Maybe instead of making a long-term new year’s resolution (“I will save money all year!”), you could try doing one satisfying thing.
Here are some choices:
Clean up your computer
Start with photos. You probably have a lot of them from the last year and this is a great way to reminisce while usefully deleting the junk. You can rename photos to make them searchable. If you are feeling organized, make some coherent groups for them.
Programs and downloads are next. Chances are last year you added a dozen or so junk apps and downloaded the same pdf three times. Clean out those downloads and programs. Uninstall properly.
Email. You have a ton of stuff you will never look at.
Old computers. Shouldn’t you do something with them besides just storing them? Remove the hard drive first and then recycle.
On a lot of people’s resolution list, getting organized can streamline your life. Maybe instead of saying you’ll organize everything, you could pick a project you can do in one day.
The closet, and all those clothes that don’t fit. If you do lose weight, you won’t want to wear them anyway.
File cabinets and all those files you can’t find. Buy a labeler and simplify.
Kitchen, seriously how many crockpots and coffee cups do you need? Garage, can you ever find a tool?
Ruthlessly winnow down possessions: Throw away, recycle, donate.
Need something simpler?
Donate blood. There is a month for that and it’s January. Go to redcross.org/blood for information.
Moderate your tone on Twitter
Just for one day in honor of the United Nations International Year of Moderation. On social media, spend one day promoting dialogue by extending mutual respect and understanding. Absolutely no sarcasm.
Are solar-powered homes cost-effective?
Are you concerned about your carbon footprint and considering solar panels to power your property? Are you wondering if this environmentally friendly solution is cost-effective? Here are some things to consider.
In recent years, photovoltaic panels have become increasingly affordable. However, depending on how much you spend upfront, it can take 15, 20, or even 30 years of reduced energy bills to make back your initial investment.
The profitability of your solar panel setup depends on several factors, including where they’re installed and how they’re positioned. Solar panels can turn one kilowatt of power into approximately 1,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity in ideal conditions. You can use an online calculator to estimate how long it would take to get your money’s worth.
On top of saving money over several years, using solar panels helps offset the demand for energy during winter. It also ensures you have power even if there’s an outage.
If you want to find out if solar panels are right for you, contact an engineer or solar energy supplier in your area.
3 reasons to add an island to your kitchen
Islands are increasingly common features in many home kitchens because of their practicality and attractive design. If you don’t already have one, here are three reasons you should consider installing an island in your kitchen.
1. Multifunctionality. Kitchen islands are a great way to maximize your space. For example, an island gives you more counter space and can be used to house appliances like a dishwasher or extra sink. Moreover, you can use the island as a table if you have a small kitchen.
2. Sociability. An island creates a focal point for gathering and engaging with friends and family. Instead of preparing food facing the cabinets and windows, you can work on the island while conversing with your guests.
3. Modern look. Many modern kitchens feature islands. Consequently, installing one in your home will give your space an updated look, undoubtedly adding value to your home.
If you’re considering renovating your kitchen, talk to your contractor about adding an island.
Lawn care: must-do fall chores
In the fall, you need to do several things to prepare your yard for the cold winter weather and ensure green and lush growth come spring. Here’s what you need to know.
Hedges and shrubs
Cut away leaves, prune stems, and branches so the hedge can breathe and absorb more light. You should also cut back shrubs when they begin turning yellow, or their stems start to droop.
Flowers and vines
Bring potted plants inside and use burlap to cover plants that don’t handle the extreme cold. Dig up non-hardy bulbs like dahlias and cannas and store them inside. Thin out your perennials and protect the roots by applying a generous layer of mulch. If you want a colorful garden come spring, plant tulips, crocuses, daffodils, and other hardy bulbs.
After your last harvest, compost your plants and till the soil. Fall is also the ideal time to plant certain vegetables, like garlic, leeks, and Egyptian onions.
Rake up dead leaves and mow your lawn to a height of at least two inches to promote light absorption and weed resistance. You can also use a potassium-rich fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen to strengthen the lawn.
Finally, turn off your outdoor water taps and drain any garden hoses. If necessary, remove the pumps from your pond.
Cannage is an antique style of furniture that originated in southeast Asia. It consists of braiding rattan and is sometimes referred to as mesh or grid. Designers and trend spotters have seen a resurgence of interest in this cool and classic furniture style. Here are some reasons why cannage is an excellent choice for your home.
Modern cannage is made primarily of rattan from Indonesia and can give your home a vintage feel or contemporary vibe. Balance cannage with rich tapestries and heavy wooden pieces for an antique effect. You can also pair it with solid colors and clean lines for a crisp, modern feel.
Cannage is a lightweight material, making it an excellent furniture choice if you like to redecorate according to the seasons. Likewise, this furniture travels well if you expect to make frequent home moves.
Classic cannage is left unpainted to highlight the natural texture, hues, and craftsmanship. It complements many colors, especially bold shades of blue and green.
The cane braiding technique creates a solid and durable product. The natural materials make it resistant to weather and suitable for indoor and outdoor environments.
Visit your local furniture retailers to browse their selection of modern cannage pieces.
The importance of National Bullying Prevention Month
According to a recent federal study, within the past year, 20 percent of U.S. high school students reported being bullied on school properties, and 15 percent reported being cyberbullied.
October marks National Bullying Prevention Month, a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the impacts and dangers of bullying. This month-long event encourages everyone to work together to create a safe place for children to live, learn and grow. Here are three reasons why this campaign is so important.
1. It makes students feel safer. When students feel safe and secure, they can focus on their schoolwork. Moreover, teachers can spend more time teaching, and parents can worry less. Everyone wins when you put a stop to bullying.
2. It fosters a sense of teamwork. Bullying prevention involves students, teachers, parents, counselors, coaches, and school administrators. Everyone must work together to stop bullying. No one person or school can do it alone.
3. It makes back-to-school a more positive experience. When schools open in the fall, it’s a chance for kids to reconnect with old friends and establish new relationships. National Bullying Prevention month happens in October and can help set the tone for the school year and confront bullying in schools early on.
This October, get involved in your community’s events and say no to bullying.
Decorating tips: welcome fall into your home
Do you want your home to exude the warmth of the blazing fall leaves? Here are a few tips to welcome nature into your home this autumn.
Focus on textiles
Textured fabrics are a great way to add a touch of fall color to your decor on a budget. Heavy curtains and plush wool throws have a soothing effect. Moreover, table runners, napkins and cushion covers in varying shades of red, brown, orange and yellow instantly create an inviting atmosphere.
Incorporate natural elements
Pinecones, gourds, pumpkins, tree leaves and other natural elements are ideal for creating seasonal centerpieces and wreaths.
Maximize the light
As the days get shorter, create a cozy atmosphere by installing string lights. These twinkling bulbs can brighten up rooms that desperately lack sunlight and can be used to showcase your banister or mantel. Decorative metallic objects are also great for reflecting natural light and making your space feel more inviting.
Lastly, scatter scented candles around your home and let their soothing scent envelop you.