The Qanvast Guide to Prepping Your Home for Hari Raya
Start by doing up a cleaning schedule - having one will help you stay organized for everyday housework, as well as additional chores for the big celebration like replacing soft furnishings, deep cleaning, painting, and other maintenance.
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It is highly recommended that you take the time to plan for cleaning as it can fall to the wayside, with additional holy obligations (e.g. fasting, etc.) added to your plate.
Moreover, you may need to make time for visits to/from relatives, shopping for the festivities, and the like.
To help you stay on top of your household game this Ramadhan: here’s a week-by-week plan to prep your home!
Week 1: Let go of what no longer serves you and declutter your home!
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During the month of Ramadhan, it’s important to cleanse and nourish the self of poor habits. It’s an opportunity to embrace a clean-living attitude and this can extend to the home as well.
So get ready to declutter and free yourself of things that you do not need and which unnecessarily take up precious space. Lead with a ‘clean home, clear mind’ mantra and start from the bedroom. After all, it’s the area that you spend the most time in! Then move on to the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and yes, even your store room (if you have one).
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Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get rid of the things that no longer spark joy. Run through your refrigerator, pantry, shoe rack, and other spots in the home that may be hoarding items that you don’t need.
Instead of throwing things away, be charitable during Ramadhan (and all other months) and consider giving away items that are in mint condition.
Week 2: Focus indoors – deep clean the interiors of your home
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Once you have decluttered, it’s time to get sweeping, scrubbing, mopping, and polishing! Get the whole family involved to make things go faster with their added helping hands. Moreover, it can be a fun family activity and an opportunity to spend time together!
Living/Dining room: Deep clean the carpets or get them professionally cleaned if it is a large area rug. Wash all curtains, polish wood furniture and sofa (if made of leather or vinyl), and remember to clean dust and grime off fans/chandeliers.
The kitchen: Wipe down counters, polish cupboards and hardware, sanitise the refrigerator, scrub the stovetop and microwave.
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The bedroom: Vacuum the floors and other areas that collect dust like curtains, the topside of clothing cupboards, as well as behind the bed, bedside tables, and other furniture. If you have carpeted floors, consider getting them professionally cleaned once a year.
Don’t forget to reorganise the wardrobe cupboard, change bedsheets, and sunbathe pillows, mattresses and others for a minimum of four hours. This will not only kill dust mites, but also naturally fluff up your pillows and bedclothes.
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The bathroom: Although you probably wash and clean your bathroom every week or more; this time, be sure to scrub every nook and cranny, polish dull or cruddy tiles, and clear off cobwebs in upper walls or the ceiling (if any).
Bonus Tip: Go green when you clean and try these DIY cleansing solutions!
Glass and mirror cleaner: Mix one part tap water to one part distilled vinegar in a spray bottle.
All-purpose cleaner: Mix one and one-quarter cups of water, half a cup of white vinegar and ten drops of essential oils in a spray bottle.
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Week 3: Outdoor prep – don’t forget about beautifying the exterior
House painting: Consider painting the exterior walls of your home, as it is the quickest way to spruce up and refresh the appearance of the home. White, cream, yellow or beige are cheery and inviting colours during festive seasons and all year round.
Tip: Be sure to arrange painting services before you start cleaning the interiors of your home.
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Gardening: Upgrade the appearance of your home by landscaping and improving your garden area. Consider planting a mix of flowers and greens for a pop of colour.
If you have no natural earth/garden area in your home, plant in pots. The easiest plants to grow and maintain in Malaysia are money plant, ixora, bougainvillea, hibiscus, frangipani, morning glory, and jasmine.
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Week 4: Bring out the decorations – it’s time to adorn the home for Hari Raya!
If you have existing pieces from Rayas past, it’s time to pull them out and start decorating. If you are planning on giving your home a different look this Hari Raya, then you might want to head out on a shopping spree. After all; Raya sales are incredibly attractive at this time of the year.
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Décor: Some traditional pieces to add to the home (if you don’t already have it) include weaved ketupat décor, lighted crescent moon and star baubles, oil lamps, bunga manga, and fairy lights. Go online to source for less traditional/handmade decor pieces.
Upgrade appliances/fixtures: If you have the budget, consider the appliances that need to be updated and upgraded. This is especially important if you are cooking Hari Raya fare at home and not catering. Do also look at your lighting fixtures and check if these need to be updated or refreshed.
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Update furniture: Same goes for furniture; if your budget permits, think about the pieces that need to be replaced (or maybe just restored with a new coat of paint). If you are getting new furniture, look for ones with smart storage; these can help you maximise space at home. Make sure to get rid of your old furniture responsibly, by donating, selling to a second-hand furniture store, or call for bulk waste collection services.
Once you're done, sit back and enjoy the festive occasion!