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4 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Summer

4 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Summer

February is just around the corner, and that means that winter is nearly over. For most people, the end of winter is a welcome relief. As with any change in season, there is always much to be done to prepare your home for a drastic change in temperature. While preparing for winter can be depressing for a lot of people, preparing for summer can be a very exciting time. Summer means barbecues, warm summer nights, and typically some sort of vacation.

Here are four ways to get your home and all those in it prepared so you can hit the ground running when summer finally arrives.

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Prepare your sprinklers

Most people do not fully understand how their sprinkler systems work. They simply set the timer, and the sprinklers come on at a specific time. Unfortunately, winter can be extremely hard on sprinkling systems, and often summer will arrive but sprinkling systems will not come on. A sprinkler system may appear pretty complicated to some people, but sprinklers are actually fairly basic things.

It may be a good time to start checking your sprinkler heads for any obstructions that may have arrived with the winter. If you live in a place where winter seems to last forever, February may be too early, but in many places February is just about the right time to start checking your sprinkler heads. You will also want to check the valves to make sure that they function properly. To do this, you simply need to turn on your sprinkler system and let it run through each station one time.

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Prepare for spring cleaning

For some people, spring cleaning is a dreaded moment. But for many other people, it is a welcome opportunity to air things out and get organized before summer arrives. Spring cleaning can be a long, drawn-out, awful process, or it can be a well-organized, single-day activity if everything is planned ahead.

Start planning your spring cleaning schedule now. If you have kids or other household members, it will be helpful to start making a schedule for each person’s tasks and getting everything worked out. Once the day arrives, everyone can hit the ground running, and the tasks can all be done before evening. You can then plan a fun activity to do at the end of the day so that everyone has something to look forward to. Here is a useful checklist for building your spring cleaning plan.

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Plumbing

Plumbing is something that most of us prefer to ignore. Unfortunately, if you ignore something like your water heater for too long, it will force you to pay attention to it with multiple expenses and perhaps even a disaster. To avoid this, it is important to do a visual inspection of your water heater at the end of each winter. You will want to look at your supply line and see if everything is running smoothly.

You will also want to check all of the other plumbing items in your home. This includes bathrooms, washing machines, dishwashers, sinks and tubs, and any outdoor hoses you may have. What you are looking for is any sign that the item is corroding or deteriorating quickly. You can find a fairly good list here of all of the plumbing fixtures to check and what to look for.

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Ceiling fan

This is an incredibly small step that almost everybody forgets to do at the end of winter and the end of summer. You need to change the direction of your ceiling fan at the end of every winter. In the summer, you want your ceiling fan to blow air down to make everyone feel cooler, but in the winter, you want just the opposite. Most ceiling fans have a small button on the top which allows you to change the direction. You may need a ladder, but this is still the easiest step.

It is never too early to start preparing. Don’t waste beautiful summer days doing cleaning work and stuff of that nature. Get it all done in the winter when you have to be indoors anyway, then spend your summer outside, enjoying the beautiful world.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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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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