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7 Smart and Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Security

7 Smart and Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Security

Home security is one of those things that many of us don’t think about until we need to. (Believe me: After somebody breaks into your home, ignoring the issue of home security no longer feels like a possibility.) But as with eating right and exercising, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to home security.

Many people avoid burglar-proofing their home because it feels like a daunting task. People might feel like they don’t know where to start, or they’ll worry about the cost of securing their home. That’s where these tips come in. Not only do they give you a great foundation for home security, but they’re also simple and (for the most part) inexpensive. Dedicate one Saturday to implementing these strategies, and you’ll benefit from improved peace of mind for years to come.

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1. Beef up your locks

Door locks won’t do you much good if you have a weak door jamb. Reinforce your door jamb with a heavy steel strike plate and long screws, both of which will help strengthen your door against potential break-ins. You can purchase strike-plate reinforcing hardware at virtually any hardware store, or enlist a handyman to help out if you’re not competent with a drill. While you’re at it, replace weak locks with stronger grade deadbolts, make sure all of your exterior doors use interior door hinges, and change all locks if you ever lose your house key.

2. Reinforce your windows

Nobody needs to nail their windows shut—all of our homes can benefit from regular doses of fresh air. Get the best of ventilation and home security by installing window stops, which allow windows to be opened a few inches but not wide enough for a person to fit through.

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3. Install motion sensor lighting outside your home

Leaving the porch light on while you’re away seems like a good idea because it can help convey that somebody’s home. But when the light stays on 24/7, it has the exact opposite effect: It becomes obvious that nobody is home to turn off the light. The solution? Install motion sensor lighting that turns on whenever somebody comes within range of the sensor. This will help deter potential intruders and save you money on your electricity bill.

4. Hide valuables in unexpected places

No, I’m not talking about the sock drawer—that’s been done to death, to the point that thieves know to check there. Instead, try hiding your valuables in more unusual places, such as a tennis ball, a box of tampons or menstrual pads, or inside other random household goods.

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5. Consider mail and newspaper delivery when you go away

Nothing says “nobody’s home!” more clearly than stacks of mail piling up in the mailbox and a mountain of newspapers on the front porch. Whenever you go away, make sure to ask the post office and newspaper to hold your deliveries. Or enlist a friend or neighbor to collect newspapers, mail, and fliers from your property every day while you’re gone.

6. Reinforce air conditioning units

Unsecured window air conditioning units can easily be pushed inside the house, leaving a wide-open window for burglars to crawl through. Eliminate this risk by using a bracket, sliding window lock, and/or corner braces to secure the air conditioner in place.

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7. Store ladders inside (not on the lawn)

Leaving a ladder in the yard is like extending an invitation to thieves to enter via the second floor. The easy solution? Store ladders in a locked garage or garden shed to limit easy access to your home.

These strategies work best when they’re consistently enforced, so make sure everyone living in your home knows the drill and is committed to implementing these practices. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to purchase renter’s or home owner’s insurance—that way you’re still protected financially in the (now unlikely!) event that a burglar finds their way inside.

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Kenny Kline

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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