Spending More Time At Home? The Changes To Make When You’re Sick Of The Same Four Walls!

We’re all spending a bit more time at home at the moment, and if you’re new to remote working, or having to use a home office, you’re probably getting a bit sick of seeing the same four walls over and over again! Don’t worry, you’re not alone; we’re all going a bit crazy with cabin fever, and it’s time to do something about this.

You’re going to want to make some changes to the interior design of your home, as well as the way it works. You’ve probably never noticed these kinds of little issues before, like how those wallpapers clash or how there’s not enough room on that bookshelf, simply because you haven’t been exposed to your own home this much before!

So, without further ado, let’s make sure you know what to change in your home, and how to go about making a change for the better. It’s all about giving yourself a bit more to work with, a bit more to look at, and making yourself feel a bit more comfortable when you’re stuck inside your own house.

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Switch Out Harsh Lighting

The lighting in your home is there for a reason, of course. It’s there to ensure it never gets too dark, and you can enjoy your alone or family time with enough light to eat, drink, and be a bit merry.

But the thing is, the lighting in your home might be a bit too harsh, especially if you’re a fan of overhead lamps. If you walk into a room and just flip the light switch on without really thinking about it, there’s a good chance you’re not doing your eyes or your mood any favors. And seeing as you’ve spent a lot more time at home recently, there’s a good chance you’re starting to become a bit over sensitive to the bulb that’s hanging over your head!

Which means it’s time to switch those harsh light tones and overhead lamps with something a little more soft and intimate, especially in your bedroom. Something that won’t hurt your eyes, and will just give your surroundings a soft glow, but still with strong enough light to read or work by.

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Getting the Best out of a Moving Company

Moving is a hassle for everybody; it’s just a fact of life. Packing up an entire home or office space full of furniture and belongings, making sure everything is safe and secure, transporting it to a new location, unloading, then beginning the process of unpacking and arranging everything…it’s time consuming, stressful and sometimes even risky if you’re moving items that are fragile, old or very heavy. There’s a reason that moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.

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For many of us, hiring a moving company or service is one way to eliminate some of that stress and make the entire process smoother. While it’s always going to be an anxiety-inducing experience – moving your life from one space to another – hiring an experienced and professional team to handle the hard stuff is definitely going to make it go easier. Hiring an experienced moving company is definitely a good investment, especially when you can easily compare removal services, and one that will ensure your move goes off without a hitch (pun intended), that your prized belongings are kept safe, and that everything is done on your schedule.

When hiring movers, there are some things you want to look for. For starters, you want a great point of contact who sits down with you and collects detailed information about your move – everything from when you need it done by, to your budget, to a detailed item-by-item list of your belongings, furniture and other important pieces. They’ll go through your house with you room by room, detailing everything you need moved and making note if you’ll also require packing assistance and/or materials. At the end of your consultation they’ll provide you with an estimated time frame and a quote, so you can make a decision if you’d like to hire the company. You have a right to know if the company you’re hiring can take care of your moving needs quickly, efficiently and affordably, so make sure they go over all these details with you and give you a specific time frame before you hire them.

Many moving companies like Two Men and a Truck also provide you with moving materials, packing materials and more, to make the entire process easier and keep you from having to hunt down and purchase costly moving supplies. They’ll also provide their own equipment, safety gear and the trucks needed to haul your items, big or small. Some moving companies even help you pack as an extra service, for those who are pressed for time or aren’t able to do it all on their own. Be sure to inquire about extra or additional services offered when you call your moving company.

Hiring movers is a worthy investment and one that will ensure that your move goes much easier than if you tried to do it on your own. Paying a group of friends in pizza is a cool way to save some cash, but it’s not exacty a safe or stress-free way to move. Spend the extra money on a moving company and you’ll be glad you did.

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Tips for Moving to Another State

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People move around all the time, that’s a constant in life. Even more, there are many reasons why they choose to relocate. It could be because of a new job, to be closer to family, or simply a lifestyle upgrade. Regardless of the reason, moving can leave you feeling stressed and not to mention, it can be expensive too. Nevertheless, there a few things movers can do to ease the stress associated with the entire process, and below are some tips to help them out.

1. Research Your New State

The idea of moving to a new state is obviously quite exciting, with the possibility of something new and better in sight. Despite this, don’t allow yourself to be caught unaware because with new things come uncertainties and new hurdles to jump.

It is advisable to find out how much taxes you will be paying, the schools in your new state and their costs, among many other things. Once you’re armed with this information, you’ll be able to plan your budget accordingly. Even more, if you have the time, try and make at least one trip to this new city so you can have a true feel of your new neighborhood and get a head start on learning the lay of the land.

2. Find a Place to Live

Now that you’ve decided that moving to a new city is the best choice for you, it is time to find a new home. Your choice will most likely be determined by your current status. If your family is growing and you need more space, then you should be looking to secure a bigger house. It’s even better if they can match what you’re paying in your current city or go lower. Also, make sure the home you choose favors every aspect of your life. Don’t get a place that’s two hours away from your new office or eons away from your kid’s school.

If you are already a homeowner in your current city and are looking to sell your house off, then you should consider using a company that will buy homes for cash. This takes away the hassle of getting a buyer within a short period of time and you can equally use the cash to make plans towards getting your new home immediately. In fact, try your best not to move until you have paid for your new home.

3. Decide on What to Take

This has to be one of the toughest parts for many people – deciding on what to take and what to leave. Especially if you’re leaving a childhood home or a place you’ve lived in for years, everything seems so sentimental and important. An easy way to get through this stage is to see this as an opportunity to purge.

Get rid of things you have never gotten around to using, like that weight bench which will end up taking up space, or an old couch that needs to be replaced. To make it a lot easier, you can organize a yard sale to sell these items off and replace some with better options once you relocate.

When you’ve made the decision on what to move, you can hire a reliable moving company. If you’re moving out of state, you should also consider forwarding your mail and updating your new address with your postal service company. Also, inform the important people in your life. You probably won’t see some of your friends again so, let them know that you are moving so you can have a little send-off party.

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4 Ways To Take Your Photography Skills To The Next Level

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If you love taking photos, you’ll know how it feels to have serious photo envy. Taking to Instagram, you can easily feel like a total amateur when presented with the most beautiful, perfectly lit, like-able photographs. You might think that these people, the ones who post the photos that make you go, ‘How! How do they do that?’ are all professional photographers. It seems as if they’re trained in the art of getting that right shot at exactly the right time. You’d be surprised, however, how many of these photography geniuses are self-taught.

Taking your photography skills to the next level doesn’t necessarily require an expensive online course or hours and hours of classes. No, you can actually learn from home, using your own free time to take your photos from zero to hero! Whether you have a passion for travel, wildlife photography, landscapes, sports or portraits, here are four great tips to make your photography shine without spending thousands on professional classes.

1. Turning YouTube Into Your Photography Guru

YouTube is useful for just about everything, right? Whether it’s how to get the cap off a jar that just won’t budge; how to train your dog to do a backflip; you name it, YouTube has it. Using YouTube for photography is an amazing, free tool. There are so many photographers who make free videos, with tips, tricks and equipment reviews. Learning new photography techniques is challenging, but with your own photography gurus guiding you, you’ll find yourself taking photographs you never thought you could!

There are tutorials for all kinds of photography, too. If you are an analogue person and love taking photos using an old film camera, there’s so much information online that you’ll love. Using your free online resources helps you up your photography game without spending a single penny.

2. The Right Equipment

Smartphones are super high quality nowadays, it’s true. There are many professional photographers who have taken to using their phones to complete their work. In theory, all you need is your phone, and you’re on your way to creating brilliant photographs.

However, to build a diverse set of skills which can cover a range of styles and situations, some equipment is needed. For wildlife photography, for example, you may need a tripod to position your device on, in order to watch movements and behaviours of wildlife for a long period of time, from the same viewpoint. Similarly, if you are interested in shooting landscapes, it might be time to invest in a drone. Drones, which can be bought in stores, or online at sites like www.drdrone.ca, are devices which can be sent into the air via remote control, and film from above. When you watch a nature documentary which follows the hunting path of a pack of wolves or see a sprawling cityscape shot from above, it’s likely these shots were created using drones.

Drones are an incredible addition to your stock of photography equipment. Plus, they’re so much fun to use. Learning to fly a drone and help it aid your photography by reaching angles and heights you couldn’t otherwise reach is super satisfying.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Even with expert teaching from online tutorials and super cool, high-tech equipment, the only way to become an amazing photographer is to never stop practising. Like any special skill, it never just ‘comes to you’. You’ve got to work hard and earn the skills that so many photographers seem to make look easy.

Practising doesn’t just mean taking photographs of everything you see. Your practice must be intentional. Setting yourself goals to achieve each month, for example, ‘This month, I will go on four nature walks and take photographs of the wildlife I see.’ This sets a time frame and an achievable goal to work in your skills wherever you can.

4. Don’t Be Fooled

Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea, and photography is no exception to this. Your photography journey is your own, and you will work at your own pace, within your own means. The photography you see on Instagram might be beautiful, but it’s often not what it seems. Most of the time, seemingly perfect shots have been edited for hours on end using online software. Although a shot might look candid and casual, it’s likely that an influencer, who makes money from posting on Instagram, has edited the photo a lot – or has paid someone else to do it.

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How To Find Out If Going Back To School Is Right For You

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For many people, going back to school is always a passing thought or something wedged in the back of the mind. Sometimes you realize the job you are in is terrible, it does not make you enough money or it no longer interests you.

Going back to school seems like a good option to build upon the skills you already have, allowing you the chance to make more money. Maybe you have enough money, but you are not doing what you are passionate about. Either way, if you are debating on whether or not you should go back to school, here are some things to think about before you take the leap.

What Are Your Motivators For Going Back To School?

Be very careful about your motivation for going back to school. If you hate your job and you are simply just looking for a way out, going back to school may not be the best option because it can get really expensive and you have to commit a lot of time.

Going back to school is a good option if you want to switch fields, you need college to advance your skills or your employer will pay for all your higher education. Other than that, you may be setting yourself up for more misery.

What Do You Want To Study?

There are tons of options to choose from, but this is where intimately knowing what you want and who you are will make this part easy. Do you want to study physical therapy, creative writing or computer science? It also helps to know where you should go to study. Do some research on some programs and weigh your options. Keep tabs on the program’s graduation rate, how likely those graduates get jobs and the kinds of jobs they have. Getting the full picture can better help you decide not only what you want to study, but where.

Do You Want A Certificate Or A Degree

Certificates allow you to learn more about a subject you may already know about or know nothing at all without putting up so much money toward a degree program. You could also opt for professional or trade certifications that allow you to perform a niche job. These are typically for jobs in technical, medical and education fields. Degree programs allow you to train for a specific job or may give you a broader education in an area.

Online Or In-Class

Going back to school may not be as seamless as it was when you were an undergraduate. You are an adult now and you have all types of things pulling at your attention. Because of this, it is important to pick the best program that fits into your lifestyle. For doctor of physical therapy degrees, for example, there are many flexible options. Some programs allow you the option to do classes partially online and in-person. Determine what your needs are and find the right program for you.

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Things To Do After A House Fire

If there is anything scarier than a house fire, we’d like to know what it is. Whether you are awake or asleep, a fire in the home is terrifying. It can wipe out your memories and your sense of stability within moments, and it’s not easy to recover from. A house fire can hit you hard in the wallet, but it hits you in the heart more than anything else. You’re losing everything from the walls and roof to the belongings that you have spent years building up – it’s a big loss.

With the right steps taken after the fact, you can make sure that you recover your losses and heal properly from the damage. Asking people in your life for a helping hand isn’t weak, nor is it something you should avoid. You need to be able to get back on your feet after a house fire devastates your family and your life, and to be able to do that you need the following steps to get back to normal.

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      1. Having the right insurance is so important, so if you were smart enough to have life and home insurance, you are going to need to contact your home insurance company as soon as possible after the fire. You shouldn’t touch the site of the fire until after you’ve had some help to assess it, whether that’s your insurance company or a public adjuster who can help you with your case. Take pictures and videos and take the steps necessary to prevent anything additional happening to the property.

      2. The fire department has to clear the area and let you know that it’s safe before you can set foot anywhere near it. You need to know that you’re not about to bring the whole house down when you step foot in your house. Waiting won’t mean that you are waiting years, either; give them a call before you call the insurance companies!

      3. Assessing the damage may take some time but you need to know what the cost of this will be to repair. You need to know what you lost in this fire so that you can assess how much you need to spend to get your home back to what it was before the fire happened. You need to make a list of all the repairs that will be needed to rebuild the home properly. The last thing that you want to do is not know what the process is and find that you are out of pocket and out of time to rebuild!

      4. Find a place to stay for you and your family once you know what resources your insurance company will pay out to you. If you know that they will put you up in a hotel, take advantage of this. Everything you spend, keep the receipts so that you can claim with them afterward.

      5. Look after yourself as best you can. A fire is a traumatic event, and you and your family will need time to heal and take care of yourselves. You need to get some counselling and medical care, and you need to get back to routines as best you can as fast as you are able to. Consistency is key!
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