In a few days it will be Purim. This year it begins motzei Shabbos, so there are couple organizing challenges I want to address. I suggest incorporating as many of these idea into your pre-Purim week. If you only do a few, that’s OK. This list addresses mainly the organizational aspects of the holiday.
Tuesday March 7- Friday March 10, 2017
- Purge your refrigerator. You need room for Shabbos food in addition to your seuda food. Get rid of any forgotten leftovers or produce. If there are empty condiment bottles, trash them. If you encounter any science experiments growing in the back of the fridge, be happy to have discovered them before Pesach cleaning.
- Choose a shelf in the refrigerator for perishables and drinks that will be used for Purim only. I recommend this to keep your Shabbos food separate from your Purim food.
- Use a shopping list and shop ASAP. My husband recounted that Monday evening the local Osher Ad grocery store was packed with shoppers. Keep in mind that a chik-chak shopping trip probably won’t happen. Stay positive while you shop even if you are feeling annoyed because it’s the month of SIMCHA and HAPPINESS so why foist bad feelings on your fellow Jews also prepping for the holiday.
- Designate a basket or bin to contain costumes. I use a large plastic storage bin. Kids will be dressing up multiple times during the week for carnivals or school parties. By putting all costumes in one place, you will know where to find them.
- Select a place for borrowed items. If you have borrowed a costume or other item, put them in a special place so they won’t get mixed in with your own belongings.
- Map out a delivery route for Purim day. Whether walking, driving, or using public transportation, make a plan of attack on how you will be delivering your mishloach manot.
- Gather noisemakers and Megilas. Put them in a container so they will be ready and waiting for Saturday night Megilla reading. I use see- through bins for all the holidays, so my items are all conveniently in what we refer to as “The Purim box”.
- Check times for hearing Parsha Zachor
- Check times for Megila reading. Post them on your fridge or message center.
- Have cash on-hand. Go to the ATM or make a withdrawal from the bank so you have money for matonos levyonim. You won’t have time motzei Shabbos.
- Have disposable plastic or paper goods on-hand for meals. We love to use our china for both meals every Shabbos. I do my share in saving the environment, but this Shabbos I am going to use throw-away items because there will be no time to wash dishes until Purim is over. The counters will be cluttered up already without adding stacks of dirty dishes.
Friday prior to Shabbos
- Clear off a counter or set up a card table. This is where delivered misloach manot packages will be put on Purim day. You want to do this before Shabbos since you are probably already straightening up and don’t need to worry about it Saturday night.
- Gather together supplies for misloach manot. I use a big blue Ikea bag plus some smaller reusable shopping bags. We stash the bags in a corner or closet so they are ready for assembly after Megila. Some people like to have these made in the days before Purim. If this is you, draw an arrow from this tip to the previous section on this list.
- Label a large box, basket, or gift bag with everyone’s name. The purpose of this is to have a place to put goodies that show up and (ideally) avoid fights as to whose things are whose. These should be put on the flat surface you cleared off before Shabbat.
- If you assemble your goodies at night, use another cleared off flat surface as your work station.
- Set out a pad of paper and pens. If things tend to show up when you are out and about, if someone is home, they can write down who came by and what it was.
- Empty the trash. It will quickly fill up again tomorrow.
Purim day. Sunday
- Put out healthy nosh. Cut some apple slices, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter and jelly mini sandwiches (or whatever else your family likes). The purpose is to have ‘grab ‘n go’ options beside candy and junk food. Do this at the same time breakfast is being prepared.
- Have a trash can and broom easily accessible. Prepare for chaos and mess throughout the day, but having these tools on hand will make cleanup easier if you can do a little here and a little there.
- Have tentative schedule posted. What time is Megila reading? What time does the seuda start? What time is Rebbe having students stop by? etc.
Here I will stop listing. I recommend printing this checklist and then add any other items you want to include. Thanks for reading and PURIM SAMEACH