WEEK BEFORE DIWALI CHECKLIST

I don’t want to panic anybody, but we are getting perilously close to DIWALI  now. To help you keep everything under control, here is my suggested to do list for the week leading up to NOVEMBER 1OTH 2015 .

A thorough clean before Diwali  to make sure everything is spotless and tidy before your guests arrive will go a long way towards maintaining your housekeeping routine. This will also minimize how much time you will have to spend cleaning up when everyone else has gone home. Use this checklist to get ahead:

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One Week Before

* Buy non-perishablesBuy as much as you can in advance, so that you aren’t jostling with last minute panic buyers.IF like me u have a party every year I would suggest u have all the party dinner ware ready by this week .

* Buy Diyas and Rangolis , gifts etc . Do not forget to add Diya’s and Rangolis also the Lantern  to your shopping list. It’s a real shame when you can’t use your old lights and realize it at the last minute its not working !

*Buy bulk gifts, such as a case of wine or multiple candles, gifts, Sweets , to offer to neighbors, acquaintances, and party hosts. 

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* Set up a wrapping station in a low-traffic area of your home; wrap gifts as you buy them. 

* Shop online; you can do so at any time of day, and it will save you the time of wrapping and shipping gifts.

*Unpack decorations, and inspect them for damaged Decorations  and burned-out bulbs. ( Every year I clean up the decorations lights etc  after diwali and keep them in a box , all I have to do is to unpack the box this year and I am all set )

* Deep clean your house. If you read my holiday cleaning post then you may already have this in hand. If you haven’t started your deep clean, however, then it is time to start!

*Kitchen Decluttered– to make your life easier on Diwali day keep a cubby or a cabinet free so that any thing can be kept there last minute 

Three Days Before

*Windows  Hang lights and display decorations around a streak-free window. Just mix one to two teaspoons of dish detergent in a large bucket of warm water. Scrub the surface and then use a squeegee the remove suds

*Refrigerator     You’ll need to make sure your fridge is odorless and clean, especially if you’re storing a lot of food.

* Sort out Diwali  dinnerware. Put everything you will need in one place, and check it is all clean and usable.

* check guest list and reminders 

Two Days Before

* Buy fresh flowers , Puja Items etc . Now is the perfect time to shop for fresh floral arrangements, Garlands etc .. – if you leave it until tomorrow, you might find all the best flowers are gone.

* Re-charge batteries. If you want to capture those magical memories, make sure your camera and video camera batteries are fully charged. Do it today, so that you can capture some sweet pictures of your kids on Diwali  Eve too.

One Day Before

* Do your last minute Diwali cooking/ baking . You might also want to do some early cooking preparations for Diwali  day, such as preparing your vegetables.

* Work out your cooking/ puja / family / friends  times. Save yourself time on the big day by working out your timings the night before.

* Do a final pick up. Go from room to room and return any out of place items to their correct home.

* Dust and vacuum/ mop . Hopefully, you haven’t left all of your cleaning until the last minute! Have a quick clean up  through to get your home looking neat and tidy.

* Change bed linen and towels.

* Enjoy your family traditions. With all of the hard work out of the way, it is time to relax. Pour yourself a glass of your drink and RELAX !! enjoy your tomorrow as it should be 🙂

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How are everyone’s Christmas preparations going? Are you calm and organized, or panicking about everything that still needs to be done?

DIWALI ….IS …COMING !! (PART 2)

For many households in India , Diwali  is the day of the year when the house is cleanest and looking its best. This is often the result of a mad deep cleaning frenzy just prior to the big day, often on the day  or for many the month before. Personally, I do not want to be doing a big clean on diwali week  or the diwali  Eve – I want to be  cooking or baking and enjoying some festive quality time with my family . So this year I am being more structured about my holiday deep clean. I hope you pick up some good tips from this post!

Tips For Your Festive Deep Clean

There are three things which will make your cleaning much less stressful in the coming week! ( diwali is from 10th nov -14th nov )

Create A Plan

Next post, I will share my suggestions for a Week before Diwali . But you can easily create a plan to suit you. Grab a notebook and pen and take a tour of your home, creating a list of cleaning tasks for each room as you go. If you love a clean home, think about the jobs you don’t do so often and add them to the list. Don’t forget special holiday related activities, like cleaning the silverware for Diwali Party  dinner.

Once you have created your plan, assign a timescale against each job – and reduce the pressure by spreading the tasks out. For instance, if you want to give your kitchen cupboards a bit of a sort out and wipe down then this can really be done a couple of weeks in advance. First of all, this is much easier to do before you cram the cupboards full of festive treats. But mostly, it isn’t going to spoil your Diwali  if the cupboards are a bit mucky. Save your precious time on Diwali  Eve for easy jobs like having a quick dust and and vacuum.

Stock Up On Cleaning Supplies

If you want to do a deep clean, you need to make sure that you have everything you need. Stock up on that vinegar and baking soda! You may also want to invest in a cleaning caddy – or chuck everything in a bucket – so it is easy to carry everything you need from room to room.

You can find lots of great cleaning tips HERE .

Delegate The Jobs

There is no reason why you need to do everything on your own, so don’t be afraid to delegate. It is amazing how much more helpful kids can be if you tell them it is “Diwali Special  cleaning” rather than general “helping with the housework”. You may want to create a chore chart so that people are clear on whose responsibility it is to do what.( find one HERE.)

Four Weeks Before

* De-clutter house

* Tidy and straighten most rooms 

( If u are following my monthly cleaning plan ..this u can skip and start from a week before the big day 🙂 )

Three Weeks Before

* Wipe down front door

* Tidy yard

* Wash outside windows

Two Weeks Before

* Wash inside windows

* Organize pantry/cupboards

* Straighten linen closet

* Clean light fixtures/fans

Seven Days Before

* Wash/polish the  silverware

* Clean glassware / party plates /decorations etc 

*Menu Planning etc 

* Wipe down walls and doors

Six Days Before

* Tidy bedrooms

* Dust/vacuum bedrooms

Five Days Before

* Tidy living areas

* Dust/vacuum living areas

Four Days Before

* Wipe down kitchen surfaces

* Clean oven

* Clean microwave

Three Days Before

* Deep clean bathroom(s)

* Wash towels and bedding

Two Days Before

* Remove any clutter

* Take garbage out

* Clean fridge/freezer

Diwali  Eve

* Straighten rooms

* Dust

* Clean floors

* Wipe down bathroom(s)

* Put out clean towels

* Change bedding

Diwali  Day

* Straighten rooms

* Quick vacuum/mop etc .

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I find myself scribbling all sorts of notes in the run up to Diwali  (ideas, brainstorming, more to do lists). Sure you could regular lined paper for this, I h ave a notebook for just scribbles 🙂

If you have any great Diwali  cleaning tips, feel free to share them in the comments!

DIWALI IS COMING !!

Every site, magazine, blog is teaming with incredibly beautiful images of flowers, colorful rooms, and lights for Diwali . But, there’s a lot to be done backstage to get the house look so beautiful, isn’t it? 

And not everything is a pleasant or easy job as the person ( ME ) getting your home in order will vouch for. 

 So, this post is dedicated to all the hard work that goes behind those pretty pictures , and the time and effort one puts into making her house a beautiful one !!

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Every year, the Diwali cleaning  AKA Holiday  cleaning would start a month in advance in my  house. But this year is different as I met with an accident and had to rest for a good ol’ month !! ( Didn’t u guys Realize I haven’t posted for a Month?? ) Thank u to all those repeated reminders  of I haven’t been posting !!

Now , I am better and Will start today , Diwali cleaning just 10 DAYS BEFORE DIWALI !! wish me luck!

Now, having lived in the Bombay  for the better part of my life, The houses are turned upside down for Diwali or any festival for that matter – ok, maybe a bit  more for Diwali . I mean we mumbaikars  take down the  ceiling fans and cleans the blades, rummage an organized cupboard to reorganize, and a time when every bottle in the kitchen counters shine.Not to mention – most moms yelling that their kids are extremely lazy during this season ! ( not helping with chores ) … LOL!

In the South, or Bangalore – no one does that ! I was in shock the first year I saw it & asked friends why haven’t they started their cleaning yet ??? but they don’t -so who cares !

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 The first year I watched with astonishment and it repeated the next year, also !  Well, for me Diwali cleaning is just a holiday cleaning or rather a small spring cleaning,  not to that extreme as cleaning is a year round thing but it has become a ritual.

 You know what, it does feel good to see a shining home with fresh curtains, new bed linen, spotless bathroom floors.

blah .de blah .de blah !!! 

The curtains, fans, floors take a shine now every month . And to be honest, it not doesn’t take a hour  to do it. since Its clean all year around , I don’t worry !

So, if you’re game for some cleaning three days before Diwali, then now’s the time to get it done and let in some fresh scents, sights & Farals !!! ( diwali dessert Platter )

Diwali or the Holidays  comes once a year, but I want to commit to having a clean house year-round. That’s right, I’m  raising the bar and proving that a clean house can be possible even with our busy, chaotic lives.

A clean  home in 3 days . 

We tend to dread  Diwali cleaning because we try to do it all at once, hey ITs the Holiday !! . Instead of tackling certain areas, we strive to make the entire place spic ‘n’ span in one long Saturday. If you’re like me , last-minute plans come up, our favorite TV show comes on or we just don’t feel like cleaning come Saturday morning, and it never gets done. 

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Instead, break it up. Start tackling one chore at a time instead of all of them at once. t.

So  Today – (DAY 1 ) I am gonna start on the bedrooms and their respective Bathrooms today + The family room  …

Tomorrow-( DAY 2 )  I will tackle the down floor – the guest room , Living room & the kitchen .

(DAY 3) – I  plan to start on the holiday  decorations ! ( super happy feeling ! coz  , last year after diwali i kept all the stuff into a box and stored them in my diwali decorations box !! yay ! all i have to do is to take it out and start changing the mundane decor into a festive one !!)

 I can’t write any more coz its already 1/2 hr late into my schedule of cleaning ! and i really have to go now … will update you on the progress tomorrow !!

7 STAIN REMOVAL TRICKS

One of the most annoying things is when you get a stain on your good clothes and have no idea what you need to do. 

Do you blot it? How about using club soda on it? 

There are certainly many kinds of stains that could occur and there are many stain removal tips and tricks for each different kind of stain. 

Act Smart

Protect your investment in washable clothing and linens by promptly and correctly treating stains. If a fabric is marked dry clean only, blot off the excess stain and take the garment to the cleaners as soon as possible. Always point out stains and spots so they can be marked for special professional cleaning. Otherwise, use our helpful tips to tackle the stain yourself.

Think Ahead

Before doing laundry, check for stains. If you detect stains, pretreat them before washing. It’s a good idea to blot rather than rub to treat a stain. Blotting draws the stain away from the fabric; rubbing pushes the stain into the fabric and damages the fiber finish and the color of the fabric.

Wash It Out

Use a gentle rubbing motion under running water to help remove dried food, protein, or oil stains from denim-weight fabrics of cotton or cotton/polyester blends. It’s best not to use terry-cloth towels or dark-color cloths when blotting stains because lint and darker colored fabric may worsen the problem.

Separate Stained Items

Wash heavily stained items separately to avoid transferring stains. Don’t use hot water on stains if you’re not sure what caused them. Hot water can set protein stains in the fabric. As a general rule, never wash pesticide-soiled clothes with other laundry.

Think Before You Dry

Check wet laundry before putting it into the dryer to see if the stain is gone. If the stain persists, don’t put the item in the dryer. The heat of the dryer can make a stain permanent.

Stain Removal Must-Haves

It helps to be prepared in the fight against stains. Keeping the right products on hand means you’ll be ready when the toughest stain comes your way.

I am creating a printable list of recipes for Stain removals which can be made at home with ingredients easily available at home .

till then bear with me 🙂