Two of Us

5 tips for a great home

Disclaimer: If the following tips don’t work, don’t blame me!

1. Acquire a geeky man
This is the perfect scenario because it means that your home will be extremely connected without you lifting a finger. Now, I can surf the net in the balcony or in my bed, and even stream music from my Ingrid to the Yamaha sound bar in the living room as I cook. All the techie stuff works – the cable, the TV, the phone, the gadgets – and even if they don’t, all I need to do is holler and the Geek will have it fixed. And when the Internet is crawling, I can definitely count on the Geek to ring up StarHub and complain.

2. Don’t be shy to delegate
Men and Women definitely come from different planets. We see things differently from Men, if they even see anything at all, to be perfectly honest.

Take, for instance, a glance into the living room.

What I see: hmm, we need to vacuum the floor, put the sofa through the lint remover, polish the dining table, pack up the clutter, fold the laundry and sun the rug. Oh, and it’s about time I wipe down the handles of the house with disinfectant.

What he sees: nobody is watching the TV! Yay! Xbox! Halo! FIFA 2010!

The good news is, all is not lost. The keyword here is delegate. As you mop the floor, have the Man clean the toilets or wash the balcony or empty the litter box. AND MAKE SURE HE DOES EVERYTHING. FAST. Otherwise, you will end up like me where I am nursing a cold and still I managed to clean two toilets, vacuum two rooms, clean out my wardrobe, chuck the bedlinen into the washer, put one load of laundry away from the dryer and put another load into the it, wipe down the surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes AND feed the cats. Meanwhile, all he is doing is going through his junk in the study.

Don’t be afraid to yell at inefficient Men, that’s all I’m sayin’.

3. Always evolve
Some people, like my cousin, don’t see the need to keep working on the house. To her, her house is going to be sold eventually so there really is no point in putting too much effort anyway.

But for me, I like to see the house growing together with us, which is why I am constantly thinking of ways to make it more homey, more us. I still visit wonderful sites such as Desire to Inspire, Ikea Hacker and Apartment Therapy and get new and interesting ideas on how to improve this home, especially since we did not rely on the expertise of an interior designer to put together this place.

4. Cheap tricks work too
I love the plushness of hotel toilets but unfortunately, my bathrooms are tiny affairs that came with the house. I’m not complaining, they were done up really nicely, but they are just a bit too plain. I try to jazz them up just a little to make myself feel happier, so imagine my delight when I picked up a vintage-esque print from – of all places – Carrefour. It was extremely affordable and fitted exactly over the throne in the guest bathroom.

Add a small, cute bottle of Sephora hand wash in red, a glass jar filled with tea bags (to absorb odour and provide a whiff of musky scent) and a festive ribbon-wrapped Muji bottle containing hand cream and voila! A nicer toilet. And when we have guests, I like to put in some tea lights to give it a warm glow.

5. Be OCD, be PROUD
I never knew I could be veering so close to OCD but I have found out that I am. But it’s good because it means that the kitchen stove will be clean, the store room is neat and the wardrobe is nicely full and not exploding. Without my OCD fits, I am pretty sure that we will end up being a home with junk lining the walls and clutter all over the surfaces.

If you are just as OCD as I am, do not be ashamed but instead, celebrate it! Be proud of the brutality that comes with it and feel free to delegate hard labour (see point #2) to the hapless Man!

The fruits of delegation