What You Need To Create A Clutter-Free & Worry-Free Home Office

It was Albert Einstein that said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Even research suggests that a messy desk is a sign of a highly creative, problem-solving genius. But being a genius doesn’t mean that you are a stress-free genius. Let’s take a look at what you need to tidy up your home office so you can better embrace the genius of your productivity and alleviate the worry that you may have missed some important details.

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How to Approach De-cluttering

As with everything in life, you first need to understand how you are mentally approaching the task of decluttering. If you are approaching it as a chore, the less likely you are to experience all the benefits of a clutter-free workspace. A good mental approach to tidying up will allow you to create a new pattern of behavior which will result in a lasting change to your environment so you can increase, and maintain your personal productivity.

First things first —take some time to realize your goal — which is to be a more productive genius. Next, realize that a clutter-free workspace is an integral part of your productivity. This is because a clutter-free workspace is a functional workspace. It leads to worrying less about details or deadlines that you may have missed.

Clutter-Free Is the Healthy Choice

Now that you have the proper mental approach, you can begin to take action and clear out the clutter surrounding you. Taking action to tidy up your environment is not only a chance to make your environment physically healthier, but it is also both empowering and therapeutic. Actively improving upon your immediate surroundings reinforces that you do have the ability to positively influence things in your life.

A Place for Everything

You may have heard the proverb, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It truly is great advice, especially as you work your way to a clutter-free home office. So let’s get started.

The first step you need to do is to make a place for things. But we need to figure out what things need a place and what things need to be chucked into the bin. So let’s start by putting things in piles. No need to sort through them just yet. We’re just getting started.

As you go, make note of what may come in handy to create an orderly setup moving forward — a basket for papers, a pen holder, and maybe a new pair of bookends. You will also need to start thinking about the unruly nature of cords and connections running to and from your laptop.

Oftentimes the random nature of cords running across your desk sets the stage for other disorganization. Consider streamlining all of those connections into a docking station that can be mounted out of sight. And don’t forget to keep the cord clutter that is out of sight and neatly tethered, as well. You’ll be surprised by how something as simple as cleaning up your cords can provide a fresh approach to your workspace.

You should also think about how to keep tiny things from going missing — like that micro USB flash drive you found beneath a pile of papers. It would be a real hassle if your external storage is accidentally lost. Imagine that you forgot to plug it back into its final destination after you unplugged it from the one USB port on your laptop. If you find that you have multiple USB-connected devices that are taking turns in your laptop’s one USB port, you can add USB hubs to ensure that your thumb drives, speakers, and other USB devices are secured in their very own places.

De-cluttering On the Go

Now you’ve shown yourself that small changes really do add up to powerful improvements. You may also notice that your stress level has significantly improved. Creating a clutter-free and worry-free home office to enhance your productivity will really pay off — both literally and figuratively.

But what about professionals who need to take their newly found productivity on the road? How do you streamline and keep your traveling office clutter-free and worry-free? There’s nothing so stressful as discovering that your charging cords aren’t in your tech backpack. If you’re a professional who works remotely once in a while or more often than not, the most important thing you can do is be proactive with your organization.

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Make sure that your tech bag has its own set of cords for your phone, laptop, earbuds, cameras, drones, etc. Always make sure that they are in good condition — and most importantly, properly wound and tethered. You may even consider purchasing a power backup with wireless charging and streamlined USB-C adapter capabilities to reduce the number of “bricks” and “cubes” you need to take along with you. A quality power backup will provide you with information as to how long it will last. This is an incredible benefit because you don’t always have to find the nearest power outlet while working remotely.

Clearly Clutter-Free

Whether it’s your home office or your mobile office, or maybe your bedroom or closet, making the conscious decision to organize your environment is how you improve more than just your space. It is how you improve yourself — mind, body, and spirit.

Your purpose in creating a clutter-free space may be to become more productive. Just remember that you aren’t actually creating this thing called “productivity”, you are creating a space for you to function in a more productive manner. And your functionality is how you demonstrate the true genius of your problem-solving ability.

5 Daily Habits To Keep An Office Clean And Tidy 

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Keeping your office clean and tidy is never easy, no matter how big it is and how many people you employ. However, if you come up with a cleaning system and know what needs to be done, you won’t have a problem making it happen. In case you need some help doing that, here are five practical and useful habits you should look into right now!

Keep it decluttered

One of the biggest reasons why office spaces around the world are dirty and unorganized is the fact that they’re covered in clutter. From papers and documents to pens, pencils, and computer equipment – all these things are scattered around the offices and making them look awful. That’s why coming up with a new paradigm is vital – you don’t have to clean your office every single day, but you need to declutter it regularly. Doing this won’t be as hard as it sounds at first, so start the decluttering process right now!

Keep it organized

Once you remove everything you don’t need from your office space, it’s time to take things to a new level and make sure that you organize everything you’ve left in it properly. This is easy to do if you introduce a new system of organizing stuff in files, folders, and cabinets – this will make your office space seem nicer and more inviting, but it will also make your job much easier. Moreover, you won’t have to waste too much time when you’re trying to find something in your office, but you’ll be able to do that in a matter of seconds.

Keep it clean

However, keeping your office space decluttered and organized won’t be enough if it’s still dirty even after you do that. That’s why you have to find a way to clean your office as often as you can – you can either do this on your own, hire a new cleaning team that will make that happen, or find some outside help from cleaning professionals. The last option might make the most sense in the long run because only certified cleaning specialists know what to do in these situations. Luckily, they’re easy to find wherever you are, and if you’re in Australia, for instance, you can check out experts in commercial cleaning in Sydney who won’t just clean your office, but also show you the importance of repeating this process regularly. 

Keep it natural

When it comes to cleaning your office space, there’s something else you need to think of – your employees’ health and well-being. This is why using commercial and store-bought products might not be the best way to go since these aren’t always the safest option for everyone involved. This is particularly true for elders and people with allergies, so try to skip these as often as you can. Instead, you need to look into natural products that are made from water, salt, lemon juice, and borax – these ingredients might not seem too effective at first, but you’d be surprised to hear how much they can help you keep your office space clean every single day.

Keep it wireless

In the end, one of the biggest problems of modern office spaces is the fact that they have tons and tons of cables everywhere you look. All those computers, printers, scanners, Internet cables, and other wires are creating a mess in your office space and making it dusty and dirty. This is why you have to find a way to sort your cables and keep them organized because this is a way to make your office look more organized and more professional at the same time.

As you can see, keeping your office space organized and tidy doesn’t have to be too hard – you just need to stick to these five simple ideas and keep applying them over and over again until you’re happy with the way your office looks and feels.

A DIY Guide To Cleaning Your Chimney

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Fireplaces bring old charm and cozy warmth to homes. These beautiful additions create a comforting ambiance, but they require a certain level of care—especially the chimney. Cleaning a fireplace is relatively easy, but effectively cleaning your chimney can be a big job.

It’s crucial to stay on top of your chimney’s cleanliness for optimal functioning and to prevent severe fire hazards. To effectively care for your chimney and your home, follow these steps.

Step 1: Determine if You Can DIY

Before you start, you first need to determine if you can clean your chimney without professional help. Chimney cleaning is a tedious task, and it can take professionals anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to finish the job.

Your goal in chimney cleaning is to rid the chimney shaft of creosote and soot build-up. If the build-up is too large, you need to call a professional to take care of it. However, if you find the build-up is less than 1/8th of an inch deep, you may be able to tackle it on your own. In addition, you’ll need to access your chimney crown, located on your roof, to complete the job. If you’re unable to get to the crown safely, you’ll need to call in a professional to complete the task.

Step 2: Gather the Right Tools

If you determine you can safely access the chimney crown, you’ll need the right tools to get there. These include a ladder, safety harness, safety helmet, and an additional person or persons to supervise. Never attempt to work on your roof without the supervision of another capable individual.

Once on the roof, you’ll need a high-power flashlight, metal bristle brush, and enough rods to handle the height of your chimney. You’ll use these tools to determine the depth of your build-up. Note that each chimney is different, so you’ll need to measure the size of your chimney and its flue to get the right brush size.

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Use your flashlight and a fireplace poker to scratch the smoke chamber and flue to determine the buildup. If the soot has a black matte finish and is 1/8th an inch deep or less, you know you’re okay to clean yourself. If you see a shiny or tar-like appearance or the build-up is more than 1/8th an inch deep, you should call a professional to take on the job.

Step 4: Set Up Your Area

If you are moving ahead with cleaning yourself, your next step is to protect your home’s interior. Lay your canvas tarp over the fireplace and spread it throughout the surrounding room. Secure the tarp over the fireplace opening with tape and insert the shop vac hose through the tarp. Seal everything with duct tape to keep soot from pushing into the room.

After setting up your shop vac outside, connect sections to the hose so it can reach. You’ll run the vacuum while you brush the area, keeping an eye on the filter and replacing or cleaning it when it clogs. Close the windows and doors near your shop vac to prevent any fine soot from reentering your home.

Step 5: Begin Cleaning

Start at your fireplace and ram your cleaning brush up and down several times around the flue section to remove any hardened soot. Use your flashlight to check your work before moving to the next section, ensuring you clean as much soot as possible from the flue area. Once cleared, start your shop vac and move to the roof.

Before cleaning, make sure you are safely equipped with your harness and have supervision from an individual on the ground. Again, you should only clean out your chimney with proper supervision, on a stable rooftop, and with a safety harness and a hard hat. Those without experience working on rooftops should strongly consider hiring a professional.

Once you are secured on the rooftop, add rods to your cleaning brush, moving it down the fireplace till you no longer feel resistance. At this point, you pushed down the soot to the smoke chamber. Climb down from the roof and start to work inside at the firebox. Use a long-handled brush to clean the smoke chamber and a flue brush to remove soot from the smoke shelf. Switch back to the long-handled brush to clean the sides of the firebox.

Vacuum out the firebox and fold up the canvas when you have cleared as much soot and debris as possible. Take the canvas outside and shake out any residue. Fold up the sheets to use again for your next cleaning.

Step 6: Schedule an Inspection

Your fireplace isn’t safe until you’ve scheduled your annual chimney inspection. Even the best DIY job can’t handle creosote build-up, and you need to be sure you didn’t miss any build-up during your cleaning. Have a chimney repair and cleaning professional inspect your chimney once a year to assure you don’t have additional build-up and or repair needs.

7 Things To Do After The Renovation Of Your Garden

So, you’ve just renovated your garden and you’re thinking what should I do next? Luckily, there are many things to do after you have renovated your garden. From choosing which plants to grow to creating a nice comfort zone, the options are endless. We’ve put together a list of interesting things you can do to make your new garden look great.

Cleaning up the Mess after Renovation

Renovating a garden is not an easy task and there will surely be a lot of mess after the renovation. Before you start working on your new garden, all of this mess and trash needs to be taken care of. There are several options for cleaning up the mess after the renovation of your garden. You can try doing it alone, but it will take you a couple of days to do this all by yourself. There is also an option of asking your friends, family, or neighbors to come and help with the cleaning. The third option is to hire a rubbish removal service to deal with this.

Choosing Plants

To create a year-round interest in your garden, it is important to choose a nice selection of shrubs, flowers, and plants. Before you start with the purchase, make sure to read up on your soil in the garden and consider factors like shade, exposure and sun. There are many planting suggestions out there and it all depends on what you wish to achieve. For example, potted plants and flowers are ideal for mobility and they add easy color to the garden. Just make sure to water them regularly and plant them with enough drainage.

Leave Plenty of Space for Guests

I know that plants are important, but it would be a good idea to save some space for your guests. Patios and decks are ideal spots for social gatherings and outdoor entertainment. Make sure you have enough room for dining and choose approximately how many friends you’re likely to host regularly. This is important because 4 square feet of space needs to be saved per guest, which means if you are planning to have dinner with 4 other people, you will need to make 20 square feet of free space. Don’t forget room for the outdoor furniture and a table that is needed for dining.

Keep the Distance between Plants

Many people make the mistake of planting flowers close to the edges of the patio and walkway. This is where math comes in. Plants which are about 33 inches tall have to be located at least 3 feet away from the patio edges. Otherwise, this place will look crowded and messy. If you are planning to have thorny plants like roses and crown imperials, please keep them away from all the traffic areas in the garden. You definitely don’t want your children and family to be in danger.

Creating a Comfort Zone

By choosing the right plants and using them in a proper way, a person can actually create a comfort zone in a garden. For example, broad-leaved evergreens are known to protect gardens from winds. In case you wish to place a tree in your garden, it can provide a shady comfort zone where you can hide from the sun during the summer season.

Create Entertainment for Children

Your children should enjoy the new garden as much as you do, so why not create some entertainment options for your kids. Think in the lines of homemade painted pots, birdseed feeders, tree house, rock plant markers, etc.

Invite the Neighbors Over

After you’ve renovated your garden, it’s time to celebrate and ask the neighbors to come over for tea, coffee, and some snacks. Maybe some of your neighbors are also into gardening and can give you some advice on how to make your garden become even more beautiful than it is now.

 

 

Melanie Saunders is a blogger and content manager at 1300 Rubbish – experts in the field of rubbish and junk removal. Personally, a huge fan of sustainability and green living.

 

5 Realistic Resolutions to Make This Your Home’s Cleanest Year Ever

Every one of us wants to live in a clean, sparkling home. But most of us hate doing all the work that comes with keeping homes neat and tidy. If you are someone who hates cleaning and dreads the overwhelming feeling when it comes time to tidy up, there is a good chance you are approaching the issue wrong.

With a few simple tweaks in your daily, weekly, and monthly habits, you can have a bright, clean home without needing to waste eight hours in one day.

Here are five realistic resolutions to make this your home’s cleanest year ever.

1. Plan a daily, weekly, monthly system to keep your home clean.

The main problem for most people is that they fail to do small tasks each day and then end up with an overwhelming job in front of them. This year, you are not going to be one of those people. Instead, you are going to devise a daily, weekly, and monthly plan to keep your home clean.

This plan is going to be unique to your home and your lifestyle. You can come up with a good plan by dividing all the work with the other people who live in the house. In fact, many roommates find it beneficial to set a weekly time when all members know they have to clean (2 hours on a Sunday morning).

Having everyone do it together means it will get done in no time and you can all reward yourself with brunch after!

2.  Commit to tidying up for 15 minutes every evening.

On a daily basis, resolve to tidy up for 15 minutes before getting to bed. You will be amazed at how productive those 15 minutes can be!

Each evening, wipe down your bathroom surfaces. You will thank yourself when you walk into a sparkling bathroom each morning!

Additionally, always clean the kitchen after cooking, hang up your clothes when you change, and put things away after you have used them.

Getting in the habit of doing these small tasks will help keep your house clean overall because you won’t want to start messing it up when it is already tidy.

3. Live by the “one-in-one-out” rule.

This year, to truly have a clean and organized home, make a promise to yourself that you will live by the “one-in-one-out” rule. This rule states that for every new item you bring into your home, you also have to remove something similar.

So, if you buy a new pair of boots, you need to remove a pair from your wardrobe. If you buy a new candle, book, pillow, etc., you must donate one of your old candles, books, or pillows (see #4).

Not only will this make you take a step back and think a bit deeper about impulse purchases (are there really any boots you want to get rid of?). But, if you do decide to buy something new, you know that no more space is going to be taken up.

4. Have a donation box readily accessible.

Unless you are a through and through minimalist, there is a good chance that you have some clutter around your home that you would like to do something with. Decluttering is one of the most overwhelming parts of organizing a house (it takes a little bit more than 15 minutes). But, if you break it down into monthly tasks (see #1), then you can focus on a specific area of the house each month.

If you focus on a specific area each month and live by the “one-in-one-out” rule, then in a couple of months you will have a completely de-cluttered space.

An additional resolution to make this year is to have a donation box readily available. That way, when you come across something in a drawer, or a cupboard, or in the back of your closet that you don’t like, toss it into the donation box. When the box is full, you can donate it to your local charity shop.

5. Buy cleaning products with fragrances you want to smell.

Last but not least, a simple resolution everyone can all get behind! Only purchase cleaning products that come with scents you actually enjoy smelling. After all, you are much more likely to clean regularly with something that produces a smell you enjoy!

Do you think you can commit to one or all of these resolutions this year? Or do you have your own cleaning resolutions? Let us know in the comments below!

AUTHOR BIO

 Mohamed Samad is the Founder & CEO of Matic Services. He started the company in 2016 after a series of small start-ups within the home services sector. Prior to that, Mohamed was Vice President at Greenstone Equity Partners, where he spent 24 months building the UAE business from 2011-2013 with its founder.