Eid Al Adha being a time of celebration and new beginnings, preparing your home is an important task and doing it in steps will help you get through all of it in less than a day. And if you are having a party or a get-together at home, cleaning after the celebration will be a breeze with the right methods.
1. Prep and discard
The first thing to do is discarding useless items from every room in the house. Detergent bottles that are almost empty, broken forks and spoons, cartons you never use, broken stools, chairs and other furniture are just a few of the items that you might find lying around. Strip off all sheets and covers of furniture. Re-arrange every drawer and cupboard and also use two cartons or bags – one for things to be thrown away and the other for useful and undamaged items that you don’t need anymore. Fold away drying racks and stow empty bags and plastic carriers.
After this, sweep the room thoroughly and don’t forget to dust windows, sills and tops of cupboards. Use microfibre towels for TVs and other appliances. Do this for every room before using a mop and disinfectant to finish off the cleaning. Clean the bathroom last, so you can do the laundry and wash off before walking back into your newly cleaned rooms.
Remember the bag in which you put useful undamaged items that you no longer needed or used? Sort through these and find which ones are suitable for donation. If you have good clothes that you don’t wear or blankets, drop them off the municipality donation boxes kept in various areas of the city. Electronic items that work can be given away if you know someone who needs it or sold to scrap-collectors for a nominal amount. If neither is an option, discard these safely.
After cleaning, replace the duvets, mats and other covers for your furniture. If possible, stick to a theme or a colour palette to make it look aesthetically appealing. Don’t forget to place table mats or take out new Eid-special ones.
5. Kid-proof all areas
If you are having young guests over or have young children, this is a great time to check that your house is safe for children to roam around in. Keep every item with pointy ends inside or away from the edges of tables or shelves. Close and lock a room if needed to ensure that kids don’t wander in and hurt themselves. Move tables and chairs away from doorways. Loop a thick towel across front and back door handles so that they don’t close unexpectedly.
6. Shopping list
Now to the fun part, here are a few items that will help keep your house fresh and enable easy cleaning.
Buy three or four candles with a calming scent such as lavender or saffron. Ensure that the smell is subtle as some adults and many children are often sensitive to scents that are too strong on the nose. Choose your favourite one for a post-Eid party soak as well!
Aaah! This may be hard, especially if you do this last-minute, as most people do. Here is our Eid-special guide on cool gifts to get for your loved ones. If you don’t have time, a box of chocolates, perfume, shawls or even home-made cards would do.
Crockery, plates and kitchenware
All that good food you cooked or ordered needs to be served up in style. Buying beautiful kitchenware is a good investment, as any homemaker will tell you. Before you leave home, make a list of things you absolutely need, so you don’t buy anything you don’t need.
For parties or get-togethers for more than 5 people it is best to use disposable plates, cups and cutlery. This makes cleaning easier and puts your guests at ease as well. For desserts and beverages, you can pre-serve in disposable bowls or glasses.
Cloth and paper towels
The worst time to run around screaming for one single clean towel is when you are having a party. And we all know how these cheeky towels like to disappear. Stock up on good quality hand towels, kitchen towels and boxes of paper towels.
Large garbage bags
You would need maybe one or two large garbage bags for your post-party clean up. They are useful as they don’t fill up too soon and allow you to go through the entire house with just one.
7. Getting ready
Arrange and store all the things you shopped. After you get ready, light one or two scented candles as you wait for your guests. Keep these well away from any edges and at enough height to prevent kids accidentally toppling them over. A little music, the scent and cool clean air-conditioned rooms – all your guests need when they walk in from the humid hot parking lot.
8. Clean-up and dust down
Give each room a cursory walk-through as you straighten sheets or pick up cups. Take a towel with you and wipe off any spills or dirt. Put all your used plates (disposables) in a garbage bag and toss. In a tub or bucket of hot water or in your sink, soak your kitchenware in soap. Stash your candles to be used later. Before you crash, ensure that the gas and the lights are off.