[A video sent my way, worth thinking about: Tribute to the Jewish Mother]
As I train my son in use of tefillin, I'm trying to develop a list of "maintenance" points. Here's what I have so far:
Before putting on tefillin
Is my hair clean and dry?
Are my arm and forehead clean and dry?
Do I need to use the bathroom?
Am I able to concentrate?
Putting on tefillin
Focus on the message this uniform sends you
Check the straps at the points where they enter the knots, to make sure they aren't wearing thin or losing their blackness
Be gentle when pulling the straps of the arm tefillin, to avoid snapping the knot's connection to the box
If the head tefillin are not sitting in the right spot, I can loosen the knot to adjust the straps
If the box on your head is exerting too much pressure, move it further up; there is a great deal of room to use, and this will also avoid stretching the straps
While wearing tefillin
Always remember that you are wearing tefillin – this will help you guard their holiness and take care of them physically
When about to say Shemoneh Esreih, make sure you have room to bow without striking anything
Putting tefillin away
Check tefillin straps and boxes for blackness; it's easier to blacken them when you don't need to put them on right away
Put tefillin in their boxes carefully
Kiss the tefillin before putting them away; remember that this is a special opportunity
We honour tefillin in the way we take care of them, from the way we carry their bag to the kind of place we put them
Never leave tefillin in a car, whether the weather is hot or cold, damp or dry
Never pack tefillin in your luggage
What would you add?