Joe Duggan, BROKER/OWNER's Blog
The number of American employees who work from home, at least part of the time, is increasing year after year. Some 38% of Americans say they’re currently able to work from home at least one day a week, and that number is set to continue increasing.
Working from home can pose a few problems, however. Notably, trying to find a place within your home where you can sit down in peace and get to work.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about home office design. So, whether you’re working from home full-time, part-time, or just want a quiet place to go over the bills in the evening, so can ensure you have the best possible environment to be productive in.
The balance between focused and comfortable
Ideally, a home office is a place that is well-lit, distraction-free, and minimal in decor. However, each of us has our own process when it comes to being productive.
So, when planning your office, it’s important to choose a style that will help you work but will also make you want to spend time in the room.
Another trait of a home office that is largely dependent on your work-preferences is the lighting quality. This covers anything from the lights you use to the windows, curtains, and even the color of your walls.
If you’re the type of person who could easily fall asleep in a dimly-lit room, it’s probably a good idea to choose a bright paint color and ample lighting. This is especially true for people who find themselves spending long hours in the evening.
Decorating your office
Now that you’ve determined what type of home office you need, let’s think about how you’re going to furnish it.
The key here is to minimize distractions. A television is probably a bad idea. But, quiet music playing on your laptop or headphones could help you focus.
In terms of decorations, a good design principle to go by is that you should decorate with a few large items rather than several small items. This will help you prevent the room from feeling cluttered.
Set yourself up for organizational success
When you envision an office, you probably picture file organizers, paper clip holders, notepads, and countless other office-related tool and accessories.
However, if you tend to do most of your work on your computer, odds are those things will just get in your way.
Instead of filling up your cart at Staples, think about the type of work you’ll be doing in your home office and purchase only what you need. This will help you stay organized and help you from losing documents and losing time trying to find those documents.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start creating your home office haven of productivity. Be sure to check out my other posts for more tips and advice.
If anyone has ever been touched so closely by a loved one with Dementia, it can be emotionally difficult as so much changes and lives are never the same. I'm sure many understand as I do. As a Son with a Mother and Nephew of an Aunt having had this devastating disease, my goal is to provide some insight as to others who are facing what my family and I have emotionally struggled through for many years with the word "dementia" not far from our thoughts or on the tip of our tongues. There is a lot of information out there so I thought I would provide a few points of importance for those confronting the onset of this disease.
Every 66 seconds, someone in America develops dementia. The disease currently affects over 5 million people and 5.3 million of them are seniors. By 2050, it is estimated that the numbers will go as high as 16 million. Due to the growing number of seniors with the ailment, providing mental and physical care has been a struggle for family members. In fact, when staying home is no longer an option, children of seniors with dementia often decide to sell their parent's homes in an effort to fund a move to a facility that can take care of senior family members better. This is a good decision because family members cannot wait too long before putting parents with dementia in a facility that can give them the physical and mental health care they need.
Dementia care at home
Caring for a family member with dementia can be emotionally challenging. Seeing a parent or grandparent slowly forget memories they hold dear can be painful to watch. Because they are already losing themselves, family members rarely want to let them out of their sight. It is understandable for children to want to care for their parents, according to psychologists but in the case of dementia, providing care at home can be very difficult. Patients with the disease also find themselves looking for words during a conversation or have a hard time solving a problem. Dementia interferes with daily life and because it reduces a senior’s ability to live independently, professional care is needed.
For those who have seen the progression of the disease, early detection is a blessing. Children not only get to prepare themselves for what’s to come but get the chance to prepare their parents too. Putting together legal, financial, and health plans as soon as possible allows the individual with dementia to decide on important issues such as selling the house and other properties and access to savings accounts and other funds. Selling your parent’s home will be difficult without his or her consent, according to experts that’s why getting a power of attorney is ideal.
Assisted living for seniors with dementia has evolved through the years. Healthcare facilities in the United States now have nurses and healthcare personnel who offer homecare for patients who do not need facility-level care. While healthcare facilities are still a good option, moving a spouse or a parent out of the home they lived in for years can be difficult. This is one of the reasons why assisted living in America is quite successful, according to experts.
While putting dementia patients under the care of strangers can make children and spouses feel like they have abandoned a family member, assisted care at home makes family members more comfortable. Assisted living is likely one of the reasons why there are not many dementia patients living in care facilities. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 9 million Americans lived in long-term care facilities in 2014.
Dementia in the United States
Since the year 2000, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, a type of dementia, increased by 89%. In fact, one out of three seniors dies due to dementia. With more seniors developing the disease, it is not surprising that 15 million Americans provide free care for family members with dementia. In 2016, around 18 billion hours of care was provided to persons with disease and it is estimated to be valued at over $230 billion. Due to the amount of care needed by those who have been diagnosed with dementia, assisted living will become more mainstream than ever before.
The future of assisted living
Dementia friendly technology will improve the lives of millions of Americans with the disease. Wayfinding technology, social interaction technology, and memory support will improve quality of life. Experts say that they have yet to merge all of these technologies for them to work in an intelligent way but even if it will take time before they make it to the market, the future looks bright for dementia care.
When moving one of the room most families dread packing the most is their child’s. Overflowing toy boxes, stuff crammed under the beds, and who know’s what in the closet. It’s an epic task to take on, usually with just as much cleaning needed as packing. But with a move comes a new room and a clean slate.
Here are my top tips to keeping an organized child’s room (and for longer than 2 hours):
The most important step is to downscale the amount of stuff your child has. Toys are usually the number one culprit when it comes to a child’s clutter. Plan a day to have a massive clean sweep with your child where you work together what toys stay and which need to go. The more you can clean out the less you’ll have to move and the easier it will be to organize at the new house.
As you decide what stays think about the different categories the remaining toys fall into it. Which does your child reach for the most? Do they like to play with trains and action figures at the same time but just legos by themselves? Asking yourself these questions will help you to create organizational categories that make sense to your child.
Once you have some categories decided on, think about how to organize them. What systems do you already have in place and how do they work for your child? One of the biggest stumbling blocks families face in maintaining an organized home with children is a lack of understanding for how much a child can handle.
Keeping things simple with baskets and buckets toys can be placed in can make a huge difference in how tidy a room stays. Zippered, closed, sectioned or stacked containers, especially for young children, are harder to manage. Paired with piles of toys a child can become quickly overwhelmed at cleanup time.
By cutting down on the number of toys your child has, organizing them in a way that makes sense to how your child plays with them and opting for open containers sets your child up for cleaning success. The simpler you can make it the easier it is for them to take on the task. Pairing this setup with learning habits like cleaning up one set of toys before moving on to another will keep your child’s room tidy for months, and even years, to come.
And the biggest secret to avoid clutter from building up again? Before each birthday, holiday or gift receiving event go through your child’s toy collection and clean out what they no longer use to make room for new toys. If you want to go even further, encourage friends and family to gift your child experiences instead of material goods for celebrations.
Picking out flowers to plant in your garden and around your home is no easy task. You’ll have to consider the hardiness of the plants, whether you want them to come back year after year, what colors complement your house, and so on.
Most people just simply buy flowers that look pretty. And while you can get lucky and have healthy flowers that way, a better method is to think about what you’re looking for in a flower.
In this article, we’re going to help you choose the right flowers for your home and lifestyle.
Annuals, biennials, and perennials
One of the first things you should consider is the lifecycle of the flowers. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of choosing and planting new flowers every year or two, perennials may be the best choice for you. Over the long run, you can save money by planting and caring for perennials. However, in the short term, annuals tend to be cheaper to buy.
If you do decide to go with perennials in your garden you’ll need to be careful about which ones you choose. Make sure to look up your plant hardiness zone and only buy flowers that can withstand the colder seasons in your region.
Furthermore, you’ll want to see if there is any special care required to keep your flowers coming back each year. Likely, you’ll have to spend a bit of time aerating and fertilizing your soil to maintain a supply of nutrients to your plants’ roots. Similarly, determine if there is any special care that you can provide in the winter to help the plants return to life next spring.
Annuals tend to be some of the brightest and most beautiful flowers. Some of them, called “volunteers,” can sow their own seeds easily and return the next year with minimum work on your part.
You might also notice that annuals bloom throughout the season. That means you and you family and house guests have more time to marvel at the beautiful flowers they produce.
Some common annuals to plant are begonias, geraniums, marigolds, sunflowers and petunias. If you like to keep a variety.
Like annuals, biennials will die after they bloom. The key difference is that they last for two years not one. During spring of the first year they will grow and stem but won’t bloom. The following spring is when biennials reach their peak.
Just like annuals, biennials can sow their own seeds. However, some are easier to grow than others and you’ll want to encourage them with rich, aerated soil and plenty of water in early spring.
Some common biennials include Black-eyed Susans, Sweet William, Forget-Me-Not, and some garden variety plants like fennel, carrot, and parsley.
There’s more to flowers than just their ability to look and smell nice. Some plants have the ability to repel certain pests.
Marigold can repel certain insects as well as rabbits, chives repel certain beetles and flies, petunias repel aphids (which can wreak havoc in your vegetable garden), and so on.
If you have a pest problem and want to dissuade them from coming back next year, planting pest-repelling plants may be the best option for you.