A Stew of Assumptions

26 lessons in love

As I slipped my hands into his, my heart somersaulted with joy. Every minute of the wedding had seemed like an enchanted vision. There was some anxiety blended with hope and happiness. Will I qualify as a good wife? Will Salman be the husband I had always dreamed of? With a mixture of emotions, I was led into my new home; a delightful page of life had just turned.

The hustle and bustle of guests, greetings, and dinners soon died down. The roses wilted and the henna faded away. Real life gradually crept in. I began to notice how different Salman was from the ‘ideal’ husband of my fantasies. Yes, he was caring in his own way, but he talked less and was often busy in his own world of sports and news.

The kitchen had been my love ever since I was a little girl; I helped out my mom and was always on the go to come up with some creative cuisine. Though it wasn’t asked of me here and in presence of abundant hired help, there wasn’t any need. However, I soon started taking an interest in my favourite past time.

My mother-in-law was a charming lady. From what I had heard, she was soft spoken, kind, and caring. But that was not going to put me off the alert mode. After all, I had heard my share of ‘mean mother-in-law stories’ from relatives, friends, and, of course, the dramas!


It was a lovely Sunday morning when I decided to prepare a lavish breakfast – Parathas filled with minced meat and a spicy potato curry. As I handed tea around the table, I was expecting a compliment from my mother-in-law for all the hard work I had done. To my dismay, however, I noticed that she was unusually quiet and solemn. She had eaten very little, as if uninterested, and was not taking any part in the ongoing conversation.

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Chasing Away the Clutter: The Bathroom

bathroomBy Karrie Bhurgari Declutter

  1. Reading materials
  2. Over-the-counter medicine: Go though and check for expired medicines
  3. Make-up: Toss away anything older than 6 months
  4. Bath toys
  5. Cleaning agents or supplies
  6. Appliances: Toss old, non-functional dryer/curler, electric razor, and electric toothbrush
  7. Bottles of shampoo/conditioner
  8. Towels: Do you really need all those? 2 per person per bathroom, plus 2 hand towels and 2 wash clothes (and give each person their own colour)


  • Prioritize first. Start by pulling out the things you actually use on a regular basis. Make sure they are in the most easily accessible areas. It will definitely make it easier to get ready in the morning.
  • Keep any extra stocked items together. If you like to keep extra toothbrushes, bars of soap, or bottles of shampoo on hand, keep them in the same area.
  • Consolidate duplicate items. Try to avoid the crowding of extra items by combining them. It won’t hurt to combine two half empty bottles of conditioner together.
  • Place small items in a contained area. It’s easy to lose small items like nail clippers, tweezers, and hair clips. Use a small drawer/plastic bin near the front of a drawer to keep small things from sliding out of sight.
  • You don’t need all those tiny bottles. Buy the travel size containers that you can refill with your regular shampoo.
  • Kids need their own spaces, too. Make things convenient for them as well. Make sure they can access the extra toilet paper and give them a designated spot for their toothbrushes and hairbrush.

Chasing Away the Clutter – In the Home

Vol 4-Issue 3 Home-schooling

The Kitchen

  • Glassware/Crockery: How many of those cups/mugs do you really use anyway?
  • Cookbooks: If it’s not “your favorite”, clip or copy out the best recipes and discard the book.
  • Gadget drawer: The one with 5 spatulas…
  • Countertops: Find a new home for your things and remove the clutter from your sight
  • Grocery/plastic bags: Save a few and recycle the other 50
  • Fridge/freezer: Pull everything out, clean, and be selective about what goes back
  • Pantry: Donate some of those uneaten non-perishables and clear the cabinets for stuff you really like.
  • Junk drawer: Do you really need old batteries, old keys, old receipts, tape, paper clips, and rubber bands?

The Office

  • Paper files: If you can, scan them to your computer. If not, sort and file.
  • Bulletin board items: You’ve needed to declutter that for months anyway, so get rid of it
  • Wall decorations – just keep 1 or 2 accent pieces (a clock and framed diploma)
  • Desktop items – find a home out of sight for your stapler, tape, and paper clips
  • Computer desktop icons – remove unneccesary icons (or hide all of them)
  • Desk/junk drawer – see above
  • Books – if you don’t use them, get rid of them

TV Lounge/Drawing and Dining Room

  • Books/magazines
  • CDs/DVDs: Get rid of the ones you don’t use or load onto an mp3 device. Put the remainders in storage or out of sight
  • Decorative items: One or two is nice; more than that is clutter. Gift or give away.
  • Entertainment centre: Remove old components and organize cords.
  • China hutch: Opt for a storage type cabinet rather than the glass showcase or put the dishes in the kitchen. Better yet, do you need that extra set of china? Use it and get rid of an old set of dishware.
  • Furniture: Remove and/or rearrange; you may love the new extra space

To be continued next week, Insha’Allah!