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I remember learning that until Wednesday we live off the light of the past Shabbos and from Wednesday on we prepare for the next. So that is what I try for. Remember, you don't have to do it all. Family can help. Preparing to bring in Shabbos is a Mitzvah everyone should be part of. Even the youngest children can help and it is a great way for them to learn the importance of this Mitzvah and take joy in helping to bring it in.
I try to do my shopping on Wednesday. This also gives me Thursday as a back up so I don't have to stress out if something interferes. As a matter of fact, that tends to be my rule for all preparations. l try to plan an a bit early so I can take my time and don't go into Shabbos all frazzled and stressed. I also do basic cleaning of things that will last a few days or deeper cleaning that needs to be done. I can always run a quick touch up as it gets closer .
On Thursday I finish what I didn't do on Wednesday, as well as straighten up. I mostly focus on the rooms that will be used over Shabbos. I save the rest for when I have time. I'll vacuum and double check that I have what I need for cooking. This is also close enough to get the bathrooms, especially if I am having company. Again, major goal is to not stress. I used to think everything had to be perfect, especially if company was coming. I have learned that the important thing is enjoying my family and company and that won't happen if I am worn out. It's harder to daven when worn out from all the prep. I also get my clothes ready here so I don't have to worry about repairs when I can't make them or last minute laundry.
That leaves Friday -
About an hour before candles, I do a walk through to make sure nothing was forgotten and get dressed. Now I can sit down and relax -
Rabbetzin Dawyn Snyder