Ramadan Prep Part 2 – Home
I touched on this yesterday while talking about my
Christmas Ramadan Lights…but I’m going to go more into it now.
When I prepare for Ramadan it means that it’s a massive clear out of my house. It’s amazing how much junk can just accumulate in our homes (and God knows, I seem to be a collector of useless, unneeded items!) This means that boxes and bags are filled with stuff to take to the donation centers. I get the kids to do the same with the toys that they no longer play with and I clean out my husband’s closet. (shhhh! don’t tell him!!)
I then start on the good old “deep clean” of the house. Floors, walls, carpets, furniture, shelves, nick-knacks — they all get cleaned/dusted/vacuumed/washed. I somehow feel that having a cleaned, decluttered home somehow helps me spiritually. I can’t really explain this clearly, but that’s about as good as I can do! If you’re not a person who likes to clean (I certainly don’t!) there are websites and such that can help. I like Flylady - she breaks everything down into nice, manageable portions. You can start off with her “15 minute decluttering,” and then move on to her more detailed cleaning lists (these are my favorites…it’s my “deep clean” to-do list!)
So, you’ll see by now that I’m a list maker. I live via lists. This year, I found a great Ramadan Battle Plan – I downloaded it and printed off the pages that I felt were most useful to me (essentially just the 30 daily pages). I’ve planned out my menus for the month ensuring that I have a good variety of foods (ie, a beef, lamb, fish, and chicken iftar each week). I decided to leave my weekends unplanned for 2 reasons – first, we are often invited or inviting someone on the weekends – I think it’s nice to buy fresh food to prepare for guests, or to make a simple dish (like grape leaves) to bring if we are invited; second – if we’re not invited anywhere, we can eat left overs from the week. It’s also very important (in my experience anyhow) to ensure that you can “go with the flow” – there are often last minute invitations, or an extra person or two (or more) at the table in Ramadan. The joy of sharing is somehow magnified during Ramadan.
In my battle plan I have everything written out: the meal I plan on cooking, where to find the recipe, and approximate times to start cooking. I also have reminders like “set the coffee pot” and “pull out meat from freezer for tomorrow” <— those are the things that I always forget to do!
The great thing about planning out your meals this way is that you can go through your recipes for the week and make yourself a nice little grocery list – don’t forget to include things like spices or other things that you can easily overlook.
In the end, I have a cleaned and organized home, a well-planned menu system, and 4 grocery lists for the entire month.
My next post will be about preparing myself for Ramadan, I’A.