It’s time to throw the dried flowers, and pack the lamps, says Teja Lele Desai
The festival of lights has come and gone, and it’s time to get back to normalcy. The festive spirit may remain in the air, but that’s no reason why your home and spaces need to reel under a festive hangover.
Try these ways to give your home a Diwali detox and get it in shape for the party season:
1. Go over the entire home and all your spaces — the balconies and yards — with an eagle eye. Remove all the dried flowers hanging on the door and window frames, the floral rangolis, and the coloured ones drawn on the floor.
2. Collect all the diyas that are staggered around the home. Soak them in soapy water, wash clean and let dry. Put them all into a cardboard box and store safely. Next year, you don’t need to buy new ones. Just get down this box from storage and get started.
3. In case you’ve got any leftover rangoli, there’s no need to trash it. Get the bags together, pop into another cardboard box and tape shut. This goes with the box of diyas, but don’t forget to label them. There’s no need to buy so much rangoli the next year!
4. There’s no need to take down all the fairy lights. A couple of strands can stay through the party season and till New Year’s day. Make sure you dispose all the lights that aren’t working and put away the rest in a spot where you keep your party supplies such as T-lights.
5. Before the festival of lights, you tend to go into a candle and candle stand overdrive, bringing out all those that you have to create special Diwali vignettes. Keep a few that you think you need, but put away the rest.
6. Oily lamps can leave stains on floors and parapet walls, and make the surface sticky and grimy. A mix of baking soda and vinegar applied on the sticky spots for half an hour and then scoured will help get rid of them fast.
7. If you chose to use stick-on rangolis in the balconies, it’s time to get them off. If it peels and leaves behind some remnants, pour a solution of water and vinegar and let sit for a few hours. Use an old kitchen steel scrubber to scrub clean.
8. Take stock of the kitchen and the many packets of sweets, dry fruits, and chocolates you received. Give away all that you won’t consume and bottle the things that you do want. Organise your shelves well so that you can find the almonds when you want them.
9. It may also be a good time to prep some of the dry fruits into homemade chocolates or shavings ready to toss on ice cream or cake. Christmas isn’t far off and having dry fruits ready to dunk into rum will make baking that year-end cake easier.
10. Diwali is a time for gifting and you are sure to have received a pile of them. Don’t stuff them all into your cupboard willy-nilly. Take some time out to figure out what you don’t need and put those gifts away. Some gifting needs over the year have been taken care of, so there.
11. Changing all the bed sheets, bedcovers, and cushion covers after Diwali will give the home a cheerful new look. Add some fresh flowers or greens in glasses and bottles and you won’t feel that let-down that comes after a loved festival comes and goes.
12. The pre-Diwali bonhomie has you cleaning up every closet, cupboard and surface with double the energy you normally would expend. Make sure you don’t let go of this steam — small steps every day mean a clean and clutter-free home through the year.
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