Designing & Building Your First Home Office

Whether you have just started working from home, or you have just got sick and tired of working from the sofa, when it’s time to build your own home office that is always an exciting moment to be in. Having your own home office is great, and a wonderful way of ensuring that you are actually actively enjoying working from home. It will also allow you to avoid being distracted, and to work harder and smarter, which could bode well for the future of your freelancing or your business. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations to bear in mind when you are designing and building your first home office.

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Clear Out Some Space

First of all, you will need to clear out some space so that you have somewhere to work with. That could just mean that you finally clear the spare room of all its junk, but then of course you will need to find somewhere to put all that stuff. You could use this opportunity as a chance to declutter and downsize some of your belongings, or you might just use a local SMARTBOX Solutions, Inc. storage unit and use that to store your belongings long-term. It could be a combination of the two. However you do it, clear out the space so that you are starting again from scratch.

Consider Alternative Positions

Bear in mind that it doesn’t always have to be the spare room that you use. If you think outside the box a little, you should be able to come up with some alternative ideas for where to have your first home office. For instance, you might want to think about using your garden, if you have one. There are many great ways to turn your garden into an office, especially if you have a shed or an outhouse. Or if you have an attic or a basement, that could be a great opportunity for a home office too. It’s all about considering these other options, to ensure that you end up with the right one to work in.

Home Office Design

In terms of the actual design, you are of course completely free to do it however you like. But the important thing to bear in mind here is that you should aim to make it the kind of place you really want to work for hours on end. In other words, make it easy on the eyes and make sure that it is comfortable and relaxed too. You should also include as many personal items as you like to help make it a much more enjoyable personal space. However you do it, be sure to design the home office with all of these concerns in mind.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about in designing and building your first home office. But as long as you consider these things carefully, you should end up with a much better home office that you can use much more easily.

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Defining The Best Version of You – Step by Step

Defining the best version of yourself is a difficult exercise, which is why we’re going to break it down for you, step by step. Once you know exactly who the best version of you is and what they are about, you can begin working towards becoming that version of yourself. Read on to get started:

Step 1: What Do Your Daily Habits Look Like?
First, think about what your habits would look like if you were the best version of yourself. Would you drink water, take vitamins, eat vegetables, and exercise? More than likely! Write down the habits you would adopt if you were the best you that you could be, and then figure out how you could begin incorporating them into your lifestyle right now.

Step 2: What Are Your Hobbies And Do You Have Time For Them?
When it comes to your hobbies, having time for them is crucial. We shouldn’t just spend all of our time in a job and no time on our own personal projects. What would you do if you were the best version of yourself? Maybe you’d spend time roller skating, painting, or doing something else. Where could you fit this into your routine now?

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Step 3: What Do You Do For A Living?
If you hate the job you’re in now, it’s fairly safe to assume that you wouldn’t do it for a living as the best version of yourself. Maybe you could hunt for jobs, or even work on ways you could train to land the job of your dreams. It might be unrealistic to absolutely love your job, but finding satisfaction in it and enjoying it in some ways is often important. Do you want to feel valued? Do you want to see the results of the work you put in? Write out what you truly want from your job role.

Step 4: Who Do You Spend Time With?
Do you want a partner, or a closer circle of friends? When you start being true to yourself, you tend to attract your people. Be who you really are, do things you enjoy, and aim to show up as your best self. Pretty soon, people should show up out of the blue.

Step 5: What Does Your Health Look Like?
Being a healthy person is often equated to being the best version of yourself. Now, if you have chronic illness or something else to consider, then simply knowing how to manage that in a way that is best for you could be the best version of yourself. Managing hearing aid issues and things like that can help you to live a better quality of life.

Step 6: Where Do You Want To Be?
Can you define where the best version of yourself is? Where do they live? Where do they spend time? If you don’t want to stay where you are right now, it might be time to put money aside and come up with a plan for a move.

What does the best version of you look like?

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Pay Attention! These Are The Most Commonly Overlooked Health Issues

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has shown us that good health is one of the most important things in our lives. We all must sit up and start listening and paying more attention to what our bodies are telling us. We are all guilty of overlooking our health and letting health issues that could be stopped in their tracks get progressively worse until sometimes, it is too late to do anything about them. As a consequence, the quality and length of our lives are often impacted. We all need to take responsibility for our bodies, so here, we look at some of the most commonly overlooked health issues.

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Hearing loss

It is thought that as many as fifty million Americans have hearing loss to some degree, whether mild enough that turning the TV up and speaking a little louder is enough, to profound, where there is no sound at all. As for many people, hearing loss is something that gets gradually worse, it quite often goes unnoticed until it is at a point where the damage cannot be reversed. Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so taking steps not to damage hearing is key. However, regular hearing tests can also pick up any issues.

Sight loss

This is generally a lot easier to pick up than hearing loss, but many people still live a long time with poor eyesight or the wrong glasses or prescription. Just like hearing loss, this can have a significant effect on the quality of life, as well as being a safety concern when driving or operating machinery. As above, regular sight tests can not only pick up worsening eyesight but a range of other conditions too. However, if you notice you have to peer a little more closely at your cell phone or computer screen, or the license plate of the car in front seems a little unclear, it is time to go and have it looked at.

Cognitive decline

As we get older, we all expect our memory to fade a little and to be a little absent-minded at one point or another. It is a natural part of ageing. However, there is normal absent-mindedness and cognitive decline, and it is important to know and recognise the difference. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are increasing, most likely because people are living longer, but it needs monitoring. While once it has set in, there is little you can do to stop it, there are things that you can do to help slow down the decline. Keeping physically and mentally active, quitting smoking and excess alcohol consumption and eating a healthy, balanced diet all go a long way to keeping your cognitive ability sharp.

Over the course of a lifetime, most people will experience one or more of these common but often overlooked health issues. While they may not always be treatable, there are steps you can take to help reduce the chances and slow them down if they have already made their presence known.

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Take Better Care of Your Body

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A lot is us aren’t all too good at taking care of ourselves. We’re great at ensuring our friends, family members, children and pets are well, but that leaves us with too little to look after our own needs. It’s understandable, but it’s also something that needs to change if we want to be around to be there for them in years to come. We also deserve to feel as happy and healthy as we can.

With that in mind, here are some really simple things we can all do to take better care of our bodies right now:

Spend more time sleeping

If you’re someone who doesn’t get to bed until late and who then gets up early in the morning, you need to do what you can to ensure you get at least 7 (ideally 8 or 9) hours of sleep each night. Your body needs rest to repair and if it doesn’t get it you won’t be able to function optionally; you may even get stressed, depressed or develop illnesses like obesity and heart disease. Sleep matters and that’s why you need to take control of your schedule so you can get enough of it right now.

If you struggle to get to sleep, try a lavender pillow mist, hot bath or soothing cup of camomile tea to help you drift off.

See the doctor

Or the dentist or the audiologist regularly for routine appointments and more importantly, see them quickly when you develop symptoms. Letting things go on for too long could give illness and disease the time and space they need to spread, mutate and get worse and that’s the last thing you need. Yes, seeing a doctor can be scary and inconvenient at times, but it really is better than the alternative.

Hydrate

Being properly hydrated makes you feel more alert, more energized and better able to concentrate. It’s also great for the skin and organ function. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and you’ll soon start to feel the difference.

Relax

Your body and mind can get so easily stressed and stress is so bad in so many ways. So, it is vitally important that you take some time to relax each day. Whether you spend some time in the sauna, hit the mat for a relaxing yoga session, or learn how to meditate, taking some time out just for you will help your body to stay strong and healthy come what may.

Improve your nutrition

Ideally, at least 80 percent of everything you consume should be healthy, nutritionally dense whole foods. These are the foods that will fuel your body, ensure you get all of the nutrients you need to function and help you to stay at a healthy weight. Sure, you can indulge in junk once in a while, but if most of what you’re eating doesn’t come in a package with 20 ingredients on the label, you will feel the benefit.

Love your body and it will support you through life!

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pest Control

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Discovering you have pests and insects as roommates can be a nuisance. Immediately after uncovering this not so suspenseful mystery, you may have quickly picked up the phone and called your pest authority of Charlottesville or wherever you are local. You cannot rest easy yet. It is important that you prepare your space for pest control to ensure you are getting the most out of your money. Making sure your home or apartment is thoroughly prepared will result in the effective elimination of pests and insects.

Some professional pest control operators give you a list of things to be completed around the house before their visit, so some preparation steps are standard. Nonetheless, here are some ways you can get the most out of your pest control appointment by the type of service you may be receiving.

Flea Control Service

You love your animals, your dogs and cats, but they can sometimes track pests like fleas into the house. An infestation of fleas is grounds for calling your local pest authority or you can try to solve the problem yourself. Either way, your pet, yard and home must be treated for fleas at the same time. Be sure that you wash all pet bedding in hot water or destroy it and throw it away. Buy another one. You do not want any fleas that may have set up shop on your dog’s bed to remain after you have treated everything. Another preparation step that is recommended is to vacuum any carpet, mop any hard-surface floors. Do not forget to get along the walls and the inside closets. Cleaning or vacuuming furniture between and under the cushions is also a great preparation step you can take to make sure you are ridding everything of fleas.

Cockroach Control Service

It is very likely your pest authority will be using a gel bait insecticide when it comes to getting rid of cockroaches. Small beads of gel bait are placed in places the cockroaches frequent, harbor or feed. The cockroaches eat the bait either sharing it with others or dying off.

Before your pest authority comes to rid your house of cockroaches, it is a given that you should clean your house before their visit. You should also devote yourself to keeping your home nice and tidy as to abolish any food sources for the bugs. This increases the chances of the bugs actually taking the bait.

Keep your countertops free from food, dishes and small appliances. In the event you have any open food, cover it and throw it either in the fridge or the pantry. Give your kitchen a good cleaning, making sure to mop and scrub surfaces with detergent. Keep movable appliances like your fridge and stove away from the wall, making sure to clean under and behind them. If you come across any roach eggs before your pest authority pays your house a visit, vacuum up the eggs using a crevice attachment. After doing that, make sure you take the vacuum cleaner out of the house, seal the trash bag properly and dispose of it properly.

Being in communication with your pest authority is imperative, especially if someone in your home or apartment has particular allergy issues, pregnant or under the age of one. When your house is getting serviced, be sure that everyone in the house, including pets, stay out of the area. The length of time depends on the directions given to you by your pest authority.

Ant Control Service

Your pest professional may use a similar gel bait insecticides to kill off ants. Just like the process to getting rid of cockroaches, they may place small beads of the bait in the places where ants have been seen feeding or trailing. The gel is either placed on tiny pieces of cardboard. It could also be inside an ant bait station. To prepare for this service, make sure you clean up spills, vacuum really good and store food either in containers that ants cannot get to or the fridge.

Wipe down your counters and sweep your floors. You want to make sure you are eliminating or at least reducing potential ant food sources by vacuuming thoroughly so you get the little crumbs you cannot even see. Empty your trash consistently and regularly. The same thing applies when it comes to washing dishes or running the dishwasher.
It is also important to avoid leaving pet food sitting out after you pet has finished eating. When you are recycling, make sure that you rinsing those recyclables thoroughly if you collect them in the house before taking them out to the recycling bin for pick up. Storing them in ant-proof containers until they are ready to be taken out to a recycling center or your recycling bin, is another way to prepare for your service and make it last for as long as possible.

When your exterminator finally pays you a visit, be prepared to explain accurately where you are seeing the ants and if you have seen them in the past. You should also ask for any post-treatment instructions if they apply.

Bed Bug Service

These are the most difficult to treat and control. They are so hard to get rid of, it is almost impossible to do it without the help of a professional. Once you make that call to your pest authority, you must take off all bedding. This includes things like sheets, covers, dust ruffles, pillowcases and bed liners just to name a few. Give those bed linens a good wash in the hottest water possible. Wait until at least four hours, or another time instructed by your pest professional, before replacing the bed linens after your house has been treated.

Another prep step is to remove all personal items like clothes, toys, shoes and other stored materials from the furniture and floor throughout the home. Clothes should be thoroughly washed in piping hot water as well. When putting them in the dryer, your dryer should be set on the highest setting without damaging your clothes. For clothes that cannot be put through the washer and dryer, take them to the dry cleaner and have them inspected for bugs carefully. It is recommended that you do not put any clothes in rooms or areas that are infested until treatment has been properly completed and all bedbugs have been eliminated.

When it comes to your mattress, vacuum the box spring to remove any bugs dead or alive. Once you are done, double-bag the vacuum bags and throw them away in an outdoor trash can promptly so as to avoid re-introducing or spreading any bedbugs caught in the vacuum.

If you are moving, do not move any of your furniture to another home during or before the treatment as you could spread bedbugs to another home, your car or workplace and re-infest your home after spending so much money on treatment.

Rodent Control Service

If you see one mouse or rate, you might as well assume there are more. You can rid your house of them do-it-yourself style, but it may be best to call a professional to make sure you are getting rid of the whole family.
Prepare for this service call by repairing all the holes in your walls and along the baseboards. You should also seal doors that do not close all the way as well as remove everything from the top of your fridge. Get everything beneath the kitchen sink as well. Doing so will give your pest professional clear access to all areas of the house, ensuring your treatment will be as effective and last as long as possible.

When your exterminator arrives at your home to get the job done, be prepared to clearly explain the situation, emphasizing areas where you have seen the mice or rats, or signs of mice or rats have been seen. To make sure you are continuing to control, clean, sweep and vacuum your home regularly. Take out your trash regularly, keep the lids on your trash cans and keep all areas around the house as clean as possible. Throw out any unnecessary storage including boxes, paper and clothing.

Termite Service

Termites are not something you should try to eliminate yourself because there is specific equipment required to be used in order to get rid of them for good. Because there are different types of termites, there is special expertise that is needed to control each of those different species. Prepare your home for this service by moving all your furniture, appliances or stored items away from all the interior walls by at least three feet. Your pest authority will designate areas that need treatment. If your closets also need treatment, your clothes and everything else in your closet needs to be either taken out or covered. Doing so will protect them from dust that is caused by drilling into the wall and ceiling surfaces during treatment.

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5 Countries With The Best Educational Systems

When it comes to education, you should only look out for the best with respect to what you can afford. While every country does its best to offer a system that will be of value to its citizens’ future, some seem to be ahead of others. So, whether it’s deciding whether or not to go back to school or looking for one for your kids, here is a list of countries with the best educational systems.

1. United Kingdom

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From arts to business, the UK’s educational system is ranked one of the best because of its wide range of topics. This world-class system dates back to historical times and has gained popularity all over the world. While the UK government is responsible for running England’s educational system, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are managed by their respective governments. Nevertheless, the knowledge imparted is unmatched, and you’ll get your money’s worth.

2. Canada

Apart from its beautiful scenery and booming economy, one more reason for moving to Canada is its impressive educational system. The country makes the cut not only because of the quality but also the equality of the education offered. The bilingual nature of their system also makes it somewhat flexible for people from other countries. Apart from that, the structure and content are geared towards students’ improvement. Canada is also the preferred choice, especially for higher learning.

3. Singapore

The education system in Singapore is one of the best because of the advancement and unique development of the content and structure. The knowledge imparted, especially in the Universities, is designed to prepare the student for the work environment. This means that the likelihood of struggling to get a job is lowered. The setting in which students earn is also state-of-the-art, and that is why foreign students look to this country for their education.

4. Netherlands

This is one of those countries with an old education system dating back to the 1800s. Their system is also unique, in that, their university criteria are divided into two sectors. There are the research-oriented universities which focus on both theoretical and research-based disciplines like arts and science. After completing such a university, students can further conduct independent research and pursue a Ph.D. The other sector is higher professional education or higher learning and professional training, which prepares students for particular professional careers. The subjects of focus are practical and applied science for students with a specific profession in mind.

5. The United States Of America

The US cannot be left out of the list with its world-renowned and prestigious universities and colleges. The main advantage of their education system is how it prepares the students for employment. There is also a lot of opportunity after completing a US university that benefits career growth and development.
To summarize, different countries have different approaches in the way they educate their students. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to consider the educational system of a country before investing resources into learning something from there.

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