This is to all women who are just happy to be at home thinking we are making our family happy. Unless you seriously have excuses to be a home maker, it’s not a good option. It’s better to realize earlier than later.
Most women are always happy to cook good food for their family, clean the kitchen and decorate and tidy their home. I am one of them. I am always super obsessed to organize, clean, cook and checkout my shining floor every day and keep it the same way in and out. I am that home maker who is satisfied and happy to see her family’s happy faces end of the day.
It is absolutely nice to make your family happy but what if we could make money from our good qualities. They will be more than happy. If we are very good at a particular thing we should try to monetize our expertise in which ever field it may be. While it doesn’t count how much money it is! It surely counts that you monetize from what you are really good at.
Benefits of monetizing
Basically earning from your hobby, interests, talent, skills or any other expertise you have, will boost your self confidence to the next level.
People automatically respect you.
Your every suggestion/ opinion is well heard and taken into consideration.
You are in a bigger social network which keeps you abreast with current happenings around.
It eventually makes you smarter.
You are praised for every effort taken at work and home.
You get motivated to do better by the income you get.
All your efforts are seen /noticed by others if you monetize what you do. Till the time they are not monetized every work you do is taken for granted.
Just the thought of extra income uplifts our mood.
Its always good to be a financial back up support for your partner.
You will realize the effects once you start off. It doesn’t matter how much you earn. It matters how well you stand among the crowd!
I decided to write this article when I realized that, what things I find simple to understand may be really difficult for someone else to understand and it is vice versa too.
After writing a book on home organization, I came across so many people asking me, how can we organize when we do not understand the concept of where to keep things and what does it mean by everything should have a place. They grew up in a household where these concept did not exist. Everything was just lying here and there and tidying for them meant bundling and shifting items from one place to another. So, reading or watching on social media about how to organize items at home did not help them much. That’s when it struck me to clarify the most basic thing in order to optimize the organization style.
No worries, it is as simple as my DFO method.
Place for everything means you should, before buying think where you are going to keep that item in the house. For example. You want to buy a hair dryer or a dish washer. The question you can ask for yourself is, Do you have a space to keep it in the house? That’s it.
And everything has a place means, when you are organizing your items at home, you keep them in their place. For example. The hair dryer should be kept in place where you have decided to keep after you purchased it. The things you buy should have a home in your home to call its own.
Other simple things such as if you want to buy a baby tricycle. Do you have a space to keep it ? Once you decide to keep it in a particular place.. buy it. This way you get the answer for the first part. (A place for an item)
After the baby is done with the cycling, you can tidy up the room by keeping tricycle in the assigned space. The answer to the second part. (An item in its place)
So, whenever anyone says organize and keep in place means to keep in the appropriate assigned place. An in depth answer to Place for everything and Everything in its place is given in my book Secret of home organization. You will know how easily you can find your things by keeping them in the right place by the DFO method and much more.
Hope this article helped you a bit and let me know if you have any queries regarding the same.
1- Remove artefacts, décor items from the shelfs of the living room if you don’t have a maid to dust them regularly or you don’t have time to do it yourself. Keep limited home décor which you can maintain yourself or you can assign someone to do it.
2- Keep all TV remotes, pens, an emergency list of phone numbers handy. It should be at a place near the sofa where you regularly sit in the living room.
3- Keep daily incoming newspapers under the centre table where you usually sit for easy access. Once they are a bundle, you can shift them outside your home in the shoe cabinet to give it away to the papervala.
4- Don’t use oversize chandeliers because of the trend around. In fact, a sleek horizontal one gives a larger outlook to your ceiling.
5- Keep all frequently needed tiny items which you need regularly in the drawers under your TV unit in a cabinet. eg: Batteries, extension cord, chargers, stationery, envelops etc.
6- Don’t keep throws, stroll or a cloth crumpled on the sofa just because it is a style going viral on the social media. Check what suits your daily routine work, maintenance, your home décor and most important your style.
7- Don’t keep the living room overloaded with home decors just because everyone is doing it.
A-See if you can maintain it
B-Check if you can afford it.
C-Analyse if the décor piece is cohesive with the other colour palettes of the living room.
D-Check whether it compliments your other interior decor.
8- Do not hang too many large pieces on each wall of the living room as they make the room size look smaller.
9- Keep carry bags in a cabinet or hang them near the living room exit door. Even though you feel this is a small tip, it is a very valuable one as we forget most of the time to pick up carry bags and end up buying new ones all the time. This again accumulates in our homes.
10- During winter or rainy season keep umbrellas, raincoats, fur coats near the living room exit door in a cabinet or make space outside the door in the shoe rack so that you don’t forget to pick them up. This will also avoid occupying a space in the living room.
11- Keep Sanitizer /door, car keys and any other coupons and a pen near the living room exit door so that they are handy when you need them, while leaving for work. All the above will just need a small space near the door, however keeping them in the main living area will attract clutter on daily basis.
12- Don’t use dark shade of paint, they again make the room look smaller and also you will need too many lights to make the room look bright and spacious.
13- Use a cohesive pastel colour palette for the living room so that the room looks bigger, brighter and creates a soothing calm atmosphere automatically.
14- Lastly add a dash of bright color of plant whether natural or artificial, your choice, to give that extra touch of freshness and positivity at all times.
Sometimes a simple minimalist home gives greater positive vibes than an overly decorated one.
Indian homes have mostly items of minimum 3 generations and this is where the problem of hoarding starts. We live in a culture where we stay with our parents and grandparents. It is good to stay with them to learn many life skills, culture and for love and support however almost all homes have material collection of things of each generation which no one wants to let go off. The first generation keeps it so that the second generation can use it. The second generation doesn’t like used things and they buy new products of the market. This way they buy new stuff. The third generation too do not like old items and end up buying the newest items of the market. This way there are utensils pots and pans majorly of 3 generations which no one disposes of. Some items and things are not removed because of respect to the elders, some are not removed due to sentimental value of each person of the house and many are not removed because nobody wants to let go off and take responsibility of throwing it away. This way the whole house is full of 80 percent items which are not used at all. The house is never tidy and the mess keeps growing by the day.
The problem can be solved if everybody comes to a median solution. For eg:
Everyone let go off few things they don’t like.
Everyone let go off few things they like but do not use now.
Everyone let go off few things of sentimental value that the next generation will not use in any circumstances.
Everyone let go off those few favorite things which can be bought even now anytime if they need it again.
Every one let go off few things which has lost its value in the market due to new products.
And everyone let go off few favorite items which are not multipurpose in today’s world. Eg kitchen appliances, an opener, peeler, a cutter etc.
This solution will bring down much of your unwanted items which are piled up due to previous generations.
Do you have any other solution for such generational clutter?
Most Indian families usually store grains for the whole year in large quantities. Buying in bulk reduces cost and also saves the headache of purchasing every month. However storing the grocery like pulses, grains, lentil’s is a bigger issue than the cost of buying it. One has to take great care so that the grocery doesn’t get infested with pests, insects and fungus due to humidity. There are few chemical powders when mixed with grains can prevent from such infestations however if the grains are not washed properly before consumption can become harmful to us.
Listed below are good home remedies to protect grains for the whole year. These are our daily used spices and few other items which are excellent in keeping bugs away.
Proper sunlight for grains is the most important and absolute necessity if they are to be stored for the whole year.
Keep in airtight containers to avoid moisture and pests attacking grains.
Do not buy chemical laden tablets to protect grains. It will be harmful for you if grains are not washed properly before consuming.
Dried neem leaves are widely used as an insecticide. It is harmless and a cheap and effective solution to prevent insects. It also absorbs moisture from grains effectively. It is mostly used by women in rural areas.
Charcoal wrapped in cloth is also used for saving from humidity in rural areas.
There are many other easy options if you want to store for 3 to 4 months. They are as follows.
Mix 3 to 4 cloves for 1 kg
Lentils, pulses, daals and rice
Mix 3 to 4 bay leaves in 5 kg grains/ Dalchini sticks /Neem leaves
Add one teaspoon of salt /asofoetida (hing)/turmeric powder/ black salt
Moong dal/ semolina(rawa) /peanuts / sevaiya
Roast properly, let it cool, apply castor oil and keep in airtight container
Even if there are numerous solutions to prevent insects and fungus on grains, it is not a necessity to buy in bulk as everything is available 24/7 now. Limited buying will occupy less space, less money and also less work for you to go through the process of drying the grains and keeping it safe for the whole year.
Above are easy and cheap home remedies for protecting grains at home.
This is super easy to make summer drink to keep your body cool, hydrated and full of energy. You can make it and freeze it for months to use as a drink. It has sweet and tangy taste with tinge of cardamom flavour. It is made during the mango season, which is the summer season in India.
So let’s get started.
Kairi or raw mango – 250 gms
Jaggery – 450 gms
Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Buy kairi (raw, firm, green coloured mangoes). The raw mangoes should be sour in taste for the drink, so do not buy soft ones.
We can replace sugar for jaggery here. If you add sugar, take a little lesser quantity. Sometimes the mangoes are very sour. You can increase or decrease the quantity of sweetness as per your taste. You can also add saffron strands for orange colour and taste. It is optional.
Wash the kairi and boil in a cooker for 4 to 5 whistles.
Once cooled, peel off the cover and separate the pulp from the pit/seed.
Grind the pulp with jaggery, salt and cardamom powder together to make a smooth fine paste.
Add chilled water and mix it to make a cool refreshing drink.
For half cup of ready pulp, pour 1 and ½ cup of chilled water. You can change the ratio as per your liking. This pulp can be kept in freezer for about 6 months. Whenever you need just add chilled water, ice cubes and have it. That’s it.
My mom in law and husband loves it very much, so every summer we have this juice ready to drink at home.
The main aim of grocery listing is to not waste food, time and energy. However, the kitchen should have all the grocery which you will need for a month. Some women like to bring grocery as it finishes while some like to bring it for a month or two. I prefer to buy it for a month. Few staple items are always better to buy more in quantity to overlap, if by chance you are late to pickup grocery for the next month.
Whenever there is a party at home or a festival around, we need to buy more quantity. Preferably keep this extra bought grocery in a separate box for 2 reasons. First the menu is different for the parties and even during festivals, so the grocery list is going to be different than usual. Secondly, by keeping it this way it does not affect our monthly grocery calculations.
You can make your own list by answering the following questions. So let’s start. First of all, know your basics: Understand what grocery you actually use day in and out?
Here the grocery list will have few steps like.
Which main cuisine do you make throughout the month?
What is the menu for each day?
Which ingredients are needed to prepare the menu each day?
What is the quantity you needed for the items you prepared each day?
When you finish writing for the whole month, you will find most ingredients are repeated. By this time you will have a rough idea of the quantity of ingredients you will need for the whole month.
It’s ok here and there. By doing this for just a month or two you will approximately get what your family size needs in a month. Also at the end, you will magically have a ready menu for the whole month from breakfast to dinner. You will be sorted with two things: the menu for each day and the monthly grocery list.
You may find it time consuming but believe me once you do these steps you will be free of grocery listing forever. Just write down every day what you make at home. That’s it!
Below is just an example of how you can do it step wise. Example:
Which main cuisine do you make throughout the month?
What is the menu for each day? Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Make this list for 30 days. Please do not write at one go. Write it each day literally as the day ends. This helps to know what you actually make each day of the month.
roti/ bhindi sabji
roti/ moth bean
rice and daal
Which ingredients are needed for the menu each day?Write it each day as you write the menu above.
red chiili powder
split black gram
Ready Pan cake mixture
chhole masala powder
What is the quantity you needed for the items you prepared each day?This is just rough estimate for the day 1 menu.
Day 1 ingredients
one fourth spoon
2 cups – 10 rotis
one fourth cup
This way your whole month’s menu, the quantity and recipe also gets done easily. Your grocery list is done for ever. Perishable items are not written such as bread, onion, potatoes etc as you will need to get them weekly. Now add each ingredients quantity till the end of month and you get your list. You don’t have to list it very accurately. Below is just an example of how you can write it at the end of month.
Ingredients you needed for the month
Qty for 1 month
Qty for 3 months
Qty for 6 months
1 small box
Split pigeon peas
red chilli powder
pan cake mix
I understand this sounds to be a very complex and may be irritating work especially for those who are not interested in cooking but believe me once the list is done you will save time, money, space and the frustrating process of making the monthly grocery list forever.
Write what menu you made at the end of each day only. This will take hardly 10 minutes time and the benefits will be much greater.
Mostly other than the staple food, different types of cuisines are rarely prepared at homes, so bring the quantity as you plan to make it. Do not buy bulk just because there is an offer. You may end up throwing it in the dustbin end of few months.
Keep this list forever copied in your excel sheet as we keep on getting same items from the super market. The brand may change but the ingredients and quantity you need will not change for 95 percent of the time.
I hope this will give you a fair idea of how much grocery is to be bought every month.