More Than Homework: Turning Your Home Into A Proper Business

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We all fantasize about the idea of working from home full time, but what about those people that want to take it one step further, and set up their own business from home? It’s certainly a bigger challenge than setting up the standard home office, but if you want to use your home for more than just a place to live in, but use it as a base of operations, or use it as a place in which you can trade, how can you do this?

Is Your Home In A Lucrative Location?

Of course, this depends on the type of business you are trying to start, but if you are working out of your home, and you plan on serving customers, like so many holistic therapists, you have to factor in your location in your overall planning. When it comes to the location, it needs to be within a reasonable distance to your customer base, but it also needs to be in a neighborhood that is zoned for home businesses. Of course, you can set up a business from home, but there could be trouble further down the line if your local council catches up with you, or a neighbor makes a complaint. And on this topic, dealing with neighbors when it comes to having any thoughts of renovating your home, especially to set up a business, can cause a lot of personal and professional problems for you and your professional image. It’s worth having a look on houzz.com to get some this is information with regards to dealing with those pesky neighbors. You may be forgiven for thinking that running your business from home takes a lot of the anxieties out of the process, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

How Does Your Home Look?

For the average e-commerce business, the appearance of your home doesn’t matter so much, but when it comes to appealing to customers and clients alike, you need to bear in mind that the attractiveness of your home could have positive and negative effects on your numbers. You don’t want to scare customers off before they have set foot through your front door, and so making sure that your property, in terms of the interior and exterior, is up to code. It’s always vital to make sure the aesthetics are pleasing enough, and so investing in a contractor to get these bits of work done should be viewed as a worthy investment. You can go to wildwoodroof.com and look at what a typical contractor can do to improve the exterior of your home, so it is that bit more attractive. From the moving to the sidings, or even the windows, if you live in a dilapidated home, and you plan on running a proper business from it, some people may be turned off by the appearance from a distance.

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10 Ways Your Home Can Serve As A Stress Reliever

Stress isn’t just unpleasant, it can also be very unhealthy. It’s easy to suffer from the symptoms of stress when you work hard all day. Life has its ups and downs, but sometimes the downs can make you feel pretty down too. Escaping from those tough situations is important to give yourself a break.

Your home should be the one place where you can feel safe and secure. It should be your sanctuary away from all the things that bother you and all the stresses your feeling in life. Here are just 10 ways your home can serve you better as the perfect place to relieve your stress:

1. Sauna

Many Finnish homes have a sauna because it can be a very simple and easy way to wind down at the end of the day. The body is relieved of the toxins that build up from stress, diet, and the environment. Finnish people often see the sauna as a social activity, but you might prefer a one-person cabin for this activity.

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Relax and detox in your own home sauna. Photo Credit

Saunas can be built into the house if you have appropriate space for it. A cupboard size is really all you need. Alternatively, place one in a private area of your backyard. There are times when a sauna might be harmful to your health, so check with your doctor if you have any medical conditions.

2. Bubbles

Bubbles are cleansing, invigorating, and relaxing all at once. You can add the therapeutic properties of bubbles to your daily life at home. Hot tubs are still a firm favorite for those that love having their muscles massaged and their skin cleansed of all the stresses of the day. Again, this might be a social activity for some, but you can enjoy a hot tub soak in a private corner of your backyard at any time. Even in winter, the warm water is sensuous and enjoyable.

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Bubbles are fun as well as good for the skin. Photo Credit

An indoor alternative to a hot tub is a jacuzzi spa bath. These are special bathtubs that include several jets placed to massage your back, legs and feet with bubbles. It’s not advisable to add anything to the water when you use it. The jets can be a bit loud, but you can always play some music over the included Bluetooth speakers. Add some color therapy, and you can drift away into relaxation.

3. Seating

How you sit can make quite a difference to your physical and mental relaxation. Recliners are wonderful if you want to put your feet up at the end of the day. If you want to feel cozy and snuggly, you might prefer a bean bag sofa or chair like the ones at ComfySacks.com. These can feel like they’re embracing you as you sink into them with a good book.

Cuddle couches have made a comeback! If you have someone special waiting for you at home, these oversized sofas with extra squishy cushions can be perfect. You won’t ever want to get up! It’s important to choose seating that supports good posture, rather than a hunched or rounded back. Turn down the lights, and ease the night away.

4. Sleeping

Sleep is one of the best stress relievers there is. The trouble is, when you’re stressed, it’s very difficult to fall asleep! Your bedtime routine plays a huge part in preparing your mind and body for sleep. But your home has a big part to play too. Choose the bedroom with the least amount of noise from the street, the boiler, or any appliances that work through the night. Use blackout curtains, and turn the heat down. Now ease yourself into a high-quality memory foam bed for extra support. And close your eyes.

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And sleep. Photo Credit

Ideally, you should be aiming for about seven and a half hours of uninterrupted slumber each night. This means you are going to have to go to bed early enough to fit that in. Once you’re in bed, don’t feel bothered by busy thoughts. Instead, write them down so you can deal with them in the morning. Choose soft pastel colors for your decor design in the bedroom. Ditch the TV and other electronic devices.

5. Flowers

It’s not just the indoors of your home that can help you to unwind. Your backyard or garden are the perfect place to find peace and tranquillity. Aim to plant for color all year round. Even the winter can be full of beautiful colors from flowers. Shrubs and bushes can offer dozens of shades of yellows and greens too. Don’t forget to plant lavender for a relaxing aroma to help you de-stress.

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Fill your outdoor spaces with beautiful aromas and colors. Photo Credit

6. Water

The sound of water trickling, flowing, and bubbling, can be very soothing. Watching a cascading fountain can also be quite therapeutic. Indoor wall fountains or quaint garden water features can offer you everything you need to help you feel balanced and quiet again. You might need a qualified electrician to help you install one of these, but they’re sure to be a hit for all the family.

Swimming is one of the best exercises to help tone your body, boost your fitness, and reduce stress. If you have space out the back, why not invest in a pool? You will also need to invest in safety gates and railing if you have pets or children at home with you. Why not aim to make use of your pool every day?

7. Media

Music has been proven to have therapeutic properties. You might listen to music on your headphones, or blast it out through a hi-fi system. Making music can also soothe the soul. Learn to play a musical instrument. It can focus your mind, offer the perfect distraction for stressful thoughts, and even exercise the body.

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What song touches you the most? Photo Credit

Making music uses more of your brain at once than any other activity. This is one of the reasons why so many people find it so therapeutic. Make loud, heavy music to express a bad mood. Soften the tone, and pull back the tempo to help you unwind.

8. Home Gym

Exercising, especially vigorous exercise, can reduce stress enormously. It can also help reverse the health damage that stress can cause. When we’re stressed, we tend to have a build up of adrenaline. This is really difficult to shake off and can stop you feeling comfortable enough for sleep. A good run or even a weight training session can drain that adrenaline away. Best of all, exercising releases ‘happy’ hormones. After about ten to twelve minutes of continuous exercise, you’ll be feeling much better.

A home gym doesn’t need to include much equipment at all. You might just have a workout mat, a few square meters of space, and a kettlebell. YouTube is one of the best places to find thousands of workout and exercise ideas. Using the internet often gives you access to images or video demonstrations to help you get the moves right safely. You might install Bluetooth speakers, a smart internet-connected TV, and an exercise bike. Use your garage or the spare bedroom to create the space you need to enjoy exercising at home.

9. Entertaining

Socializing is one of the best stress-busters there is. Humans need to be around other humans. While we might all enjoy a little alone time, it is better for our mental and emotional well-being to be in good company. Your home can help a lot here. Your dining room, patio area, and living room are all great spaces for entertaining. Why not aim to invite friends over a couple of times every week?

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Invite friends for good food, good wine, and good conversation. Photo Credit

Dinner parties are great ways to bring several people into your home at once. This can create lots of variety in conversation and the group dynamic. This can all be very good for the brain! It can challenge you, and it can help you feel more supported by your network of friends. Talk, laugh, and even gossip a little – it’s all good for you. And if it’s done in the privacy of your home, there’s no harm in a little candidness and openness.

10. Share It

Whatever size your home might be, sharing it can be the perfect way to keep stress at bay. You might have a furry friend live with you. Do they have a room of their own for sleeping, or are you happy for them to bunk in with you? Petting our four-legged companions is very good for relieving stress. It lowers the heart rate, and can even release those ‘happy’ hormones that make us feel so good.

Purring cats are also thought to offer therapeutic services. It has been found that the purr might even help aid healing. Of course, a good cuddle with a partner or spouse can be just as beneficial. Sharing your home helps you to feel supported and cared for. And you’ll always have good company.

Our homes serve us in many ways. With a few tweaks and modifications, you might find it can serve as a great stress reliever too. What helps you to unwind at home?

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4 Benefits of Installing Indoor Wall Fountains

When people think about decorating the interior of a house, indoor wall fountains may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind. Usually, you’d think of a leather couch, a new rug, or even something fancy and striking to hang up on the wall, not a water fountain in your living room.

But did you know that having an indoor wall fountain installed in your home has additional benefits besides making your home look fancy? It’s true, and we’ll list the top 4 benefits here for you right now:

  1. Health benefits for occupants and visitors. We’ll start things off with the biggest one, namely the health benefits. Yes, having an indoor wall fountain in your property can have a beneficial effect on your health and well-being, as well as that of your family and guests. These health benefits stem from the stress-relieving qualities brought about by the looks and sounds of an indoor fountain.

    No matter how stressed or wound up someone is, they will surely be calmed by the sound of bubbling water. The dappling water patterns that cascade down the wall are also quite relaxing to look at. These 2 elements work together to help decrease a person’s stress hormone levels and normalize their heart rate and blood pressure.

  2. Increased home value. In addition to transforming your home into a calming space, a functional wall fountain also adds to your home’s visual appeal and improves its atmosphere. A wall fountain won’t only impress visitors and neighbors, it’ll also bump up the value of your property — a smart move if you’re planning on selling your home. In a way, installing an indoor fountain benefits one’s property in the same way that having additional rooms or a swimming pool would.
  3. Air purification and humidification. An indoor wall fountain can actually improve the air quality of an enclosed space. By dispersing negative ions all over your home through water evaporation, the water fountain scrubs the surrounding air clean of dust, irritants and allergens. This gives you and your family clean and fresh air to breathe in, day in and day out. In addition to cleaning the air in your home, a water fountain also serves as a source of moisture and humidity. This can make your property more comfortable during winter and prevent ailments caused by dry air, like eczema flareups, nosebleeds, and skin allergies.
  4. Good Feng Shui. Many interior designers all over the world swear by this ancient Chinese design philosophy, where the addition of certain specific elements in a home is said to harmonize the ‘energy’ or ‘chi’ flowing through it. This can have a range of benefits for the home and those who live inside it – from good luck and fortune to even better health! And an indoor water fountain — as many feng shui experts agree — is essential for a home. This is because water itself is an ancient feng shui symbol of wealth and prosperity. Don’t place it in the South area of your house or in any of your bedrooms, as these are apparently bad feng shui locations for the water element. When in doubt, consult someone knowledgeable about feng shui before having your indoor water fountain installed.

In conclusion, home owners stand to benefit from indoor wall fountains much more than they probably realize. It elevates the value of your property, and it can make a stark improvement in the quality of the air you breathe and the overall indoor atmosphere of your home. Who knew that an installation that’s primarily valued for its luxurious looks can have so many uses?

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Signs Your Home Is in Need of Some TLC

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Have you become a bit fed up with your home? Do you no longer enjoy spending time in it? If so, this could simply be because your home is in need of some TLC. Our properties all need maintaining, and after time, there are some areas that will need addressing more than others. However, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to prioritise. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the key signs that your house is in need of some TLC.

  • Gurgling noises are coming from your drains – If you can hear sounds coming from your fixtures and pipes, which you don’t usually hear, then this is a sign that there is something wrong with your drains. This is especially the case when gurgling noises are combined with a toilet that is taking longer than usual to flush or sinks that aren’t clearing as quickly as usual. This gurgling sound will usually indicate that you have clogged drains. It is better to deal with this issue now, rather than waiting until you have a complete blockage on your hands. Not only could the latter scenario cost you more money, but also it could result in your bathroom floor being covered with toilet water and being out of use for a few days – not a situation anyone wants to experience.
  • Worn countertops – If you hate the thought of preparing dinner in the evening, it may not be that you have fallen out with cooking, it could be that you have fallen out of love with your kitchen. One of the main reasons for this is worn countertops. Countertops, after all, are a good indication regarding the level of wear and tear in your kitchen, and in your house altogether. Over time, they can become worn to a dull appearance, burnt, and chipped. Replacing your countertops with a durable and high quality option is advised, as this will add further aesthetic appeal to your property while also boosting the value of it if you ever do decide to sell.
  • Clutter – This is a major problem in a lot of homes. If you have a lot of clutter in your house, you are never going to enjoy spending time in it. This is because clutter creates chaos, which makes it impossible to relax or even think straight. Now is the time to tackle it. You should tackle each room, one-by-one, arranging all of your belongings into three categories: must keep, nice to keep, and don’t need. Anything in the latter category should be thrown away immediately. Anything in the first category should be kept and allocated a place in the room. You then need to deal with the items that would be nice to keep. Keep anything that you can find a space for, and get rid of anything you can’t place anywhere. And, by space, we mean in a drawer or on display, not simply piling things in the corner of a room. This will help you to make sure that you have the adequate amount of things for the size of your home. In order to maintain this level of organisation, you must then follow the one in, one out rule. So, whenever you purchase something new, you need to get rid of something you have in your home already to accommodate it.
  • Mould and mildew – If you have mildew and mould in your home, you definitely need to act as quickly as possible. Not only does it look unpleasant, but also it can cause health risks to anyone living in the property. You may be wondering why your property has been attacked with mould and mildew. Both are indicators that you have too much moisture in your property. You will usually find mildew and mould in the kitchen and bathroom, but they can both appear in any room. So, the first thing you need to do is buy an appropriate cleaner to tackle the problem. Once you have done this, assess the ventilation in the room where the mould has formed. Consider opening a window or turning on a fan when these rooms are particularly humid so you can stop the mould and mildew from forming again.
  • Water damage – This is another clear sign that your property is in need of TLC. Water damage accumulates over time, which is why it is vital to deal with the issue as soon as you notice it, otherwise you could end up with an extremely expensive repair bill on your hands. There are a number of signs that indicate you could have water damage, such as stained ceilings, running water when no one is using it, and a spongy feeling underneath your floor tiles. Your water damage could be an indicator that your roof is damaged or that you have leaky pipes. Either way, you need to get the professionals in as soon as possible to rectify the issue.
  • Your carpets look dirty and dull – If you simply cannot breathe life into your carpets anymore; it’s time for an upgrade. Of course, you could give professional carpet cleaning a try before you give up altogether. Nonetheless, carpet doesn’t last a lifetime, and so it may be a good idea to consider something a bit more long lasting, such as hardwood flooring or tiled flooring. This can add a modern and stylish touch to your property while also being a lot easier to maintain.
  • If you have noticed any of the signs that have been mentioned above, it is important to take the steps to rectify the issues. By doing this, you are sure to fall in love with your property all over again. Your house will be much more enjoyable to be in, and you don’t need to worry about the issue getting worse and costing you even more money later down the line. You could save yourself a fortune!

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Streaming Services Vs Cable TV: Which Is Best For You?

Everyone likes to settle down and watch their favorite movies and TV shows from time to time. With Christmas just around the corner, I know plenty of you will have lots of free time on your hands. No doubt you’ve already ordered some cosy blankets and a truckload of popcorn to prepare for a winter binge of all the great movies and TV you missed out on this year. The only question on your lips is; what’s the best way to watch everything?

Well, most people have two options; subscribe to a streaming service or buy cable TV. Both of these ideas are both good in their own right, and there’s no real ‘winner’ per say. Instead, they suit different types of people. So, let’s compare the two and see which one may be best for you!

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Cable TV

There are plenty of ups and downs with cable TV. The main positive is that you get a lot more available to you. They tend to have lots of channels packed full of movies, and you also get to see TV shows when they’re first aired. If you stream TV shows, then you’re likely going to have to wait until the series is finished before it comes to the service. The only exceptions are shows that are made for the streaming platforms. So, if you’re someone that hates spoilers and needs to stay up-to-date with the best shows, then cable tv packages are more your thing. Plus, movie channels tend to get new movies before streaming services too. A lot of them have options to buy or rent the movie as soon as it’s out on Blu-Ray, which is good for anyone that can’t wait too!

Another big plus point is that you also get a kind of streaming service in on-demand TV. Loads of providers will give you access to a library of on-demand shows that you can stream whenever you want. This means that, if you missed the season finale of a Game Of Thrones because you were working, you could stream it almost immediately after it’s aired. Similarly, you can record live TV, which means you can record entire series of movies to watch when you want, and fast forward through any commercials!

I find there are two main downsides of cable TV. The first is that they often don’t have a lot of what streaming services have. A streaming service could have a bigger catalogue of TV shows and movies, giving you more variety when you want to find something to watch. The second downside is that these packages are more expensive and often less flexible. However, you do get a lot for what you pay, so it’s really up to you whether this is an issue or not.

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Streaming Services

As you can already tell from the pros and cons of cable TV, there are numerous positives and negatives of streaming services. The biggest pro is that they’re very affordable. For just a few dollars a month, you can subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, etc. and have access to loads of movies and TV shows. The services are often flexible too, meaning you can cancel your contract at any time without having to pay a get-out clause of any kind. Some people will really benefit from these low costs, particularly students that don’t have a great deal of cash to spare.

You’ll also find a huge variety of shows and movies on these streaming services. They have genres to cater to every taste, and don’t just show the popular films. If you love indie films, or TV shows that go a bit under the radar, then a streaming service is where you’re most likely to find them. They keep updating their catalogues too, so there’s pretty much always going to be something for someone, somewhere. Another thing I personally enjoy is the absence of any commercials or adverts. There’s no intrusion when you watch, just choose what you want to indulge in, and stream it right away!

There are also two main downsides of streaming, but they’re also quite subjective. The first is that they don’t offer anything other than streaming. So, if you like watching live TV, then you won’t find it here – although, saying that, some streaming sites like Amazon are trying to a acquire rights to stream sports live! The second is that you really depend on a good internet connection here. If you have dodgy wifi, then you won’t be able to stream anything in good quality and end up with that horrible buffering symbol on your screen permanently.

Which Is Best For You?

So, have you decided which option is best for you? Of course, some of you are probably thinking; why can’t I have both. You can, but it might be costly for you. Some people are lucky if they’re students and their family home has cable TV paid by their parents, so they can buy a streaming service and get the best of both worlds!

In general, if you’re an avid lover of live TV and like staying up-to-date with the latest shows, then cable TV is the better option for you. If you can afford the price of a package, then it will give you everything you want and more. The great thing is, you can often build your package by choosing the channels you want to pay for, lowering the costs a bit.

But, if you have a very tight budget and don’t care about watching things live, then a subscription service is best for you. You could even be cheeky and pay for one month over Christmas then cancel your contract if you don’t have time to watch a lot of things afterwards.

As you can see, both options have a load of pros and cons that make them ideal for certain types of people. Like I said earlier, neither option is inherently ‘better’ than the other. It all depends on your needs, and I hope you’ve used this guide to figure out which one suits you best of all.

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