Get Rid of Clutter with These 5 Easy Steps

An organized home looks good, feels great and makes it a breeze to find your belongings. However, it is clearly easier said than done.

Who doesn’t want to live in a home that is well organized and clutter-free? An organized home looks good, feels great and makes it a breeze to find your belongings. However, it is clearly easier said than done. No matter how much we long for it, most of us fail to keep clutter at bay. Mainly because we feel it is an unachievable feat. We are not sure how to go about it and refrain from living our comfort zone, to begin with.

Bother not! Make your home clutter-free and organized with these 5 easy steps:

1)   Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need

“I follow a rule where if I haven’t opened a box within 6 months of shifting house, I just get rid of it. If I haven’t needed the stuff in the box for the entire duration of 6 months, that is most likely not needed at my home.  Our houses are full of things we don’t need and the first step in making the home clutter-free is to get rid of ‘excess’.” – Anonymous

Owning too much stuff is one of the primary reasons for all the clutter. To get rid of clutter, you need to make a list of items you don’t need such as outdated gadgets, outsized clothes, old batteries, broken furniture and so on. Remove everything that is a part of the list and you will soon see your home clutter-free.

2)   Create More Storage Space

Lack of storage space can also be a big reason that may lead to clutter. If so, then it is the time to create more storage space. Buy furniture that can double up as storage space and come with storage boxes inside them. Bed, sofa sets, ottoman, table, almost every furniture in your home can have a storage box. You can also upgrade your existing furniture and integrated boxes in them.

Another way is to use the entire wall area and create ceiling-to-floor wardrobes in your home. You can keep the regular use items on the lower shelves while things you need once in a while can be placed up high.

You will be amazed at how much stuff the furniture boxes and upper shelves of the cupboards can store.

3)   Embrace Habits that Help Managing Clutter

Keep aside 5 to 15 minutes every day to replace things with their original position and clean clutter. You will be surprised at how much can be done in mere 5 minutes. Making home clutter-free is an ongoing process that has a lot to do with your habits.

Cleaning kitchen after every meal, replacing towels, books, gadgets to their original position after using them, a family cleaning drive every fortnight are some of the habits that can do wonder managing clutter. It may take conscious efforts in the beginning but once you will see the difference, you will find it easier to embrace healthy clutter-clearing habits.

4)   Put Labels

Put a label on everything. On drawers where you store your medicines, stationeries, electricals, paperwork or on baskets inside the fridge. Label food items and arrange them on different shelves based on their types.

When you label things and keep them in a designated area, it becomes a lot easier to pick certain things and replace them back after using it. Not only for you, but everyone in the house can keep things in their designated area thereby effectively reducing clutter.

5)   Do Smart Shopping

In addition to getting rid of excess, it is also important that you shop wisely. The more things you bring into your homes, the more you have to find space for. And when you buy only the things you really need, you end up saving a lot of money as well. The best way to shop is to carry a list of items before entering the mall or supermarket. If you are tempted to buy anything that is not in the list, question yourself if you really need it? Can you do without buying it?  In most cases, you will save yourself time as well as the hassle of managing unwanted things.

Follow these steps and make your home a clutter-free heaven


5 Reasons Why Pune is The Best City to Live in India

Pune has emerged as the smartest city of India over the span of last 10 years and how. Emerging IT sectors, planned housing societies, and pleasant weather, Pune has everything that makes it the best city to live and work in.

Pune has emerged as the smartest city of India over the span of last 10 years and how. Emerging IT sectors, planned housing societies, and pleasant weather, Pune has everything that makes it the best city to live and work in. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Pune is awarded as the 2nd best city to live in India.

So, what makes Pune the most desirable city in India to live and work in? Lets us find out:

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1. Pune has the Most Amazing Weather

While most Indian cities (Bengaluru included) are reeling under terrific heat waves, Pune seems to have handled climate change pretty well. The city has good weather throughout the year. Summers are bearable, winters are awesome but it is the monsoon that Punekar boast of. Thanks to tons of mountains and greenery surrounding the city, the weather is not too hot or cold, just pleasant at any time of the year.

2. IT Scene in Pune is Quite Happening

Pune is one of those Indian cities where a lot of action is happening in the IT sector. With offices of more than 110 MNCs, Pune houses some of the biggest IT parks in India. There are more than 5 official IT zones in the city with the presence of all the major IT giants such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, etc.  Thanks to the low cost of living in Pune (as compared to other IT cities), more and more companies are now looking forward to opening their branches in Pune.  Booming IT sector in Pune is a boon for job seekers

3. Owning a Home in Pune is Affordable

Although Pune is the second largest city in Maharashtra, next only to Mumbai, property rates here are much cheaper. A number of new residential and commercial properties are coming up in the city that can fit the budget of a salaried person too!

Even if you are looking to rent a house, the rents in Pune are much affordable compared to Mumbai. The city is well connected by public transport and you can travel to any part of the city without worrying about traffic problems.

4. Proximity to Holiday Destinations

Whether you love beaches or adore the tranquillity of mountains, Pune has everything lying in close proximity. There are plenty of trekking destinations around Pune that is flooded by trekkers post monsoon. Hill stations like Mahabaleshwar, Matheran, Lavasa, etc are just a few hours drive from Pune and beaches like Konkan and Ratnagiri make for awesome weekend getaways. Add to it many amazing forts and splashing waterfalls that surround the city. Clearly, the top reason on my bucket list to settle in Pune.

5. Pune is a Major Educational Hub

Popularly called as the ‘Oxford of the East’, Pune has been historically famous as education hub of India. From world famous universities and colleges to top management schools, Pune has been the hot favourite educational destination of India. The city has also been the favourite place for Global Events, Summits, Concerts and Fests as well as many famous film festivals.

Apart from all the above-mentioned points, lively night life, women safety, security and friendly people together make Pune the best city to live and work in India.

A checklist for first-time buyers

Buying one’s first home can be a trying experience for most first-time buyers. Getting confused or feeling lost at such times is only natural, unless you have a ready reckoner close at hand. Today we take you through all the information you need to have when you are buying your first home.

Get online

In this highly digitised world, the search for everything from groceries to gadgets happens online and real estate is no different.

Most buyers in the 25-35 age group begin their search online. The presence of a number of portals such as,,, has made it easy to filter searches according to your requirements, budget, and location preferences. It is a good idea to go through all of these portals and shortlist properties that you would like to see personally.

Once you have zeroed in on the properties that you would like to visit, probe further and read up on the developer, its reputation.

Check out things like delivery time, payments, and delays it has been responsible for.

Use your networking skills to reach out to recent home buyers in the properties that you are interested in and get their opinion as well.

Making the choice

While visiting the shortlisted properties do a thorough check of the neighbourhood.

If you have young children or hope to have a family in the near future, check out education facilities in the area.

Proximity to hospitals, schools and colleges, market areas, amusement and entertainment options should be considered.

The other important factor to consider is the distance from your workplace, railway stations, and airport.

Budget requirements

The first thing you need to remember while buying your first property is that you should not under any circumstances overshoot your budget. It’s human nature to be aspirational, but make sure that your loan does not become a burden for the rest of your life.

Ideally if you are planning to buy a house, you should have been saving up for its down payment at least three to five years ahead.

For young people who harbour dreams of owning a home, start investing in equities in order to get the best inflation adjusted returns.

If you do not have the time or expertise to invest in equities by yourself, it is best to take the mutual fund route and link your investments to a goal like down payment of your first home. This will keep you focussed on your goals and help you make disciplines investments towards reaching your aim fruitfully.

While saving or investing for a house, you also need to bear in mind that you need to maintain a good credit history as your credit score will be taken into consideration, when the lender assesses how credit-worthy you are.

Maintain a good track record of servicing your previous or current loans and make it a habit to repay all your credit card outstanding within the billing cycle.

Further, when you are taking a home loan, make sure that its EMI does not exceed 40-45 per cent of your monthly income.

Aim to increase your EMI repayment over the tenure of your loan as your capability rises with an annual increase in your salary.

 Maintain a contingency fund that will take care of your home loan EMI for at least 3-6 months in case your cash flow is interrupted by an emergency.

Necessary paperwork

Once your financing needs are taken care of, it is time to be aware of your rights as a prospective home buyer. The recently passed real estate Bill safeguards your rights as a consumer and ensures efficiencies in all property related transactions with the mandatory registration of all projects with local governing bodies and the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) that is expected to ensure timely completion and hassle free handover to the end customer.

Ensure that the following documents are in order:

– Sale deed/title deed /Mmther deed/conveyance deed

– Building plan sanctioned by statutory authority

– Layout approval plan sanction

– NOC from electricity department/pollution control board/water works/ airport authority

– Supplementary agreement / ratification deed (if any)

– Allotment letter from the builder/co-operative society/housing board/BDA.

– Approved plan of construction/extension and license for construction.

– Detailed cost estimate/valuation report from chartered engineer/architect (if applicable)

Post-possession checklist

Storage: All documents related to your property purchase must be photocopied, watermarked, and digitised. It is advisable to keep at least three copies of the same at three different locations.

Transfer: Start the paperwork related to the transfer of name for electricity and water meters if applicable, transfer of society shares and finally transfer of name for property tax records in your local municipal body.

Update: Finally update all your official documents such as passport, bank documents and the likes with your new address.

While you enjoy your home and make memories in it, do not forget to live up to your commitment of making timely repayments on your home loan.

This article first appeared in The Hindu.

6 Ways To Boost Your Home Loan Eligibility

Buying a home is a significant undertaking. It requires meticulous research, careful planning and thorough checking before the buyer can be at peace. One of the major aspects of purchasing a home that worries buyers is with respect to taking home loans for the same.

Irrespective of whether or not you can afford the purchase with your savings (which is rarely the case), one is usually advised to take a home loan to spread the commitment over a few years. What then follows is nerve-wracking analysis of each bank’s home loan and deciding on the right one. In the midst of all this, it is also important to ensure that you can maximize your eligibility for a home loan or qualify for the maximum amount of home loan possible. In the midst of all this, it is also important to ensure that you can maximize your eligibility for a home loan or qualify for the maximum amount of home loan possible.

So how can one improve home loan eligibility? Here are some ways:

Increase loan tenure

This is probably the oldest tactic in the book. The logic is that when one increases the tenure of the loan, the EMIs are reduced. Lower EMIs then boost the borrower’s loan eligibility. However, this needs to be thought through based on each individual’s circumstances and preferences

Step-up loan

In this option, individuals can opt for step-up loans which essentially mean that the EMIs in the first few years will be low and then consequently increased for the remaining period. This again lends to higher home loan eligibility when calculated with the lower EMIs in question.

Clubbed income

 Loan eligibility automatically increases if you can join forces with a family member and take the loan. This means that both of your incomes will be considered as opposed to just your income. Especially in the past decade, this has become a common solution with women also working and contributing to the family finances

Variable pay

One mistake that a lot of people make when calculating their home loan eligibility is not taking into account the variable aspects of their pay such as performance-related income and other monetary perks. You may notice that once you include these components as well your loan eligibility is instantly boosted

Prepay existing loans

If at the time of approaching your banker for a loan, you already have a loan in your name (i.e. car loan, personal loan etc.) it could bring down the amount your eligible to borrow for the home purchase. One way to fix this is by pre-paying any existing loans you have in part of in full

Employer-bank offers

Banks sometimes have tie-ups with large multinational corporations wherein they offer the employees of said corporation some benefits to taking a home loan. These could be in the form of lower interest rates, waiving of processing fee and so on. It would be prudent to check with your banker if any such offers are available to you to utilise. Given that RBI reduced the interest rates last year, it is likely to encourage a lot of prospective buyers.

This article first appeared in The Hindu.