Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Countdown Begins - Diwali 2013!!

I feel our country is synonymous with festivities. I was just getting a grip on myself, having fasted 2 whole days in the last week and a half, owing to Dussehra and already we had Bakri-Eid today. Wishing all of you a happy, sumptuous and a festive Bakri-Eid while I nibble on my okras :(. Really, why a reserved holiday today, I have no clue? All I wanted do all day was to rush to Old Delhi and eat like there's no tomorrow (Sigh!! Slurp!!). What, though is leaving me more clueless and worried is the festival lined up right next - Diwali.

Let me tell you, it is my favorite festivals of all and it has nothing to do with crackers. The lights, the diyas, the socializing, the endless possibilities in decor - the entire ambience adds up to that of sheer happiness. The days that lead up to the festival, though, have a different story to tell. The never-ending cleaning spree, the hidden mess in places you didn't know existed till now and the house-help leaving you in the lurch test your patience to no end. With hardly a fortnight left, I know I need to get my act together. What helps always is team-work and a cheat-sheet. So I thought, I will share my progress with you and we can share notes on how to get rid of the mess, quicker. What comes after is definitely the best part, right?? The decorating and finally the ooh-ing, the aah-ing and the smile of satisfaction on your face.

And how do we begin? By ending the clutter of course. No-one has a picture-perfect home always and we all have a hidden horde-er in all of us. No matter how much we hate the junk, it has some sentimental/economic/something-that-I-can’t-put-my-hands-on-now-but-know-will-in-the-future value associated with it. What I always end up doing while de-cluttering is going down memory lane. I will pick up each scrap of paper and rack my brain to remember each and every detail related with it ending up spending hours doing nothing.

What always work are a few pointers like below - 
  • COMMIT & SCHEDULEIt’s very important to wrap your brain around this idea that no magic is going to happen if you are not wholeheartedly committed in doing something about it. 
  1. Keep the dedicated time free for nothing but cleaning.
  2. Plan in advance. List-out what needs to be tackled on an immediate basis.
  3. Don’t be over-ambitious. No point in burning yourself out completely. Keep realistic goals.
  • ARM YOURSELF : It's very important to be organized to tackle the mess head-on. 
  1. Determine the number of hours you can put on a daily basis and plan your schedule around it.
  2. Take out your note-book and pen and start roaming around your entire house. List down what each room requires -  areas to be cleaned, areas to be reorganized and stuff you need to get rid of.
  3. With the time-limitation, make a realistic inventory of the above activities and plan your coming days accordingly.
  4. Get ready with Cleaning supplies like, glass cleaner, wood cleaner, laundry basket/dustbin liner (to stash away all the clutter), micro-fiber dusters, rubber gloves, vacuum cleaner with the dust bag empty and whatever else you use or works for you.
  • WORK SMART NOT HARD : I don't know what College Education really teaches you but it makes you an expert on "Working Smart". What's the point in burning yourself out and wasting time in cleaning that storage area that none of your guests will be getting a glimpse at. I am not asking you to forget about it but please don't keep it on the top of your to-do list. What tops the list, surely is the Living and the Dining Room. For inspiration - 

  • DON'T HESITATE : Yes, don't! Ask your family for help. You might take your role of a super-woman seriously but there are times when you need support. Designate tasks for each family member, including kids. Kids too - they love to help and act as adults and learn life-lessons in the process. Also pay your house-help some extra cash and take her help cleaning the fans and sorting your cabinets/closets. 
  • LIST IT DOWN : Yes it helps!! Listing down your chores helps you assess the work for the day and aids in achieving it in a planned manner. Make a check-list in order of priority, room-wise and the number of hours you can put each day to achieve it. I have also created an easy printable check-list for you. You can download it from here and print it out. Just a preview for all of you who want to download it later or want to create their own, hope it helps :).

Enjoy this Diwali - the preps and the actual festival. I am so looking forward to it this year, hope you are too. Happy de-cluttering and decorating, xoxo :).

****Edited to add - Hey everyone, now you can just hover on any image on this blog and "Pin It" to your Pinterest account. Exciting right?? Say Yes :)... Pin Away!!

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