10 Tips to Reduce Stress Before Pesach

Art by Shifra Scheinman
  • Declutter Clothing Before Purim 

You’ll discover which clothing items need replacing, with plenty of time to shop before the last-minute rush. Also, second-hand shops/gemachim stop accepting donations a week or more before Pesach, and you don’t want to be stuck with bags of giveaways in your home.

  • Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

Replace broom heads with new, clean ones to catch crumbs. I recommend having both a silicone head and a standard head. A dustpan with a long handle is a must-have in order to avoid stooping and bending—it will save your back. 

  • Clear Out Your Car ASAP

Many wait until the last minute…Bump it up to the top of your to-do list.

  • Ban Cheerios

Cheerios and other cereal products tend to turn up in all kinds of places. Switch over to non-chametz cereal sooner rather than later.

  • Purge Your Pantry

Create your meals with items you already have and need to use up.

  • Excavate Your Freezer

If you didn’t label the contents, and all you see is frostbitten mystery meals, either toss them right away, or defrost and then decide whether or not to use them. 

  • Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

Clothing was at the top of the list, but now you can declutter a few other categories of objects which may contain or are used with chametz, such as kitchenware, cookbooks you never open, and personal care items.

  • Find Last Year’s Notes 

No notes? Send yourself emails, and then create a folder called PESACH 2020. One easy way to do this is to create a filter on Gmail so any email with that subject is automatically placed in the folder. Alternatively, Google Docs is a great way to keep notes, and you can share the document with other members of your family so they can contribute, as well. Keep your lists and online notes available for reference for future years. If you already have notes, locate them and use them for planning and scheduling purposes.

  • Take Photos

As you start shifting things around, avoid the post holiday “Where in the world is the ____?” by taking photos of the item you are moving and emailing them to yourself. Write where you’re stashing the item in the body of the email and the name of the item in the subject line. File this in the Pesach folder you created in tip #8. If you have decided to go with a Google Doc, keep a list of the items that were moved and where they went…

  • Self-Care

Stay hydrated. Eat healthfully, but supplement with chocolate (or other favorite treats) as needed. Sleep. 

Photo of Sara Younger by Shira Shenberger


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