12 products that will save your sanity if you've had to move back home with your family
From the multitasking Meenas to the lazy Latas, this shopping list has something for everyone
Ankita Singh had been living with her father in their Haryana home for years, even before the pandemic. Since her mother passed away 10 years ago, it’s just been the two of them. But the confluence of social isolation and an ageing parent over the past year has pushed her to the brink.
“I wish I could live in those smart homes with fancy technology to keep my father occupied on the days I just need space,” says the 31-year-old accountant.
The situation is no different for those who had to move back home during the pandemic. Despite getting a job in Bengaluru, 22-year-old Divyanshi was forced to return to a joint family setup in Panipat. The finance professional works the night shift, but complains that she “can never sleep in the mornings because of the hustle-bustle around the house. It’s taking a toll on my health.”
I, too, am a part of the crowd who returned to their roots when COVID-19 struck. What started off as a Holi break from my Delhi apartment has turned into a permanent residency at my parents’ home.
My aadarsh beti side had to come back out of the closet because god forbid my parents get to know the real me — it would have catastrophic implications ending in the age-old ‘yahi sanskaar diye the maine’ tirade.
Left with nothing to fan my addictions, I have turned to my favourite activity to funnel my I-never-thought-I’d-be-back-here anxieties: shopping for home products.
Instead of dropping confessional atom bombs and turning your home into Nagasaki, pick your way through this aspirational wishlist of things every person living with their family should invest in.
12 must-have products for people still living with their parents
For the OCD queen of the household
Fluffy mop slippers
Absolutely hate it when your pet drags in the keechad after the floor’s been freshly mopped? These fluffy mop slippers are a surefire way to bring death to the monsoon’s revolting best friend.
Wearing these micro-fibre mop slippers is like going around the house with a dust-attracting vacuum attached to your feet. What’s more satisfying than sliding around your floors like you’re Shah Rukh Khan in Main Hun Na while you’re picking up stray hair and dust particles that you know won’t strike your line of vision the next time the light hits the floor?
For all the multitasking Meenas, these slippers will be a dream come true. Want to pretend you’re on the dance floor of a club when you’re actually cleaning your bedroom floor? Have at it.
Honeycomb closet organiser
If you’re a self-proclaimed neat freak like I am, this honeycomb closet organiser is for you. The drawer insert consists of eight individual strips, which can be customised and assembled as per your requirement. You can even cut the strips to shorten the length if you’re low on drawer space.
With its easy snap-together assembly, this pretty-in-pink insert is for all the obsessive organisers out there. You just need to place these durable closet organisers in a dresser or a drawer to corral your socks, scarves, ties, undies, etc. in style.
Even if you’re someone who lives in organised chaos only you understand, this honeycomb insert is a step you can take towards actually making your clutter organised. After all, doesn’t everyone have that drawer that you dread to look into or the other one that you’ve really been meaning to sort out for the past 30-60 business days?
Angry Mama microwave cleaner
A visual iteration of your face when someone forgets to clean the microwave after heating a bowl of fish manchurian, the Angry Mama microwave cleaner is a mean, cleaning machine that uses the power of concentrated steam to remove caked-on grime.
This chhota packet, bada dhamaka cleaner will even melt away the baked-on crud that’s clung to the sides of your microwave since, well, your New Year party.
Simply drop a mixture of vinegar, water and lemon juice into the container and microwave it for roughly five minutes till steam appears out of its head. Easily wipe down the inside of your microwave with a dishcloth, leaving it looking spic and span — just how you like it.
For the person who always needs space
Finding it difficult to work as your brother plays catch with the dog in the background? These noise-cancelling earplugs will be a godsend for you.
When it comes to earplugs, the options are endless. Picking ones made of silicone like these makes sure they not only give you the promised noise-cancellation but also fit snugly in your ear as you type away on your laptop furiously, on a mission to save the world — or your job.
With a noise-reduction rating of 32 (the highest is 33), these earplugs will become your perfect companion in a noisy household. Their waterproof material makes them fit for outdoor activities like swimming, cycling etc. when you just need a break from all the gharelu drama.
Napping has become a part of our daily routine since the pandemic began. But when all the guided meditations that YouTube has to offer are also failing to help you achieve your favourite pastime, what do you do? Enter the Ostrich Pillow.
When I saw it for the first time, this gigantic pillow looked a lot like those monkey caps my mom made me wear in the Delhi winter — only, on steroids. The plump pillow completely envelops the head, with openings at the side to slip your hands in.
As immersive as a cocoon, this semi-portable nap station will come in handy on the days the cooker’s seeti gets too much to bear.
Portable folding table
Your workstation also happens to be the family living room so what do you do if the padosiwali aunty decides to make a surprise visit? This portable folding table is the answer to all your desk-less needs.
A table that is not just your dining table/workstation, but can also be folded away and kept out of sight when not needed. It also masquerade as a TV stand if you’re too lazy to sit on the couch for your Netflix & chill session.
It’s in use, even when it’s not — simply dress it up with a tapestry sheet and flower pots and voila, you have a pretty selfie nook.
For the modern-day Angry Young Woman
Roll-on migraine relief stick
Since you’ve decided to take up the mantle of the Angry Young Woman in the household, headaches are sure to have become your daily companion. Enter your knight in shining armour: the roll-on migraine relief stick.
Packed with therapeutic essential oils like peppermint, spearmint and lavender, this relief stick is a staple for many headache-sufferers out there.
Use the roll-on applicator to apply a bit to your forehead, temples and at the back of your neck as soon as you start to feel a migraine coming on. But don’t go too crazy with it because the cooling relief will fast become a prickling sensation in your eyes and have you crying like a baby in all of two minutes.
Claw spa massager
Do you find yourself battling routine bouts of wanting to pull your family members’ hair out when they irritate you too much, which — let’s be honest — is not even that much? We know you love them and just can’t help feeling like this. So annihilate those dark moments with this massager.
Its claw-shaped design, with small rolling balls attached to the ends, massages all the acupuncture points on the head like your mother’s hands would in a champi — minus the oil.
These massage claws boast cool-to-the-touch steel balls that will soothe your scalp, neck, face (wherever you choose to use it) while increasing blood circulation.
A mini-screaming goat figure
If you’re a goat-loving fiend or simply want your mother to stop gossiping with you during work hours, this mini-screaming goat figure is going to become your new best friend.
Like a real-life version of those viral screaming goat videos, your new goat companion sits on a tree stump and screams when you press its buttons.
A quality item that’s a must for all ‘animal lovers’, the figure comes with a 32-page illustrated pocket guide filled with fun facts and trivia about, well, goats.
Get ready to live vicariously through the incredibly satisfying shrieks of your new favourite pet.
For the ones sharing their room with their sibling
A bedside caddy
Have you been forced to bunk with your sibling during the pandemic like you’re 10 again? I have, and I hate it. As my gigantic 5 foot, 11 inch brother has taken up all the space on our double bed, all my wires and chargers have been rendered effectively homeless.
In comes the bedside caddy to rescue your wires and other gadgets. Super versatile and useful, it keeps all your bedside items stored away neatly and at an arm’s length; be it glasses, books, laptop — or in my case, my secret stash of chocolates — when you’re winding down for the night.
Multi-utility table lamp
Sharing a room may sometimes mean you’re stuck sharing a desk with your desk-hogging sibling.
This LED table lamp works as a pen stand, night light, phone stand, stationery tray and even comes with a USB charging port, making it easy to be plugged in and charging away while you’re working on your laptop.
Having 360° flexibility, this light also comes with a smart switch-enabled feature allowing you to dim it as per your needs.
A lockbox for your food
Having recently gone through the ‘Lays Gate’ scandal, this lockbox has become a mainstay on my shopping list.
Suitable for fridges and freezers, this has interlocking stacking sockets for multiple applications, which also protects the box’s content from spillage and tampering.
If your home is as infested with snack raiders (read siblings) as mine, this lockbox is what you need to safely stow away your stash of Lays and M&Ms. Because you can take all my money, but not my snacks.