Aish.com’s article on Passover Cleaning Made Easy says in part:
I'd like to not only make Passover cleaning a little easier, but above
all to change the attitude once and for all to stop being frightened.
Passover is not a monster. It's the most beautiful time of the year.
One crumb of edible chametz cannot remain in your house and you've got
to destroy it. Also, anything that contains ethyl alcohol, since it
can be distilled, is called "edible chametz" and must also be disposed
We are also looking for something that is more than a kezayit --
regardless of whether you would consider it food or not. If it's less
than a kezayit of non-edible chametz, you don't have to get rid of it
because you consider it dirt. Also, if it's something even a dog
wouldn't eat, then even more than a kezayit is not problematic.
When you're cleaning for Passover, all the goodies in your freezer and
cabinets -- bread, cakes, crackers -- all of that is chametz. You have
to get rid of it one way or another. But aside from that, you probably
won't find much edible chametz in your house. Bedikat chametz,
therefore, is not so difficult. In the bedrooms, for example, you
don't have to sit with a pin scraping the corners!
Even further: Let's say you have gook stuck to your chametz dishes. If
the stuff is non-edible, then you can forget about it -- as long as it
does not total a kezayit of gook. But there is no need sit there and
scrub the dishes with steel wool. Just make sure there is no edible
stuff on them, and no kezayit of gook -- and put them away.
One important point: If you feel like going beyond the limit and scraping the walls and ceiling, go right ahead. Of course it's not
required, but the halacha is actually stated in Shulchan Aruch that no
one is allowed to laugh at you. In the words of the rabbis, Yisrael
kedoshim heim -- "Jews are holy" when they go beyond the letter of the
Be careful, however, not to go so far that you develop an antagonistic
attitude toward Passover. If all this extra, non-required cleaning is
going to make you dread the holiday, then forget about it. And
certainly you should not clean so much that you're exhausted for the
Passover Seder. Part of being "holy" is appreciating the holiday, too!
This rational approach is for your wife with the paragraph in bold especially for you.
Extracts from the Chabad article, “An Easy Life” are for both of you:
Weeks of intense labor have brought us to this moment. There is so
much to do, so little time, and failure to finish not an option.
And this is when the thought first occurs to me. What an incredibly
easy religion. I don't say it aloud; to do so would elicit hostile
stares from all the exhausted people in the room. They're all
thinking, "I can't do this anymore, this is insane, remind me next
year to move to Antarctica." My body feels close to collapse as well,
but my mind is thinking, Man, He is one smart G-d.
The forty minutes are drawing to a close and we gather around the fire
to see the final stage in the banishment of chametz from our homes,
and to recite the prayer banishing the chametz from our hearts. The
brief lull brings the realization of this as the apex of our labors,
and there is a light in the eyes of my family that isn't just a
reflection of the dying flames.
And then there's Judaism, unchanged and unchanging for over three
millennia, that teaches theory and philosophy and inner journeys, but
demands action. Passover represents the freeing of the soul from the
things which clog it up and obstruct its brightness. How do we do
that? By meditating about it? Sure, that too. But mostly with
back-breaking, hand-chaffing labor. The physical kind.
How does this replace the spiritual journey? It doesn't. It takes the
spiritual journey out of heaven, and makes it real by bringing it down
to this world. I can sit and contemplate for hours, but when all is
said and done (or rather, thought) I know I remain, essentially,
unchanged. But then I take a physical broom and chase the chametz from
my room, use my physical hands to clean, my physical body to do. And
day by day, I feel the chametz being chased from my heart.
If it is not impertinent to say, I think your relationship with your wife is all-important.
I wish that we may all together free our souls from the things which clog them up!