Monday, November 3, 2008

magazine wisdom....

k is forever accusing me of being very hackeneyed and boring....headings for my posts....captions for pictures on social networking sites...even the name os my blog.... etc.... i am ignoring him....

now that i have that out of the way....onto some magazine wisdom... i dont know how else to put it.... really cool stuff i learnt from years of reading home and decor magazines.... somewhere i think i mentioned i was a home decor magazine junkie.... no?? i have.... i have been lapping up goodhousekeeping and be
tter homes and gardens since they launched in india.... and occassionally some others off the check out counter in the supermarket...while i wait to be billed for my shopping (marketers of magazines... you have your product placement bang on!!)

while everywhere there are tips to help us organise our lives, homes and person....these are a few that have worked for me.... so in no particular order are the following life lessons that have always been one of the three: time saving / nerve calming / pretty awesome 

Random : Around the house
  • i put flowers / leaves in empty bottles/ glasses/ vases... they can be wild flowers from the garden, coleus... anything... it perks up the room instantly
  • to extend the life of wilting flowers by cutting the stem off close to the end of the bloom and putting it in a shallow bowl/ deep saucer/ urli
  • this is a one in a million..... i dont know about you, but i hate it when bathroom mirrors fog stop your bathroom mirrors from fogging up, rub it with a little shampoo / liquid soap on a soft cloth.... its unbelieveable!! repeat every other week
  • soak up a soft cloth in a few drops of coconut oil and water and rub polished wooden furniture with it... gives it an instant new life
  • to tidy up in a hurry ... like when friends call to say they're around the corner and will pop in: put stuff that does'nt belong in that room into a pillow case/ plastic bag and stow away...this way you dont have to bother about finding a place to keep them... just bag like a dream... if you are bothered about the mess enough to clean up that is.... and dont make a habit of piling up filled pillow cases...then you've completely lost the plot.
  • the pillow cas clutter management also works when you need to empty out cupboards/ drawers and dont know where to put the stuff. put it all into a pillow case and just empty it out when you need to. this way, if you need all the stuff to stay does. when i had to empty out 5 whole wardrobes recently while we had woodwork being done....this was a lifesaver
  • it is good sense to always have a book handy to write down stuff: lists, reminders, to do's
  • spend 5 mins a day, at anytime, to tidy up / put away 5 items that do not belong in the room/ on the table / fridge / wardrobe.... its kind of like "a stitch in time" and goes a loooong way
  • store bedsheets along with matching pillow cases. saves time and energy when you want to change them... you wont go on a wildgoose chase... picking up just one pile at a time
  • i use this thumbrule of organising and getting rid of clutter: if you dont use / need something you have put away in a box/ bag for 3 months, you wont EVER need it...there's your cue to sorting out stuff and guiltlessly throwing away horded stuff... that includes stacked up books and magazines!!
In the Kitchen:
  • set the table and serve food in pretty crockery... it immediately makes it look and feel better (i have a lot of inexpensive khurja ceramic crockery which i use daily, they can be used in the microwave, so heating leftovers isnt an issue)
  • ALWAYS boil enough dal to last atleast 3 meals....freeze as individual portions
  • chop veggies all at one go....preferably after you buy them and store in plastic bags / boxes... life is pretty chaotic without having to deal with veggies to chop after a long hard day at work
  • chop tomatoes and zap in the microwave for 4-5 mins.... cool, puree and pour into ice trays to freeze.... remove and store in a bag in the freezer.... dals, gravies, i come!!
  • better still double the quantities of any gravy, freeze and store
  • scraped fresh coconut stays good in the freezer for 2-3 months as opposed to in the fridge for 2 days
  • its good to keep instant food for emergencies....but reaching for it three times a week is one too many emergencies!!
  • making a meal plan for the week saves you the hassle of racking your head (whilst stuck in the veggie tray) about what to make for dinner / breakfast (multiply the same four times and you have a plan for the whole month)
  • impose a "no more buying" till you finish groceries in your better than tossing them out after they've crossed their best by dates
  • grouping things together according to category / end product for storage makes life easier.... all baking stuff including dishes, electric mixer and decorations/sprinkles..... all kinds of pasta with spices.... 
  • never have more than 5 takeaway containers at a time.... toss them out once they exceed 5 in number 
  • home made cookies and cakes, jams, chutneys etc make for great personalised gifts
Phew!! thats a lot of gyan!! so i am going to stop!! 


Raaga said...

Thanks... I do a lot of the things you mentioned... I could do a lot more. Like the fogging up solution... what about hair and skin.

Rupa said...

Hey Anu,

Totally loved this post. Its a keeper and will be revisited.Such posts help amateur's like me to a great great extent.
Whats the last one with hair and skin, Is it going to be another post altogether?
And about flowers in urlis/bottles etc.. I agree totally...I am a urli maniac ..if there is such a term..
I love floating flowers..all kinds in everything and anything..sometimes also in steel utensils...the minute I set my eyes on any container all I can imagine is flowers and water in them...and if no flowers I just float obsessed about this...and I love it...


Nandita said...

loved this post, want to see more of such that khurja pottery pic one of your collection? if yes, its huge!!! Liked the coconut oil in water idea, will try it on my sheesham cupboard thats looking quite dull nowadays.

Do write more such stuff, honestly!

Always A said...

raaga, rupa and nandita: thanks for the responses.... i didnt expect this post to actually get comments!! glad you liked it!!

rupa: yeah i love flowers in steel too... like the chombu we used to use for water... they look great!!

nandita: nope that's not my collection. it was taken at shilparamam...where after taking the picture i proceeded to buy an obscene number of them!!