Get your home ready for Eid
With the heat and the various construction projects around town making the commutes even more horrendous than usual, this has not been an easy Ramadan. With shopping to finish, iftar to make and zakaat to sort out, you’ll be forgiven if you haven’t had the time to give your home a do-over for the festival season. However, with a few days left for the holidays, here is our room-by-room guide with more than a few quick fixes to help you make sure your abode is ready to welcome guests during Eid.
Stock up list
Before the banks and stores close, be sure to stock up on the following items:
Sugar, milk/creamer, and tea/coffee,
Cooking oil and spices,
Some ready-made snacks like nuts, biscuits, and puffed rice,
Fresh fruits and veggies,
Toilet paper, hand soap and air freshener, and
Paper napkins (disposable plates and cups optional).
This way, should there be a powercut or a gas/water shortage or any reason why you’re unable to cook, you’ll be able to serve some refreshments to your guests anyway, and that they’re able to refresh themselves.
The entrance is the first thing about your home that the guest will see, so this has to be a warm, welcoming space. Putting out a small mat near the door, and a small console table with space underneath to stash shoes if your home has a shoes-off policy will make this ritual less of a hassle. Add a mirror and maybe some fresh flowers in a vase on top of the console will tie in the whole thing.
You can also light some scented candles or incense sticks to greet the guests with a hospitable fragrance.
Ideally, give this place a deep clean 4-5 days before Eid. You’ll be running around with other chores so you don’t want to be stressing out about this on the day of. Tossing in some bright new accent cushions can really refresh the look without taking too much effort.
Give the sitting room a final clean and tidying the night before, so that on Eid day, you can get by with a light dusting of the exposed surfaces, put in a fresh floral arrangement and/or mood lighting, and you’re ready to party.
If you have a sit-down meal planned, then busting out the party placemats and coasters is a good way to give your dining table an instant update. You’ll want to have the plates and crockery washed and ready by Chand Raat so that you can lay out the table quickly on Eid day.
If you’re going for a buffet arrangement, a nice bright table runner provides just the right dash of dressiness.
This place can be chaos on Eid day, and since it is likely that the domestic help will be on holiday, you want to minimize the time you’ll be spending here. Be sure to give your refrigerator a deep clean 3-4 days prior to Eid; there is a good chance you’ll have guests walk in to cram the dish they bought, so you want to present a clean fridge.
Having the meat dishes and curries cooked the night before takes a lot of the pressure off; you just have to contend with the rice/pulao/parathas, and fresh salads. Another advantage of cooking the messy stuff the night before is that you can clean the stove as soon as you’re done and have them gleaming on Eid Day.
At least 2-3 days before Eid, make sure all the plumbing and fittings are working properly. The day before Eid, give the bathroom a deep clean, clear out the wastebasket, and de-personalize the space, ie, if you have any of your own usual toiletries, or laundry hanging around there, take it out of the bathroom. If you want to add a festive touch, you can place a small potted succulent over the water tank on the toilet, or hang a pretty print on the walls for a splash of colour.
Fill a large bucket of water, keep it covered, and have it on standby with a handy plastic mug ready, just in case there is a water shortage.
On Eid morning, place fresh towels on the rack, put in a fresh toilet roll, and give it a good spray of air freshener, and the bathroom is ready and welcoming.
You can actually clear this up a few days ahead. Remember to change the sheets, throw on a fresh bedcover, and, as with the guest bathroom, de-personalize the room as far as possible. If there are closets, lock them. Put your valuables and breakables out of reach of children and clumsy adults. If you have enough time and energy at hand, a quick way to add a touch of newness to the room, consider adding some abstract art on the walls, or swapping out the existing art for some bright new prints, and throw some bright accent pillows and throws onto the bed.
The day before Eid, give the room a final clean so that on Eid day, you can just give the surfaces a quick dusting and spray some room deodorant, and it’s ready for guests.