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Easy Ways to Simplify Your Home

Easy Ways to Simplify Your Home

Last week we talked about the kitchen design trends that are making an impact. One of those trends was the idea of living a clutter free kitchen. In the age of Covid, when we're spending more time than ever before in our homes, we're all finding that getting rid of the clutter feels good.

It can also be a bit overwhelming if you've got a home filled with a lifetime of memories and other things you've picked up along the way.

With more time on our hands and more time at home, there's never been a better time to simply your home environment. These tips and tricks will help get you on your way to a clutter free home in no time. 

Easy Ways to Simplify Your Home

  1. Follow the 6 Month Rule - This is especially useful for the closet. If you haven't worn something in 6 months you probably aren't going to wear it again. If you've got clothing from the 90s hanging in your closet, it's time to let it go. 
  2. If it doesn't fit, pitch it - Don't hang on to clothing that doesn't fit because you think you're going to lose weight and get into it. If you lose the weight that's wonderful. Treat yourself to some new duds, but toss out the ones that don't fit now.
  3. Shred it - It's best to save legal and financial documents for 7 years, but you don't need to save bank statements or credit card statements. In fact, you shouldn't even be getting them on paper anymore. After you've gone digital go ahead and shred or burn all those old statements that are cluttering your desk. 
  4. Books - It's difficult for book lovers to get rid of books, but they take up a lot of space and the odds are really good you're never going to read that Tom Clancy novel again. Save the classics and any favorites if you have room, but get rid of paperbacks and any books you have no desire to read or reread. Donate them to the Goodwill or local thrift store so others less fortunate can benefit from them. 
  5. One Room at a Time - Paring down your belongings can be an overwhelming task. It can also be an emotional task. Take it one room at a time and do it over the course of several weekends. You'll have time to consider what you want to keep and what you can part with without being pressured due to the need to move or some other crisis. 

By paring down ahead of time you'll have the luxury to really consider the things you want to keep and the things you're better off without. Then, when it comes time to move you won't be stressed by those considerations. 

Working from Home During the Stay at Home Order

Working from Home During the Stay at Home Order

Like many Americans, you're probably trying to work from home now that most states have a Stay at Home order in place. If you've never worked at home, especially if you have children at home attending online school, this can be a monumental change. While there are many adjustments to be made to your schedule and those of your housemates, working at home can be very productive and actually save you a lot of time.

Working at home has its challenges - creating a quiet workspace, having the right technology, and being disciplined when it comes to separating work from home - but it also has its perks. You won't spend time in traffic, you'll save on gas, you can probably sleep in a little longer if you have to commute, you can (though it is not recommended) work in your pajamas, and no one is going to steal your lunch. 

Working from home can be challenging, but if you follow these tips and tricks it should be pretty easy to find a new normal pretty quickly.

Tips and Tricks for Working from Home

Establish a Routine

Getting your routine down as soon as possible will get you on the right track, right away. Create a routine that is as close to your regular work day/schedule as possible. If you start your day by waking at 5:30am, continue to do so. Shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and then get down to business. Don't forget to get up and stretch every now and then. Try to keep to your routine and don't let house chores distract you while keeping work hours, even though it's really easy to do. 

Get Dressed

No one is around to see you so why not wear sweats or PJs all day long? Because you won't be nearly as productive if you do. Get up and get dressed in comfortable clothing (you don't have to wear a suit). You'll set your brain into work-mode this way. By staying in sweats or other non-business attire, you'll signal to your brain that it's time to play or time to rest, neither of which is conducive to a productive day at work.

Tech

You'll need the right tech to work from home. While many of the tools we use everyday to connect with co-workers and clients is cloud based, if you are now using your personal laptop or desktop to work from home you'll need access to possibly your office network as well as any apps that allow you to virtually meet with your team. If you are accessing the office network from home you'll want to be sure your computer has malware or other security installed and is up to date. Your office IT person should be able to help you install the appropriate software. 

WiFi Connection

With more people working from home than ever before, as well as kids finishing the school year at home, the internet has never been so stretched to capacity. While many internet providers are increasing speeds, it may not be able to keep up with demand. Expect the internet to slow down from time to time. If it slows down, it might be a good time to get up, stretch your legs and get another cup of coffee.

Avoid Distractions

The most difficult part about working from home is all the distractions you'll encounter while trying to get anything done. Whether it's the neighbor's barking dog, the kids fighting over a video game or the pile of laundry on the dining room table that's been calling out to you - distractions abound. If you can shut yourself off from the rest of the home you're ahead of the game. If you can't do that, you'll need to be disciplined and you'll need the support of other family members. It might take a little time to find the rhythm that works best for you and your family, but eventually you'll figure it out.

Manage Expectations

Be kind while you’re getting used to this new situation. It’s okay if you get frustrated, and it’s okay if you don’t accomplish all that you usually do in a day at the office. It takes some time to get used to new routines and this is one most of us have never encountered before. Breathe, do your best to relax and be prepared to walk away from your desk rather than put unneeded pressure on yourself to force productivity.

 

Design Trends Everyone Loves

Design Trends Everyone Loves

After attending the International Builders' Show and walking the vast convention floor, it was clear that several design trends were going to be a huge hit and loved by most homeowners. Many of these design trends are very affordable and can be accomplished in a weekend or two if you are so inclined. Others can be incorporated into a new build or remodel.

Design Trends Everyone Loves

Whiter Whites - Homeowners are choosing whites that don't have grey in them. They want a brighter white to illuminate the rooms they use white paint in. Perfect in kitchens, bathrooms and anywhere in the home you want to make bright and clean.

Colored Cabinetry 

Nothing is better than a pop of color and choosing cabinetry is an easy way to bring that pop into your home. Homeowners are moving away from all white cabinets and opting for cabinetry that is colored. These are usually bold, statement colors like black, dark grey, midnight blue or dark green. 

Jewel Tones

When it comes to color pastels have been all the rage up until recently. Jewel Tones are back and better than ever. 

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