Party on! Tips to help keep your house party ready!

Who doesn’t love a good party? And throwing a great party, which will make you go down in history with your friends as the ‘host of the most incredible soirées’,  takes a fair amount of planning and effort. Prepping for and cleaning up after a big night can deter some from wanting to host a get together at their homes.  Spills, dirty dishes, broken glasses, cigarette butts and crumpled napkins strewn about can take a few hours of dealing with after the do, and a few days of recovery! Based on experience and post-party cleanup exhaustion, here are a few tips to make throwing a party a little easier on you and your house!

  • Save the glassware!
    Pretty curios and decorative items look great, but can be in danger around exuberant guests. Keep anything fragile, especially glass items, far away from the bar or from places where they might break. Many of us have tried to keep smiling through a guest’s apologies over a broken vase while mentally screaming “That was an heirloom from my grandmother!!”.  It’s also recommended if possible to use stemless glassware, which is less likely to topple over.

 

  • Where there is red, make sure there’s white
    Keep white wine handy always. If you have a red wine spill dab it with white wine to do as much damage control as possible. It’s wise to not have any carpets or rugs around the bar area, and if using table cloths or cloth napkins, throw them into the washing machine to soak overnight when the party is done.

 

  • Oh those dishes!
    If it’s a large party we do have the luxury of having a marketplace full of fancy disposable cutlery and crockery. There are enough options that aren’t tacky and also several ecofriendly ones, which are biodegradable making it easier and not to forget, trendier, because green is always good!  But if you are using your own dishes, have a designated area like a small table, for guests to leave their plates and glasses. Leave coasters around so that people place their drinks on them.

 

  • Trash it
    A large bin or box with a liner in the kitchen area or near the bar will help guests empty any bottle caps, napkins or disposable tablewear straight into the trash, rather than leaving it around.  Keep small plates around the area so that guests can leave toothpicks and used napkins on them. It helps when cleaning up later!

 

 

  • Smelling good!
    1) Use lilies or any other flowers around the house. They look beautiful and smell great.
    2) Once the work in the kitchen is over and to get rid of food odours – boil cinnamon sticks with vanilla essence in water on a low flame so the fragrance travels through the house. Orange essence instead of vanilla is great too!
    3) Use essential oils through a diffuser to keep the house smelling great through the party.

 

  • Don’t get bitten
    With balcony doors open and people trooping in and out, it’s likely that the mosquito brigade will also choose to gatecrash. Light up some IRIS incense sticks to keep them out.

 

 

 

 

  • Flowerpots aren’t ashtrays
    Rather than letting smokers look around for somewhere to ash their cigarettes or stub them out in your potted plants, make sure you place ashtrays around so that the ash doesn’t end up on the floor or stubs aren’t thrown over a balcony!

 

We hope some of these tips are helpful. Till our next post!

Shagun

Going out of town? 6 ways to keep your house clean while away

An escape from our daily routines and housework is always welcome. Oh, to be away on a beach or on a driving holiday or up in the mountains to recharge ourselves. But then you come back and there have been 3 dust storms while you’ve been away, a group of pigeons have taken up permanent residency in your terrace and what is that funky smell? Your vacation high can come crashing down instantly on entering a home that’s been locked up for a prolonged period. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We have a few tips to help you holiday-proof your home, so that doing your homework on return doesn’t make you want to take flight as soon as you open the door.

Do you smell something?

Empty the trash cans and wash them and leave them out in the balcony so they don’t leave any putrid smells around the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon and spice and all things nice

Clear your kitchen counters and leave a few cloves and cinnamon sticks in a corner so that they emit their natural fragrance.

 

 

 

 

 

Say no to rings

Put a cap full of chlorine in your toilet bowl so that a ring doesn’t form from the standing water.

 

 

 

 

 

Shut them down

Keep doors and windows firmly shut and pull down all your curtains and blinds. If you have balconies consider putting chicks on them. They look attractive and also help to keep your home cool while you are in or away.

 

Periodic cleaning

If you can get someone to come in to clean once every two weeks, especially vacuum it’s an added bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

Cover up

Put covers on your sofas and furniture to help protect upholstery from the dust that will creep in.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you find this information helpful.

Until our next post. Happy to #DoYourHomework

Shagun

Appreciating your employees – 5 things we’re doing

The entrepreneurial journey is, as expected, far from easy. Along with the highs, there are enough lows to make you want to give it all up. But picking oneself up, dusting yourself off and going on is important.  The learning is always constant. And what is one of the main things we have learned along the way? Employee appreciation, motivating, skilling and valuing our employees. This not only leads to employee retention, but also leads to them producing great quality work, the cornerstone of our business. Many of our customers return to us for this very reason, they appreciate our hardworking, polite and conscientious team, who provide quality services. Here are a few ways in which we are trying to cultivate and develop our team.

 

 

 

 

 


Skill Development

Though everyone does have designated roles – housekeeping, carpenters, painters, and so on, we do encourage and equip our team to learn from the other roles and develop their skills in different areas. For example, one of our team leads actually started as a member of our housekeeping staff, but showed an aptitude to motivate his mates and be a good team leader. We encouraged this in him. He was soon helping us source and train manpower for commercial sites, and when we finally started the renovation arm of our business, he stepped up to manage the teams.  Someone may start out as a painter, but we also encourage them to learn some of the other work like carpentry, allowing them to multi-skill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards

A little friendly competition never hurt anyone.  We have two different types of awards. The annual awards to rewards various members of the team on overall performance, but we also have monthly awards. The latter is based on client feedback for staff members that we receive through feedback forms or for exemplary work done by a staff member that a client brings to our attention personally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raises

This isn’t necessarily restricted to once a year. If a particular function, like our turnkey services or carpentry services is doing well, we give our team a raise sometimes 2-3 times a year.  Everyone gets to share in the success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Days

Once a year we do a fun evening or day for the staff, where they can let their hair down and have some fun. We also do an evening out once every six months with our adminstrative and management team. Celebrating festivals together, like the Diwali puja ceremony at the office, is also encouraged for all the team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leading by example

No strolling in late and leaving the work to be done by only our team leaders. Our MD is at work at 8 AM every morning, getting an overview of everything that needs to be done and briefing the staff before they go on their separate ways to different sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope we can continue to develop, motivate and make our team feel valuable and understand their worth. Only when they feel motivated and appreciated, will they be able to provide the quality and professionalism that is the cornerstone of our business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Till our next post!

Happy to #DoYourHomework

Shagun

8 ways to recycle/re-use things around the house

Recycle or re-use. These are words that are and that need to stay trendy.  Or rather they need to become the norm. “Out with the old and in with the new” isn’t always the best advice, but this could be tweaked to let the “old become the new”. Rather than throwing things away, with a little creativity one can and should re-use household items, furniture and other bits and bobs to make the most of them. Here are Homework’s 8 ideas or suggestions on “old wine in new bottles”!

Put a ring on it

Most of us usually have an excess of curtain rings lying around, stashed in a drawer. String them on to a hanger and loop your scarves or ties through them to keep them from getting tangled. Great for an organized cupboard.

Paint it up

Bored with that old cabinet or chest of drawers? You can change its look with a new coat of paint, perhaps a distress look, get the handles changed and voila, that old eyesore can be the new statement piece in your living room!


Spray it

You can also spray paint stuff around the house to give them a bit of lift. For example with your planters. It’s great fun and a nice way to spend the day with your kids. Remember to put newspaper or a tray around anything you are spray painting. Go wild!

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect plating

We all have an incomplete set of plates. Most are broken but you love the pattern and don’t want to get rid of them. Get a hook put on the back of the plate/plates and hang them on a wall. If you have several you could  even do an accent wall with them. You could try the same with old spoons, or pans even.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t throw in the towel!

Old towels make for great mops so don’t throw them away, but cut them up and use them as a mop or duster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m never going to drink again!

We’ve all said that! But whether you stick with that resolution or not, you don’t have to throw away the bottles, or to be more specific, the empty bottles. Pretty bottles make for quirky vases, and can also be re-purposed as hanging lamps. Hang on to those Belvedere and Grey Goose bottles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a seat

If anyone in your family has been in the armed forces, they or you probably those old trunks.  Don’t throw them away. Be creative and make them into seating. Just buy some foam,  fix it on to the trunk, get some nice material of your choice and get an upholsterer to do this for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall to wall carpeting

Rugs or carpets don’t always work on the floor or perhaps you just have too many. You can always frame a pretty carpet and use it as a wall hanging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you liked some of these suggestions.

Till our next post!

Happy to #DoYourHomework

Shagun

Saving water while doing your homework

Today, March 22nd, is International World Water Day. Bangalore has featured on a list of the top 10 cities to be facing a Day Zero crisis, where taps could run dry. But this situation is actually the story in most places around our country. We need to make an effort to preserve our water. It may be a cliche, but every drop makes an ocean.

And as with almost everything, starting to practice something at home, can go a long way. In India, because of the high levels of dust that envelop our homes, swabbing, washing, and bathroom scrubbing is a part of most daily cleaning routines. And many of us do not realize how wasteful our domestic helps, and we, are being by using multiple buckets of water to swab the floors; leave the tap running full force while washing utensils; or dousing our bathrooms with water to clean the floors. Not only is it wasteful, but it is not an effective way to clean. Here are some of our tips to conserve water for a smarter and more effective cleaning routine.

  • Kick the bucket
    Instead of the traditional method of filling a bucket of water (or multiple buckets of water) , dunking your mop in and then swabbing the floors, we suggest a less messy and smarter way to clean. Fill a 1 liter spray bottle with two caps of Lizol or a cleaning solution of your choice and dilute it with water. Use a micro fibre mop, which is easily available online through places like Amazon. Choose one with a flat mop base rather than one with tassles.  Spray the cleaning solution on the mop, instead of the floor, and mop away. This helps to conserve water and does a lot of good for your floors. Sopping wet mops only end up spreading the dirt more and the water gets absorbed by the tiles, leading to your flooring becoming dull. Have a look at a video we did recently on floor cleaning.
  • Don’t drown your bathroom

Do not let your help splash the bathroom with buckets of water in an attempt to clean it. It is better to mop your bathroom as a part of your daily cleaning routine. Once a week, pick a bathroom and thoroughly clean the tiles. Make a baking soda and vinegar mixture as a cleaning solution. That should be the one day that you wash down your floor and wall tiles after using this cleaning solution.

Be smart about and aware of how you do your homework.  Being water wise will help us be water secure.

Till our next post!

Happy to #DoYourHomework

Shagun

5 ways we at Homework make your home renovation easier

Renovating your home can be a daunting prospect, with the impending upheaval to your routine and space being inconvenient and stressful. Our endeavour is to make this process as smooth and painless as possible.

Here are 5 things we do to help the project move methodically and efficiently:

1) Easy and constant communication: Technology has its uses and Whatsapp has proved to be an extremely effective way to give our clients regular updates. When we start a project we create a Whatsapp group which includes our client, the Project Manager, Purchase Manager, Team Leader, Colonel Surjit who heads our parent company (24×7 AM Services) and me. All updates are sent on this group, including sharing of photographs with our client so that they are aware of where we are at in the process.

We recently finished painting a house at IREO Uptown in Gurgaon. The owner of the flat is based in Mumbai and the fact that the entire team was online with him all through made it a seamless experience.

2) Shopping partners: Going out to shop for materials and accessories can be a long process. We assist by spending at least two days out in the market with our clients to help them choose the products they would like in their space.

We remodeled a kitchen for a client a few months ago. She had chosen a particular granite slab, but when we took her shopping and she saw her options she finally picked a beautiful deep maroon stone, which looked  stunning with the red and white cupboards in the kitchen.

3) Our team is truly our team: All our staff are on our payrolls and are trained manpower who have a professional attitude and listen to the brief carefully. Our customers have often said that they feel absolutely safe leaving their homes in our custody as our team is dependable.

4) We value your time: Projects that stretch endlessly with no definite timelines are regular complaints people have for most renovation jobs. We endeavour to hand over projects in time. If there are delays, they will only be for a few days, if at all.

5) Being transparent: We believe in clear and transparent communication. If something is going wrong, or we are running into an issue, we will be honest and open with you to find a suitable solution.

Looking to get some renovation work done? See what one of our clients has to say. Get in touch with us at 99537 70123,  8826875888, shagun.singh@homework.desi

Till our next post! Happy to #DoYourHomework

Shagun

Five tips to organize your wardrobe

We usually have more stuff than we need. We can get philosophical about the whole issue and consider minimalism and making do with less, making our lives simpler. But for those of us who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge and get rid of all the excess, we can try and be more organized with what we have. And in the process, you’ll probably find yourself getting rid of a few things you don’t need!

A good place to start – your wardrobe! Here are five suggested tips to help keep your cupboards organized and cleaner.

  1. Categorize, categorize, categorize

    You’re in a rush and you plunge into your wardrobe, surfacing with the kurta you are looking for along with a mismatched dupatta, and sans the churidar. It may sound like obvious advice, but stacking/hanging things together neatly will save you some time and space, not to mention a fashion faux pas.

  2. Put a ring on it

    It’s always the bits and bobs that get tangled up or consumed in the black hole of a wardrobe. Accessories deserve some space and care. Hanging up scarves on hangers using curtain rings is a great space saver and provides easy access to them when you need to accessorize.

  3. Divide and conquer

    A great way to keep your underwear organized is by using drawer dividers. Less mess, less things getting into a tangled heap, and it’s very satisfying to open your drawers (no pun intended!) to neatly segregated piles of underclothes, than a mangled heap of delicates! We ordered ours online from Amazon.

  4. As good as new

    We all have items of clothing that we wear only once in a while or only on a few occasions. Once you wear them and have them laundered, freshly ironed or dry-cleaned, that is the time to store them properly so they keep looking that way.  Stack your saris or other items of clothing that you may not use frequently with a sheet of butter paper or paper lining between each bit of clothing. That helps them from shifting or sliding, wrinkling, and keeps them looking as good as new.

  5. Take it to the cleaners

Clean your cupboards out once a month, where you change the liners whether newspaper or plastic. Keep as much of your clothing on hangers as is possible to help save space and keep the hanger hooks all facing in one direction. If stacking your clothes, it helps to keep them facing in one direction (for example: if stacking your collared shirts, keep all the collars facing the inside of your cupboard).  Keep little muslin/cloth bags with naphthalene balls in corners of the cupboard. Another great way to keep mustiness and silver fish away is to keep completely dried neem leaves either in little cloth bags in the corners of your shelves and drawers, or between the paper dividers between clothes not frequently used. For example in a stack of saris, place two sheets of lining paper between each sari. Between the two sheets of liner, place a few dried neem leaves. This will prevent the leaves from being in direct contact with the clothing and possibly staining them, but allows for them to work their magic!

Hope some of these tips help.

Till our next post!

Happy to #doyourhomework

Shagun

Welcome to the Homework blog!

We hope all of you are off to a good start in 2018. We certainly are. As we continue to service all the wonderful people in Delhi NCR who have helped us to grow in this region and prove our mettle, we decided to start doing some homework in Bangalore as well.  We are so pleased to announce the start of our Bangalore operations. Helmed by Suraj Rao, we initially started with paint services as we continued to get our team in place, training them up to ensure we provide the same quality and level of service that we provide in the Delhi NCR. We’re carrying out trial runs in Bangalore until February 10, after which we will launch our full suite of paid services. Thanks very much to one of our clients in Bangalore, Trishna Chaudhri, for this glowing review! To speak with Suraj for Homework’s services in Bangalore get in touch with us here.

We’ve also been busy with our usual gamut of services for commercial and residential spaces. There is a complete makeover of a client’s home in Vasant Kunj going on . We’ve taken over their space to put in bathroom fittings, doing some civil work to extend a room, redoing electrical and plumbing work, putting in a new kitchen and wardrobes, making new windows and doing a complete paint job.

From stencil painting in apartments to texture painting at a farmhouse in Chhatarpur, we’ve been busy painting the town red and every other colour our clients ask us for! We now have new and improved paint services for a faster and more efficient paint job. Have a look.

We’re not just about the services and also try and share lots of easy tips to do your homework. From getting rid of lingering cooking odors to easy wardrobe fresheners . Have a look at our videos for more tips and information.

Last but not the least, Gurgaon folks we have a great offer for you on our cleaning services all of February!

Till our next post!

We’re happy to #DoYourHomework.

Shagun