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CLEANING & ORGANIZING

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When my son was young, I would marvel at his room for he kept it clean and organized, despite his fancy for puzzles. Many of his toys like the remote-controlled helicopter, puzzles, building blocks, or the pull-along Snoopy are in perfect working condition even now. Given that his interests are evolving from complex origami to reading, his room is far from picture perfect. And I’m perfectly okay with it so long you clean up once in a while. How to organize the closet: The cleaning routine is the same as we saw for the master bedroom: EMPTY – DUST – SORT…

Ready for Day 1 of the 30-minute Diwali cleaning challenge? Today, we start with the master bedroom closet. Closets can be a  pleasure to watch the day they are cleaned and a nightmare on days when they resemble a dump yard. Depending on how many clothes you have, how big your closet is  and when was the last time you cleaned, this activity can either take 30 minutes or longer. If you can’t get to it all today, attend to the messiest part today; the rest will be a breeze. What you’ll need: Cleaning materials: A small cleaning bucket to…

Out with the old, in with the new. Isn’t that what Diwali is about? The festive season also sends many households into a cleaning frenzy. This was all new to me until I saw an adorable North Indian family that lived downstairs turn the house upside down over a week of Diwali cleaning: that’s where I learned about this ritual and even though we don’t do clean as rigorously during Diwali, the habit has stayed with me over the years. All the cleaning was quite stressful on the women with everything from fans to spoons getting a shine. when I…

Wondering if I missed a digit in the headline? Should it have been 10 cleaning habits or 11? No, you read it right. This one habit I came across in a list a few days ago has transformed my life for the better, and it’s only right that I share it with you all. I subscribed to Elle Decor’s feed on Facebook and often find their cleaning/organizing lists useful. One such list was titled 11 daily habits to keep a house clean and tidy. The title piqued my interest. Now, I am not a cleaning fanatic and you are less…

I have taken off a few days from work. This break has been good, rejuvenating, and most importantly, given me the time to work on several home projects that I had put off for years. So every day, I have been working on a home improvement project; it’s refreshing, and raring to go back to work. The project I worked on today was to restore a Ganesha wood statue. We bought this Ganesha statue at an exhibition in Safina Plaza in 2004 on Ganesh Chaturthi day; it wasn’t planned. We LOVE the statue and would never to part away with…

Hard water. Lime scales. That’s the hard fact. Be it in Bangalore, or anywhere in India. More often than not, the task or obsession of keeping the taps sparkling clean falls on me. House helps are not obsessed about it. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a clean bathroom. Over the years, I have learnt one secret and one ingredient that works wonders. Ready to know? The best part is it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. That one ingredient is LEMON. Any citrus fruit works but lemon works best. Our fridge is always stocked with lemons as lemonade is…

There were two store tours on my list, and I chose Ikea. You’ve read about the baskets before.

Who doesn’t love Ikea, and who doesn’t like affordable storage solutions? I’d never been to an Ikea store before, so it was on top of my list during last month’s visit to U.S. I happened to visit two Ikea stores. Not such a big fan of their furniture, but their organizing and cast-iron cookware section is another story.  Going by news source, it will be another two years before Ikea opens its first store in Noida/Gurgaon (I’m not sure which one as the job postings say Gurgaon).

So, here is a virtual tour until then…less of words ..more of pictures. The highlight, of course, is a beautiful, well-planned 390 sq. ft home with a kitchen, living/entertaining section, bed and a bath.

Black Magic: a summer setting at the entrance of every store.

summer

Every store has a small model home. The stores around Los Angeles had a 390 sq. ft set up. I couldn’t believe my eyes it was this small and kept going around in circles ..you know enter through the kitchen and exit out of the bedroom and again enter through the kitchen. Funny and crazy, I know…but I just wanted to take it all in. A real example of small is beautiful. This is the entryway leading into the kitchen followed by the living section at the back…390 sq ft home in ikea

To the side of the kitchen is the bedroom; adjacent to the living and bed is a small bath. As you can see, the bedroom has ample storage on the top.

bed bath storage

For the amount of praise that’s going to come Good Homes’ way, it’s only fair that I begin this post with a caveat: this is neither a sponsored post nor am I associated in any way with BBC Good Homes. Now, tell me, have you run through the March edition of Good Homes? Yes? You beat me to it :( If not, do it now. I just flipped through the pages, and can’t get enough of it. It’s a keeper if you are planning to renovate your kitchen, moving into a new home, looking for ways to organizing your kitchen efficiently all the time (like me!)..phew! isn’t that basically anyone who spends at least 10 minutes a day in the kitchen. And, I’m guessing that would be you!

On this trip, Ikea/all the home stores were on the top of my go-to list before the touristy stuff. I made a board on Pinterest of the things I need to buy that you don’t get easily in India – stuff like peg boards, shelf organizers and such. Imagine my delight when my wishlist gets translated into one issue of Good Homes of all the things I have been dreaming of.

What do you think of this white kitchen? For me, it may be a bit too much to handle, but I totally love it. How about you?

Isn’t this cute kitchen tool guide illustrated well?

tools

This has to be the longest search ever for baskets. From @ Home to Hyper City and M.K. Retail to Total and Safina Plaza (in the hope there may be some exhibition) to FabIndia, I’ve been everywhere. And still looking. Total, Hyper City and M.K. Retail all carry the same type of baskets (beige and brown) of about the same sizes with little variation in prices. HomeTown has the Whitmor brand that I quite liked for its sturdiness. The dimensions fit perfectly what I’m looking for; it would be a neat fit in the closet. Aah..if only the price was…

Can you guess how old these flowers are? Four days. Yep, four days. And, will last probably for another three days going by last two weeks’ experience. Want to know the trick? The resident florist (read: the husband) buys me fresh flowers every week, or let’s just say there are always fragrant rajnigandhas and these colorful beauties in the home. I used to add just a dash of sugar to keep them fresh and they would stay for about three days, after cutting the stem in running water by an inch every other day.  A few days ago, I added…