacks

Complete clothes shoppingClean other rooms (i.e., laundry rooms, office, hallway, bathrooms) and tape

up areas

2 Weeks to Pesach

Clean cars

Finalize your Meal plans

Shop for perishables

Clean the kitchen. Include: appliances, cabinets, chairs, countertopCs, floor, garbage, highchair, oven, phone,sink, stovetop, table, windows

Kasher and make your kitchen pesachdik: line countertops, kasher oven, sink, etc.

Think about how you will eat challah on Shabbos

1 Week to Pesach

Cook!!!

Prepare for Seder

Vacuum EVERYWHERE

Let’s go into the very first task together on the 8 week list and understand it well, the Family Meeting.

What is this meeting all about and why is it the first step?

An effective productivity system has three steps. Collect, Clarify, and Organize. Having a family meeting is the first step because…you guessed it, it is the “collecting” stage.

Your meeting is essentially a Collection basket. Before your meeting collect all the thoughts running through your head about Pesach. Also collect all your paperwork: menus, recipes, and lists, etc., from previous years. Tour the house with a voice recorder or notepad, entering everything that has to be done. You can have fun doing this with your husband and the kids. Have people “call out” when they see something that needs to be cleaned or completed. Ask everyone what his or her own thoughts are with regards to making Pesach.

Clarify what needs to get done for Pesach. Use checklists. Create your own or use the ones found in my book, Pesach Perfectly Organized, which indicate everything from ordering meat to emptying your purse to studying the Haggadah. Get very clear about what needs to get done.

Organize. Decide when you will do all of the tasks you’ve clarified. All of your decisions about Pesach are personal and unique to your family.

The family meeting is a great first step for getting everyone into the Pesach mode. Its goal is to bring you together as a family around this major project of the Jewish year: what tasks need to be accomplished, who is available to assist, and any other requests or opinions that family members have.

The family meeting will help you understand what you personally need to do differently than other people and will empower you with the knowledge that your way of doing things is correct and sound for your family.

Is there anything different this year for your family? For example, if you have a wedding or a birth before Pesach, you may need to start earlier than in other years. (Organize) If you are caring for an elderly family member, you may want to cook chametz until the last possible minute. Or, if you have a Pesach kitchen in the basement, you may be able to start cooking well before you’re finished cleaning. These are all aspects of Pesach that are personal and unique to your family.

If you have school-aged or teen-aged children, let them help you make a master list of tasks. (Clarify) (Identifying very clear tasks is an absolute critical step to being productive.) When children participate in the planning, they are usually more willing to do the work. Ask them to check off the tasks they will do, along with the timetable for doing them. Now is also the time to clarify who needs new items of clothing for the holiday and when you will go shopping.

You can discuss at the meeting any family that is coming from out of town and where they will sleep. Will any of the children be displaced? Do you need more beds? More linen? Will you be asking neighbors to provide sleeping space?

Talk about when Pesach falls out; it’s Monday night this year. Does this have ramifications for your job or your husband’s? Can you afford cleaning help? If so, will it be your regular cleaning lady? A professional service? Or specialized help, like oven or carpet cleaning? Will you need to arrange for a babysitter so you can clean? Do you want to do any renovation or decorating before Yom Tov? Are you going to budget money for eating out during the last week before Pesach?

There is no right or wrong way. It is whatever works best for your family.

The meeting you have with your family is the earliest task you can complete on your Pesach checklist. It is simply the best way to begin Pesach planning and task completion.

The jump from non-Pesach to Pesach can be a tough one. Let’s transition ourselves gently before the Purim…Pesach dance gives us a shove and know exactly what can be done first and do it early on.