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Home & Living

Reasons To Remodel Your Home

Remodeling a house includes everything from installing a new sink, stove, or cabinetry, to removing walls for the purpose of expanding living space. Some remodeling projects are small and can be completed over a long weekend, while others are expensive and may take several months to finish. Here are a few reasons why people choose to remodel their homes.

To Boost Its Market Value

If you plan on selling your home in the near future, having some or all of your home undergo a remodel can help to boost the amount for which you can sell the property. Although renovations are expensive, they can pay off in terms of having your house on the market for a shorter period of time or being able to make more of a profit from selling the property.

Even if you are not planning on selling your house soon, renovations can make a huge difference when it does come time to put your home on the market. Before undergoing any major renovations prior to selling, consider getting some home deep cleaning services done to make your home look the very best it can be.

To Make a Change

Everyone gets bored of their house or its location from time to time. Undergoing a remodel can be the change you need to make in order to enjoy being at your home again, as you did when you first moved in. Sometimes, all it takes is a new coat of paint on the walls to give the structure a completely different feel. For example, consider painting bedrooms in calming colors such as sea green or navy blue, to give a sleek new look and a calming effect on the walls.

To Accommodate New Lifestyles

Families grow and change from the time that they purchase a home. One reason to remodel a house is to accommodate new additions to the family, whether that is a baby or an older parent who needs care. These circumstances are a good reason to install a new bedroom in a home.

Working from home is another reason why homeowners might consider a remodel. If working from home is permanent for one or more of the residents, it might make sense to put up new walls dedicated to this working space. At the very least, it could be a good idea to rearrange the space in a room and place a desk next to a window or other source of light.

To Increase Functionality

Another good reason to remodel a house is to increase its functionality. This might include, for example, replacing the kitchen counters with ones that are lower to the ground in order to make them easier to access for someone who uses a wheelchair. Functionality might also mean replacing older appliances with newer ones. Similarly, remodeling for safety reasons makes a lot of sense. Those stairs that are rotting away? They should be replaced before they cave in on someone walking on them.

If you have been thinking about remodeling your home, consider these reasons to do so.

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Home & Living

How To Operate a Commercial Kitchen

Anyone who works in a commercial kitchen can tell you it’s like no other workplace. The fast-paced environment, constant noise, and stress of meeting tight production timelines are all part of the job. Fortunately, with the right strategies and techniques, you can become an even more efficient operator to thrive in this challenging environment.

Whether you rent space from a friend or family member or you’re managing a kitchen at a restaurant, being organized is the key to success in any setting. Since many commercial kitchens are shared spaces where multiple operators share appliances and prep stations, efficiency is extremely important. Planning out your workflow ahead of time will help limit confusion and wasted steps during peak hours.

Use Labels and Markers

If you’re managing multiple people in a small space, you need to be able to quickly identify who has what job and what they’ve completed already. From a visual management standpoint, you can label and mark just about anything you want. This will help your staff quickly identify where they can find supplies and tools as well as their job assignments. For example, you can label and mark items like containers for food storage, cutting boards, and even drawers with sticky labels. You can also use different colored markers to label your employees’ aprons, which can help you quickly identify who is working in each area of your kitchen and what they’re responsible for.

Create Custom Shifts

A calendar will allow you to assign different tasks to employees depending on their availability. For example, you can assign one employee to clean duties on Monday and Wednesday nights, another to purchasing duties on Tuesday, and someone else to inventory on Thursday. Custom shifts will help prevent everyone from getting overworked and will help keep the doors open with minimal employee turnover. Once you have the calendar set up, make sure everyone is aware of the hours and what their duties entail.

Try New Recipes

You don’t want to serve the same menu every day, but you also don’t want to keep switching things up between specials. You want to find a happy medium between offering a variety and keeping your kitchen consistent and efficient. To do this, you need to try out new recipes to find the dishes that are simple to execute and popular with your guests. Once you’ve found a few recipes you like to serve, keep them as specials for at least a month so you can track their popularity. You can also rotate your dessert recipes to see what does the best with your clientele.

At the end of the day, the key to operating your kitchen like a pro is to be ready for anything that might come your way. Whether you’re hiring new employees or retraining current ones, implementing the right strategies and techniques can make a huge difference in your overall productivity. There are many things that can go wrong in a kitchen setting, but with the right practices, you can avoid issues and make your kitchen easier to work in.

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Home & Living

3 Ways To Prepare Your Home And Family For Safe Summer Fun

As it moves closer to the summer months, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll get your home and family ready for all the fun you have planned during this time.

While summer can be a great adventure, it can also bring with it certain hazards or threats that could be dangerous if you’re not careful and prepared. So to ensure that you’re all ready for whatever summer has in store for you, here are three ways to prepare your home and family for safe summer fun. 

Prepare For Summer Storms 

Although most of the summer weather in many places is hot and dry, there will come times when summer storms roll in. When this happens, you’ll want to be sure that your home and family are ready for these potentially scary events.

As part of your preparation, you’ll want to make sure that your home is a safe place for you and your family to hunker down while you wait out a storm. Double-check things like your roof, siding, and any landscaping that could blow around in the wind. As for preparing your family, make sure you have enough non-perishable food and clean drinking water to last you for a day or two in case you lose power during a big storm. 

Prepare For An Influx In Pests 

As the weather starts to get warmer, you’re going to notice a lot more pests coming around your home. If you start to find them in your home or taking up residence outside where your kids like to play, you’ll want to take some steps to keep your home and family safe from these pests.

Outside of your home, you can spray for bugs and take steps to remove any debris from around your house, as pests like to make places like these their home. Inside your house, keeping things clean and dry will do wonders for discouraging pests from coming into your home and overstaying their welcome.  

Prepare To Take On The Heat 

While summer’s hot weather can be a welcome change from the cold of winter, you’ll need to teach your kids how to keep themselves safe when out in the sun. Wearing sunscreen and keeping hydrated when playing outside can all help your kids to avoid things like sunburns, heat exhaustion, and more.

To stay cool while you’re at home, make sure you get your air conditioner checked up before you start running it for the season. And if you don’t have an air conditioner, learning how to use fans and shades on your windows can be very effective at keeping your house cool.

To help you home and family have the best summer ever, consider using the tips mentioned above to ensure that everyone and everything will stay safe this coming season.

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Home & Living

How to Juggle Kids and House Payments

Juggling kids with anything is difficult. Juggling kids while breathing is difficult. But the bigger the family, the bigger the house you need to keep them safe. Let’s go over some tips on how to keep your sanity once you purchase your new home.

Plan if You Can

If you have time before having your first kid to save money and get certain areas of your life on track. About half the time it happens though, pregnancy is usually not prepared for. It’s best to have an addition to your family once you have a steady job and room for them. You may need to look at a new home because of this reason.

The most important part of prepping for this is to have some savings put away. You’ll need money for a down payment and for your kiddo. You’ll need an additional bedroom and probably new furniture and other products. Babies come with about $10,000 worth of stuff.

Maybe you already have kids and you just want to get a place where you and your partner can escape and get some peace. In fact, an essential way of creating a healthy living environment is to give everyone plenty of room to escape if need be. Whatever the reason you may need to worry about juggling kids and house, planning is the best way to do so.

Try To Estimate

Next, it’s best to establish how much you will need to save if you plan on moving to a new home soon. Look at how much house you can afford. This is based on your income and expenses each month. You will need a down payment and that generally comes to about 5-20% of the total cost of your potential house.

For an estimate, your housing costs should not be more than 30% of your monthly income. That means if you make $4,000 a month, $1,200 is your maximum housing expense each month. Keep this in mind when you are house hunting. And if you want to be even less stressed out, try to spend even less than 30% a month on housing if you are able to.

It’s really all about how you can make your life easy once you have a family and a mortgage and all of the additional expenses as well. If possible, see where you can save money on other expenses you don’t use. Check out your monthly expenses and see what you don’t need or what you can get a better rate on.

Also not sure

Another way to be able to afford your kids and their needs and your bills are by consistently stashing away money. Whether you have a savings account or you put money under your mattress, save money any way you can. Put aside funds as soon and as early in life as you possibly can. You could never be too prepared.

Children come with some unexpected expenses. You can’t predict exactly how much you will need to have put aside for your child but like mentioned above, kids come with a lot of stuff. Even if you don’t buy them a ton of stuff, other people will get it for them. Soon you’ll need an extra room just for toys.

It’s mostly important just to stay vigilant and keep track of your spending. Children mostly just need your love and attention. Focus on providing a nice home for them to come home to. They don’t need you to buy them anything even though it is tempting. But it shouldn’t be difficult to pay on your home when you realize that’s all your kids need you to do for them.

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Home & Living

How Do You Get Rids of Groundhogs

Groundhogs are only cute when they are not in your yard. Because when they are in your yard, they are eating plants, digging 15m tunnels and displacing about 300kg of soil. Groundhogs are very intelligent animals, so getting rid of them might not be as easy as getting rid of other rodents.

Ways to Getting Rid of Groundhogs

1.     Set a Harmless Trap

Some states have laws against harming groundhogs and other animals. So, before setting traps, ensure it cannot harm the groundhog in any way.

Use a box trap far away from its hole with fruit as bait. As soon as the box trap captures it, you can call animal control or look for a way to release it far from you. The box trap will trap other rodents disturbing your garden if you are lucky.

2.     Call Pest Control

Getting rid of one groundhog is easy, but what if they are many, and the trap can only capture one per bait? To get rid of your groundhogs and other rodents all at once, call pest control for prompt help.

If you do not know of any pest control around you, check out here.

3.     Make Their Home Inhabitable for Them

You can make groundhogs so uncomfortable in their home that they will permanently move away from your yard. You can make their home uncomfortable by:

●       Fumigating their holes

The release of carbon monoxide in their holes will force them out and inherently drive them away if they do not find a habitable spot.

●       Flood their holes

If groundhogs want one thing for their home, it is dry land. Flooding their holes makes them too uncomfortable to remain there.

4.     Scare Them Off

Scarecrows and Pinwheels are good for scaring groundhogs, but they can not scare them off permanently because they get used to them.

Creating vibrations in the ground can do the trick. Groundhogs frequently experiencing palpitations in their holes will eventually leave the place. You can use solar stakes to cause ultrasonic pulses and sounds. Windchimes and windmills will also have similar effects.

How to Prevent Groundhogs

What is better than getting rid of groundhogs is preventing them. You can avoid groundhogs using the following methods

Install a fence

A fence around your yard will keep groundhogs and similar rodents away from it. To prevent loopholes, make the fence at least 3 feet high and 1 foot deep in the soil.

Use repellants

There are some natural herbs and smells that repel the groundhog. Place them around your yard to keep the groundhogs away. Some repellents are

  • Epsom salts
  • Strong scents; lavender, castor oil, garlic, and so on.

Keep a well-trimmed Yard.

Groundhogs are attracted to tall grasses and unkept yards that make it easy for them to feed on and make homes. Having a well-trimmed yard discourages groundhogs from choosing your lawn as a habitat.

Getting rid of groundhogs does not mean they cannot be back in your yards a few months or years later. Try the preventive measures and if they persist, call the local pest control.

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Home & Living

Why You Should Have Your Home Inspected For Termites

Termites cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage to homes across the US every year. They consume wood and many homes are wood-framed, making them an easy target. The biggest issue is that termites live in colonies and can slip in and out of your home without being noticed. This is helped by their size and the fact that they generally stay away from humans.

Once the termites have entered, they will build their nest and start multiplying. At first, the damage caused won’t be noticeable. But, over a period of time, they will do an increasing amount of damage and you are likely to notice.

The bottom line is that termite damage can cost you thousands while an inspection will cost you a few hundred dollars. It’s also more convenient to have an inspection than to have termite treatment. You should check out here to find your local specialist and get your home inspected.

Prevention measures

A termite inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repair bills and all you have to do is check here to find your local specialist.

But, it can also help to take preventative measures, these will reduce the likelihood of a termite invasion.

  • Repair Damage

Any part of your home that has wood in can be targeted by termites. That means if the wood is exposed it is a more attractive and obvious target. Regularly check your home to ensure that there are no wooden beams exposed, such as in roof spaces. If you find any, fix them immediately.

  • Concrete Around Your Home

Many termite invasions start around your home. The termites tunnel through the soil at the edge of your property and enter your foundations. They then have space to move and plenty of wood to eat.

The good news is you can block this access point by making sure you have a layer of concrete a couple of inches deep and six inches wide. This should connect directly to the house walls making it much harder for termites to enter.

  • Ditch cardboard

One of the biggest steps you can take to avoid attracting termites is to eliminate all cardboard waste quickly. That means placing it in sealed bags or bins as far away as possible from your home.

Cardboard contains cellulose which is what termites eat, and why they enjoy wood. Having it around your home is effectively the same as inviting them to dinner.

  • Check Moisture Levels

Most types of termites need to stay moist to survive. They are therefore attracted to houses with higher moisture levels. Take a moisture reading of your home. If it’s high you’ll want to find out why. It could be moisture rising through the soil, a leak inside your home, or several other possibilities Locating the issue and resolving it will lower the moisture content and make your home less appealing to termites.

  • Regular Inspections

As mentioned, regular inspections are essential. They may not prevent the termites from entering your home but they will ensure you know about the issue as early as possible and can eliminate them.

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Home & Living

The Risk Of Pests In Older Homes

Having an older home is often a personal and financial choice. After all, in many cases, an older home is smaller than the modern alternative. But, they do tend to have more character.

Unfortunately, it’s this character that generally means you will have a bigger issue with pests and are going to need a reputable pest control service. In short, they prefer older homes. Here’s why:

Ease of Access

Older homes were made to a different standard than the modern versions. This is because rules and regulations change, usually for the better. A key factor of this is the different materials that make it harder for pests to find or chew a way into your home.

In other words, the older home is an easier target.

Wear & Tear

You may not be able to do a lot about the materials your home is built with. But, you can address wear and tear issues. The biggest problem is gaps and cracks that appear in your façade, often as a result of settling, although they can be a result of damage and neglect.

Filling all these cracks and holes will deprive the pests of the easy entry point that they use. If you make it harder for them to get in they will go elsewhere.

Moisture Levels

Pests choose a home based on food, water, and warmth. Unfortunately, older homes are more likely to have an issue with moisture. Due to the materials used, older houses tend to retain more moisture. They are also more likely to develop leaks and have standing water in gutters and other places.

This is simply because the house is older and things start to sag.

You’ll need to verify whether you have any standing water or water leaks. It’s also worth considering methods of lowering moisture in the house.

Location

Older homes tend to be found outside cities and in more rural communities. This is because cities are constantly rejuvenating and rebuilding. Naturally, the more rural your home the more pests there are likely to be around it and the higher the probability they will invade.

It’s a good idea to speak to your local experts, you can click here to find them, and find out what pests are operating in your area. Being prepared will make it easier for you to protect against them.

Modifications

Finally, older homes often have modifications undertaken and even extensions added. This is to ensure they are big enough for the occupants. Unfortunately, if this type of work is done without an inspection first then you could simply be building over a termite’s nest or something similar. This effectively gives the pests access to your home.

Equally, poor workmanship when adding extensions and improvements can make it easier for pests to get in.

The Bottom Line

It is easier for a pest to get into an older home and often more appealing for them to do so. The good news is that you can prevent it from being an issue by sealing up your home, checking moisture levels, keeping your food stored in containers, and making sure your house is clean.

If there is nothing to appeal to a pest it will go elsewhere.

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Home & Living

Great Tips for Designing a Dream Home from Scratch

Designing a home from the ground up (literally!) is no small feat by any means, particularly when considering the potential immensity of the costs, the overall time it takes, and the expertise required.

It is entirely possible, however, even for beginners, provided a plan is put in place, and some important details are considered.

Whether you want to get your building underway as soon as possible or you are simply designing a home to work towards in your ideal vision of the future, it is worth enlisting the help of some great software.

If you need a helping hand, you might want to check out these tips. Hopefully, they will help you design the perfect property for you and your family to flourish in for many years to come.

Budgeting

This is perhaps the most important part of the entire journey, as your ability to draw up and maintain a budget will likely determine the success of the entire build.

Running out of money halfway through a build is not only embarrassing, but it can stop you dead in your tracks, setting you back a great deal of time.

One of the best places to start is by thinking about planning permission. Without getting the go-ahead from the powers that be, there is little point in wasting your time continuing the process unless, of course, you just want to develop your skillset.

Although designing and building a home has been traditionally very expensive, there is no need to panic as there are options available for smaller budgets, such as cabin homes, tiny houses, and storage container builds.

Ultimately, the cost will be largely determined by the location you aim to settle in, as the value of the land, its proximity to amenities, and the local laws and regulations can all be major influences.

Handy Software

Thanks to some great software, you can now save a great deal of money throughout various stages of the design process.

For example, designing the perfect kitchen can be difficult without the opportunity to visualize your progress, but thanks to the many great options online, bringing your vision to life has never been easier.

It is not just the design elements themselves that can benefit from some handy software, so searching a bit further can allow you to optimize your processes across the board.

You may want to take a look at budgeting software, project management software, and Google Workspace for some extra support.

Which Professionals Will You Need Help From?

There are plenty of parts to the process that you can manage on your own, and if you can utilize your natural affinity for design, you may not need too much professional help in the early stages.

You will likely need to hire the help of an architect, a building inspector, a designer, and of course, a builder or two.

It is worth noting, however, that you do not necessarily need to hire an architect to get the job done, as in many cases, your builders will have their own contacts to use in this area.

If you happen to have any extremely intricate plans for how you want your home to look, consulting an architect is probably a must.

Choosing the right builders for the project is essential, too, as you will need a reliable company that is willing to give you accurate predictions of the timescale they will be working on.

Reliability, honesty, and cost-efficiency are some of the main points to look out for when choosing your contracting services. Before you buy, reaching out to previous customers might be able to give you the deepest level of insight.

To be totally safe, opting for a construction company that specializes in custom builds like your very own could be the best way to move forward. Asking around is also a must if you aim to get the best price, and a little haggling is always an option.

Materials

Choosing the materials is one of the fun parts, or frustrating parts, depending on their availability and price.

The physical materials you decide to build your house out of will not only ultimately inform the overall aesthetic but it will change the costs and the timeframe. Making sure to go for the right option in the first instance is vital to the integrity of the project, as you would not want to run out of materials halfway through and have a mismatched house unless that is what you were going for.

A few key points to consider when choosing the materials include:

  • Durability – A house that looks beautiful is all well and good, but if it does not fulfill its primary function of offering you warmth, shelter, and security, you might not have the best time actually living inside it. Durability, sustainability, and strength are always worth looking out for. Brick, stone, and steel are all reliable options and have been for thousands of years.
  • The Price – Sourcing the materials, along with the labor, is one of the priciest parts of the whole process, so it is worth paying close attention to the costs in this area. Concrete can be a durable, modern, and cheaper option if you need to cut costs.
  • The Aesthetic – The materials will affect the ending aesthetic of the house, and in many cases, certain options might not suit a custom build. Whether this is because of the lack of adaptability or strength, checking out your options well in advance is the best way to go.

Remain Flexible

Your schedule should not be a rigid set of parameters to fervently adhere to; in fact, they will likely change fairly often throughout the process.

There are so many external factors that can influence the timeline, such as the weather, the reliability of the contractors, the availability of materials, and foundational issues.

Once you have accepted that the process may not go exactly as planned, then not much else will be able to phase you.

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Home & Living

Top Tips When Starting Your Own Landscape Gardening Business

After the worldwide coronavirus pandemic of 2020, people across the country are now considerably more focused on their work-to-life balance, and, as a result, there has been an increased demand for gardeners and landscapers to overhaul gardens and provide a peaceful and enjoyable space for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Here are some tip tips and advice when starting your own landscaping gardening business:

Invest in Quality Equipment

The temptation, understandably enough, to purchase cheap and affordable, lower-quality equipment in the first few months of starting your business will be difficult to avoid.

However, the old adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ truly applies here, and as so many gardening and landscaping jobs require a significant amount of ‘elbow grease’, it is far better for you and your clients if you start as you mean to go on and invest in good quality gardening equipment. Not only will your jobs be easier and completed significantly faster, but investing in top quality landscaping materials from a reputable and established supplier will show your new clients you are a professional and high-quality landscaping business.

Clearly Define the Services You Provide

It is absolutely imperative to be crystal clear in your marketing material and general communications about exactly the type of services your new landscape gardening business provide. While around half of the 164 million homeowners found themselves gardening, this still left half without the inclination to do it themselves. And with the average American garden sizing out at 10,871 square feet, many don’t know how to tackle it and instead reach out to professionals who do know. This leaves businesses a perfect opportunity to grow. The problem is the competition is fierce and through the years will continuously increase. Therefore, it is crucial that you define the services you provide and choose such services carefully. If you are trained in a particular area, be that patio work, flower and plant knowledge, or another, work your skills thoroughly into your service selection.

Write a Comprehensive Business Plan

As with any other start-up business, it is absolutely crucial to clearly set out your goals and plans for the business and, just as importantly, the steps you are planning to take to make your dream a reality.

Before you even consider putting pen to paper, you must spend a substantial amount of time thoroughly studying the market as well as existing gardening and landscaping businesses currently operating in and around your local area.

There is a multitude of important elements to include in your business plan and, as concise as it needs to be, your business plan also needs to be as detailed as possible in order to make sense not only to yourself and any partners you are planning on having, but also to potential investors and clients alike.

Your business plan should include your objectives and goals, the variety of services you plan to offer, your business values, your marketing and advertising plans, your initial start up costs, and your target market.

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Home & Living

Best Way To Identify Wood Damaging Pests

Wood damaging pests, by their very definition, are a nuisance that you will want to get rid of. But, before you can eliminate a wood damaging pest, you need to know what you are dealing with. For example, termites are well known for eating their way through the wood. An average-sized colony can eat six inches of 2×4 wood in just five months.

That can be a significant issue for the structural stability of your home.

In contrast, the carpenter ant can consume nearly as much wood. But, they don’t eat it, they simply chew it to create tunnels where they then live. The damage is the same but the treatment may be different.

That’s why it pays to find out more about your local pest control experts and have their number handy in case you experience any issues.

There are three main types of wood damaging pests that you need to be able to identify and deal with.

  1. Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees can appear almost anywhere in the country and can cause a significant amount of damage. They look similar to the regular bee. However, they are all black. That makes them the easiest of these three to identify.

It is worth noting that the carpenter bee doesn’t eat wood, it simply creates tunnels in the wood where it lives and nests. The tunnels, and particularly the entry points, are perfectly round. The Carpenter bee’s offspring creates its own tunnels, allowing generations to live in close proximity to each other.  That magnifies the damage over the long term.

The male carpenter bee won’t sting you. However, if it feels threatened it will dive bomb you!

  1. Termites

Termites are well known for their ability to eat wood and these are the most destructive of the wood damaging insects. Termites generally live below ground, traveling through the soil to stay moist and feeding on your wood. That does mean they can be hard to spot until plenty of damage has already been caused.

The first sign you have termites is often the presence of discarded wings, suggesting more colonies are being created. You will want professional help to eliminate the termites and stop them from coming back.

  1. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants look very similar to standard ants but, instead of nesting in soil, they create their nests in wood. In many cases, they look for dead trees but they have been known to eat the wood in your home.

The first sign that these pests have invaded is normally a rustling sound in the walls. If you look closely you will also see the small piles of sawdust by each hole, confirming their presence.

If you don’t realize they are there until you start seeing them then they have been there for several years and are likely to have caused a lot of damage. You will need professional help as quickly as possible. Although it may be tempting to deal with the issue yourself, it is generally more efficient and effective to let the professionals handle the job.

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Home & Living

5 Ways to Help Create a Healthy Work from Home Setup

Making the switch to working from home is not easy. It might seem wonderful to have all this flexibility, but it also comes with a lot of challenges.

One of those challenges is creating a healthy work environment for yourself, and this should be one of the first things you look to do.

Comfort

We spend a lot of the day sitting down in front of a computer screen, which is not necessarily a healthy thing for our bodies. Our bodies were made to be active, running around outside, but modern life does not always make this easy.

You have got to put the hours in at your desk, but that does not mean you cannot make it comfortable and limit the impact on your health. Ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and other little features can help you maintain a healthier work from home setup, helping you stay fresher throughout the day.

Vision

Looking at a computer screen and constantly straining our eyes to read can be wearing. As we age, all that hard work we put our eyes through can catch up with us, making us strain to read the text.

This certainly is not uncommon, and it is not something you need to fight through. The right pair of reading glasses like these ready readers can take some of the strain off your eyes, making your life a little bit easier.

Breaks

Working from home often brings with it a lot of flexibility about how you structure your day. This is a great benefit to have, but it also means you are responsible for getting the best out of yourself.

People often think this means running themselves into the ground by putting in hour after hour in front of their desk. However, breaks are an important way of breaking up your time and maximizing your attention span.

It is not just about the hours you put in, but the quality of those hours.

Get Outside

A great way to utilize your breaks is to get outside and get some fresh air.

It is amazing the effects a short walk can have, and it can leave you ready to get back to your desk and get work done. The most important thing is finding what works for you and getting outside can be very beneficial.

There is nothing chaining you do your desk, so take your opportunities to get some fresh oxygen in your lungs.

Work/ Life Balance

When you start working from home, it might be surprising to find that one of the most difficult things to do is close the door to your office and leave work behind.

The line between work and life becomes blurred, and it is tempting to keep checking in on work even when you should be resting. However, it would help if you had to have clearly defined boundaries, and it is important to set these from the beginning.

Finding the right work/life balance will help your health, but it will also help you do better work in the long run.

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Home & Living

3 Tips For Choosing A Home To Raise Your Family

While picking a home to buy is a big decision in and of itself, choosing the home that you’ll raise your family in for the foreseeable future can put even more pressure on the situation. But luckily, there are some things that you can look for in a property that will greatly increase the chances of you and your family living in a great home with a great community around it.

To help you see how you can find these things, here are three tips for choosing a home to raise your family. 

Focus On Safety

When you have little ones running around, the very first thing that you should focus on when looking at a home and property is safety

Safety both inside the home and on the property surrounding the home is of the utmost importance. To discern the safety of a home, Patricia-Ann Tom, a contributor to Realtor.com, advises that you look at areas like the stairs, closets and cupboards, electrical sockets, and more. You’ll also want to ensure that the structural integrity of the home is sound, or you’ll want to repair things like the foundation or anything else that needs it. And as for the outside of the home, you’ll want to survey if there’s anything standing water that could be dangerous as well as looking for a home that’s fully fenced in. 

Look For Outdoor Space

Although you and your family might be spending the majority of your time inside your home, for the sake of your kids, you should also try to find a home or neighborhood that allows them outdoor space to play in. 

Keep in mind, however, that having a big yard also means talking on a big responsibility. According to Kate Ashford, a contributor to Parents.com, it’s ideal to have a backyard that’s easily accessible both for your kids and for any kind of maintenance tools that you’ll need to use back there. Otherwise, your family might not take advantage of this space or it might become overgrown and unusable. 

Check Out The School And Neighborhood

It’s not only the actual house that you’ll be living in that you should be concerned with.

As your kids get older, they’ll be going to school and getting more involved in your community. So to make sure they’re afforded the best opportunities to learn and grow in a healthy environment, Diane Schmidt, a contributor to The Spruce, recommends that you check out the school and the entire neighborhood before you choose to move into a particular home. By doing this, you’ll get a good idea of what kind of overall life your kids will have if you live in this area. 

If you’re in the market for a home that you can raise your family in, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you find the right fit.