9 Ways to Look After Yourself as a Caregiver

Check out my latest guest post on mydeal.com.au on things to buy as a new parent.

It can be one of the most fulfilling roles in the world, but there’s no doubt that being a caregiver can also be one of the most demanding and stressful experiences as well. If you’re caring for an elderly parent or a brand new parent, you can often feel worn-out, fearful and lonely, even if you know you are doing the best thing for your relative. However, it’s also important to make sure you are living a fulfilled life. These nine tips will help you keep a healthy balance between caring for someone you love and caring for yourself.

  1. Accept the reality of your situation

Maybe your partner is slowly submitting to dementia and you feel as though you’re losing the person you love, or perhaps you’re mourning the future you’d imagined for your child. Don’t feel guilty for grieving over these things. It may take time to accept the situation, but it’s important to come to terms with the reality so you can move on.

 

  1. Find out what you’re entitled to receive

It’s essential to find out what help you’re entitled to receive, so that you and your loved one have the best quality of life. Investigate what your insurance offers, learn benefits you may be entitled too, and discover the best ways to get specialist equipment or house adaptations carried out.

 

  1. Care for yourself first

This may seem like the ultimate in betrayal, but if your mental or physical health breaks down then your loved one may need to go into residential care. Living a fulfilled life yourself will improve your own mental health and help you be more positive when facing the difficulties involved in caring.

 

  1. Decide what you need in order to be fulfilled

As a caregiver, you’ll need to be practical and plan ahead to carve out some ‘me’ time. Make a list of things you’d like to do every day, every month, and perhaps a couple of bigger things (like a holiday) every year. Then think about exactly what must happen to allow you to achieve them. Be inventive and think outside the box—you never know what you can achieve until you try.

 

  1. Accept help

Whether you get assistance from kind friends and family or opt for more professional support such as that provided by a care worker or cleaner, try to muster as much help as possible. There’s no value in struggling to do everything yourself, and you may be surprised at the results. My parents resisted asking for help with getting my disabled father up and dressed each day, but once it became essential, these carers quickly became good friends too. Try a ‘double-caring’ session first if necessary, with you showing someone else how to do things.

 

  1. Make everyday life easier

Although it may seem tiring at first, working ahead and preparing things in advance can really make a difference to your overall tiredness levels. Use a weekly organizer for medication so you only count out tablets once. Cook meals in batches and freeze them in individual portions, or keep some ready-cooked meals on hand for days when cooking from scratch seems like just too much. Lay out breakfast items and tomorrow’s clothing the night before, so you’re not rushed in the morning.

 

  1. Give yourself daily treats

Even little things can make a huge difference to your outlook. A daily scented bath, time alone to get lost in a book, or a brisk ten minute walk can all be lifesavers when it comes to getting through the day, so plan a few treats that can fit into your daily routine.

 

  1. Get out regularly

It can be tempting to simple collapse on the couch when you have time to yourself. But getting out and about will not only reinvigorate you—it will also help you avoid the loss of confidence that comes from spending weeks and months at home. Try a weekly exercise class, a photography course or attending a worship session at your church or synagogue.

 

  1. Meet with other caregivers

Lastly, sharing your experience with others is a great release, and you can also get useful tips about how to manage your role from people who are in the same position. If meeting others in person is difficult, link up with other caregivers online to experience mutual support.

A Fresh Start: The Benefits Of Starting A Room From Scratch

Taking on a large DIY job may be fun, but it isn’t something which a lot of people will want to dive right into. Choosing to take it slow, the way that people often handle this work is often in chunks, completing parts of rooms, slowly adding to them until they are done. To help you to take a slightly different route, this post will be exploring the benefits of starting fresh, along with some of the help you can get along the way.

 

New Inspiration:

Inspiration will always strike when you least expect it. It’s likely that you have a strong idea of what you’d like from your space, and will have a lot of the tools you need to achieve it. This won’t be possible if you already have the shell of a room to work with, though. Having their influence on one another, the styles will clash, and this will make improving the room into a real challenge.

 

Cleaner Results:

Along with enabling you to jump right into your ideas, this sort of approach will often give you cleaner results. Painting every wall, adding new flooring, and finding fresh furniture will give the whole place new life, and there won’t be any signs of the older styles left behind. When people decide to make small changes to their rooms, they will often find it hard to capture what they want.

 

Complete Change:

Changing a room completely will be a very satisfying job to get done. Changing it’s looks entirely, the feeling this gives will be similar to moving home, and this is something people tend to relish in. The whole process will be fun, exciting, and challenging, adding together to make for something which everyone can enjoy. Of course, though, you’ll still have to do all of the work.

 

An Easier Job:

While it may not seem so, having an empty room when you start a renovation will be much easier than having to battle furniture and other items as you do your work. You won’t have to worry about damaging precious items, and your workers will be able to wear their normal clothing without fear of getting it dirty. It will take some work to clear it out, but you can get some help with this part of the job.

 

Getting Help:

This is where the final part of this post comes in; support. Finding a leading removal company will make the process of emptying your rooms much easier, taking almost all of the work out of your hands. Along with this, a lot of people will find that having painters to do their walls and professional flooring experts for their floors can solve a lot of the issues you’ll face along the way.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on your whole-room renovation. This sort of a project is great for most DIYers, as it will give you the chance to test all of the skills you’ve built over the years. Of course, though, it will be worth getting some help along the way.

Giving Your Body The Love It Needs

Modern lifestyles can be quite straining for your mind. You need to be alert every day, at work, on the road and with your friends and relatives. As a result, everyone welcomes a holiday break to recharge their batteries and cleanse the mind. However, it is very rare for people to cleanse their body too. No, we’re not talking about fast diet or cleansing juices. But instead, it’s about giving your body a healthy makeover to embrace your natural beauty. From being rested to finding your new body confidence, here are some valuable tips to help you to take the time to make peace with your body when things get too hectic!

 

1. Embrace your body

Comparing yourself to other people is a psychological crime that too many of you still commit. Perhaps you’re worried that you don’t look good next to your friends or your colleagues. Just stop it. There are many different bodies in the world, and just because yours isn’t like theirs, it doesn’t mean it can’t be good. The idea of body perfection is heavily controlled by photoshopped magazine covers and impossible dreams. It’s essential that you learn to love your body without reverting to comparisons. Comparing is a mistake you make to save time: When you don’t have time to make peace with yourself, you promise your body you’ll love it more when it’s achieved your goals.

2. I don’t like when people can see my legs

The magazines and catwalks are guilty of presenting women that seem to be almost free of body hair. What the media forget to mention is that without professional waxing or laser hair removal, nobody can achieve these smooth results. Hairy legs or facial hair is a shameful topic for many, especially if you are a razor addict. Indeed, while it can be the ideal solution when you’re short for time, shaving your hair can reinforce your pilosity levels.

 

3. You need to give yourself some rest time

You thrive to succeed in the workplace. You’re dynamic and active all day, running from a place to another, from work to your family. So, needless to say, you look tired. Your skin has lost its glowing completion. A stressful lifestyle can make your skin look tired. Ultimately, the easiest solution to this dilemma is to get your beauty sleep back – after all, it’s called beauty sleep for a reason.

 

4. I need makeup to hide my acne outbreaks

If you are still suffering from acne complaints well in your adults years, it’s time to consider a more mindful lifestyle. Indeed, for a lot of people, managing hectic deadlines can encourage the consumption of fast food and processed meals. While you might be careful of levelling your calorie intake through sports, your body eliminates the excess fat and toxins through your skin. Choosing nutritious and healthy options can help you to clear your skin for good.

In conclusion, hectic lifestyles can force you to give your body less love that it requires. It’s not that you’re too busy to look after yourself. But you’re too busy to notice how some time-saving decisions can affect your body.

 

Boosting Your Confidence By Changing Your Lifestyle

There are many things that can knock your confidence. A bad breakup to problems at work can affect your self-esteem and leave you feeling less than your best. You might even have suffered from confidence issues throughout your life, holding you back from doing the things you want to do.

Now is as good a time as any to make a change. Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help you become stronger inside and out, encouraging a confidence boost that will reflect in all aspects of your life.

Are you ready to take the leap and overhaul your lifestyle? Here are just some of the things you can do to give yourself the confidence boost you deserve.

Eat better

Food affects your mood in many ways. If you tend to comfort eat in times of crisis, you’re probably not giving your body the proper nutrition it needs to function. When you eat well, your energy levels increase, you sleep better and your hair, skin and nails improve – all big confidence boosters. If you make one change to your diet, let it be this – eat a good breakfast every morning. Starting the day off right will have both mental and physical benefits, and you’ll find some great healthy breakfast recipes that even girls on the go can make in the mornings.

Improve your smile

Do you shy away from showing off your smile? It’s more common than you think but is a problem that can be fixed. Whether you’re concerned about the shape of your smile or you wish your teeth were whiter, you can either learn to love what you’ve got or do something about it. Visit your orthodontist to find out what your options are. Making improvements to your smile can make more of a difference than you realise, giving you the confidence to flash your pearly whites.

Get in shape

Exercise is important, there’s no getting around it. If you want to feel and look healthy, you’re going to have to start moving. Exercise helps you to feel in control, eases your stress and can help you condition your body, in addition to many mental health benefits. Why not start the day with a run or a long walk to get you outside and get your heart rate up to feel fitter and healthier and build your confidence up as you go along?

Sleep better

Believe it or not, sleep can help your self-esteem. When you’re well rested, you’ll feel more prepared to take on anything and stop feelings of irritability or confusion in their tracks. Sleeping more is one of the ways you can start getting serious about your health for a better outlook and to improve your overall health.

 

Building up your confidence takes time, but by focusing on your health and wellbeing – you can do it. Make some healthier lifestyle changes today and see the difference it can make to your self-esteem

You Can’t Tame Your Home Alone

Do you ever feel like the upkeep of your home is a constant battle? Your home is supposed to be your castle. It’s not only intended to be a fortress that keeps the myriad troubles of the outside world at bay, it’s also supposed to be the one place in the world where you can completely relax, unwind and be yourself. In an era where we’re working harder than ever, working more hours than ever and finding that we have less time to look after the things in life that really matter, your home should be your best friend. Thus, if your relationship with your home is becoming increasingly adversarial, and you feel as though you’re falling out of love with it, something needs to change.

Most of us try pretty hard to ensure that our homes are clean, tidy, hygienic and well maintained. Yet, most of us are unaware of just how much of a toll it can take on our mental health if the one place in the world we’re supposed to feel at ease is just a little… off. Your surroundings have a profound effect on your wellbeing. Yet, despite all our best efforts, there are times when it feels as though nothing we do effects real change. If we share our home with kids and pets these feelings are only compounded.

It may be a tough pill for many to swallow, but even the staunchest clean freak or DIY enthusiast can’t tame their homes without professional help. Given our hectic and busy lifestyles we need to be realistic with ourselves and turn to the help of the professionals when we need it. Here are some areas in which even the best of us may need to outsource for optimum peace of mind and a home that’s perfect once more…

 

DIY Not?

There was a time when DIY was like a family recipe. It was a series of workable solutions (what we might now call life hacks) passed from generation to generation, designed to keep homes well maintained. In the YouTube era, however, there are so many excellent DIY tutorials that handy homeowners can often believe that there’s nothing they can’t accomplish with a well stocked tool belt, a stick of gum and a can-do attitude. While this may be true for many things, there are always areas of DIY best left to the pros. All but the most rudimentary of electrical fixes should not be attempted alone because of the safety risk they represent. They should be left to a registered electrician. If something is wrong with your circuit breaker panel in particular, you must never, ever attempt a repair yourself. Likewise, plumbing is best left to the pros. It might look like Lego with water, but it’s way more complicated than many give it credit for. Your amateur job may look fine at first glance but you could leave your home vulnerable to tiny and imperceptible leaks which could do real damage over time.   

 

Clutter removal with care and compassion

Clutter is more than just general untidiness. If left unattended it can become a real problem and a sizeable drain on your personal well being. It’s human nature to accumulate possessions. To our subconscious, having more stuff increases our chances of survival. The reality, however, is that accumulating more and more stuff simply leads to a cluttered home. Not only is this visually distracting and prevents our homes from feeling truly clean and tidy, it can hinder our concentration. This can be particularly crippling if you work from home. It can create a nagging sense of unease that no amount of cleaning or tidying around it will heal. The trouble is that simply throwing stuff out, donating it to charity or selling it on eBay is beyond many of us. After a while, the removal of clutter can seem like a monolithic task especially if we are unable to part with any of it. If this seems familiar you need a clutter removal service with care and compassion, who will work with you to order and organise your possessions without tossing things out in the name of tough love. Now if only you knew where to find one of those…

 

Bad flow gotta go!

You’ve likely heard of Feng Shui although it’s likely that you take little stock in it. You may regard it as pseudoscience at best or mumbo jumbo at worst. But like acupuncture, tai chi and myriad other Chinese therapies which cause many unaware Westerners to scoff, Feng Shui really works. Enthusiasts say that this ancient art can increase your popularity, boost your wealth and help you to achieve your career goals by redistributing the flow of life energy (qi) through the home. At the very least it can optimize your available living space, give you a sense of calm and well being and make you feel happier than ever in your home. Sure, you could read up on the principles of Feng Shui and attempt to apply them yourself, but the most effective way to employ Feng Shui in your home is too book an appointment with a consultant.

 

Chim Chim Che-Ree!

If your home has a chimney, you’re extremely lucky. A fireplace with a chimney breast works wonders in tying a room together. It can make a great statement piece and can really help to define your living room’s aesthetic. But as much as this aesthetic touch is a gift for homeowners, it can also leave your family vulnerable to noxious fumes. Over time, sooty deposits can built up in the chimney flue. As these deposits grow more robust they can release a noxious combination of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and water vapour into your living room. This flue gas may be imperceptible to most but it can still cause lasting damage to your health if left unchecked. That’s why every home with an active chimney should have a chimney sweep on speed dial to carry out regular inspections.

 

Your home is beautiful and ripe with potential. But it’s important to reach out for a helping hand every once in a while to make sure that potential is truly realised.

It’s Time To Start Clearing Out The Junk In Your Home

Let’s be totally honest, one of the biggest issues that a lot of us have these days is that we just have way too much stuff. Over the course of most of our lives, we have a habit of collecting a whole lot of stuff and most of it just ends up cluttering up our homes. Sure, there are plenty of things with lots of sentimental value that you want to keep, but a lot of it is just junk. When your home is full of junk in that way, it’s going to end up feeling cramped and untidy no matter what you do. Because of that, it’s a good idea to take the time to try and clear it out every once in a while. Of course, that’s not always easy. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to start clearing out your home.

Find somewhere to put it

When the time comes to start getting rid of the junk in your home, one of the first things to think about is what you’re going to do with all of it. Depending on the kind of stuff it is, you’ve got a few choices. You can simply throw it away, and if you’re going to do that then there are plenty of places that offer bin hire which can make the process easier. Or perhaps you want to give it away to a good home. If that’s the case then there are plenty of places that take donations or you might even want to sell it on eBay to try and make a little money.

Be brutal

When you first start thinking about getting rid of stuff from your home, it’s tempting to assume that it’s all too precious and you couldn’t possibly get rid of it. However, the truth is that a lot of the stuff cluttering up many of our homes isn’t all that important. Sure, there will always be things that you’ll want to keep but there’s nothing wrong with getting rid of stuff that you neither use or need anymore.

Go room by room

The other major challenge involved in trying to clear out your home is knowing where to start. If you’ve let this kind of task build up over time then it can often be pretty overwhelming. The best way to deal with this is to just take things room by room and work from a plan. That way you’re not going to end up doing bits and pieces here and there and the entire task will go a lot faster.

Clearing the junk out of your home can be tough. After all, it can often feel like you’re not really sure what do keep and what to get rid of. However, if you keep putting it off then you’re just going to end up collecting more and more stuff that you don’t need and you’re going to make the whole situation much more difficult than it needs to be.

It’s What’s Outside That Counts: This Year’s Hottest Exterior Design Trends

After the blistering heat of the previous months, while the northern hemisphere enjoys the start of summer, Aussies are beginning to retreat indoors as the days get a little milder and greyer. For many of us, this doesn’t mean that our social lives are curtailed, it merely means brunch indoors rather than barbecues outside. This means that many of us will start to think about sprucing up our interiors as we prepare ourselves to bring our social lives indoors. But while a great deal has been written on the subject of interior design, let’s not forget that what’s outside matters too. If you’re likely to be planning for some renovations in the coming colder months or even just a lick of paint here and there, it’s worth considering addressing the external as much as the internal. Here we’ll look at the importance of a design aesthetic that unifies both the interior and exterior as well as looking at some of the hottest exterior design trends of this year…

 

What is exterior design and why does it matter?

Your interior design is an opportunity to not only create a space that is beautiful and pleasurable to live in, it’s also your opportunity to allow guests an insight into your personal tastes, your creative leanings, your sense style and your personality. Everything from the colour you use on your statement walls to the books you have on display on your bookshelf makes a statement and tells visitors a little about who you are. Your home should tell a story, and your entryway is the first chapter… But the exterior is the prologue. Many are quick to underestimate just how much of a first impression their exteriors can make. Yet if your exterior is looking lackluster, faded, dilapidated, worn or simply bland, the rest of your home is going to have to work that little bit harder to undo that first impression. And remember that you never get a second chance to make one of those. If you will be putting your home on the market in the near future, sprucing up your exterior can add immeasurably to your kerb appeal. Get it right and it can make your neighbours green with envy while engendering a sense of excitement and anticipation in guests about to step over the threshold and into your home. Fortunately, your exterior design needn’t be extremely expensive nor logistically difficult to master. Whether you’re installing new designer garage doors or simply applying a lick of paint and adding some potted plants you can give your exterior a facelift, even on a modest budget. Let’s look at some of the hottest exterior design trends of this year…

 

Keep it neutral, keep it natural

In today’s fast paced and often stressful world, the home should be a sanctuary from the stress and anxiety of work and modern living. This means that we should use as many natural materials as possible in both our exterior and interior design. Natural materials have a soothing effect on the mind and are proven to promote psychological well being. Thus, there are lots of creative ways in which you can use natural stone in your exterior design or timber with a light and natural finish rather than a thick veneer of paint. Needless to say, your use of plants (even if you don’t have a front garden) can make all the difference too. A large potted plant on either side of your front door can be extremely welcoming in even the most modest of front yards. Here are some useful tips on matching your outdoor plants to the materials you use in your exterior.  

As tempting as it may be to paint your front door and other elements of your exterior in a gaudy and attention grabbing colour, this year’s design trends favour a more neutral approach. While beighes, greys and off whites are on the way out indoors, this year’s outdoor trends favour mixed materials within a limited colour palette i.e. mid grey bricks with dark grey roofing.

 

A taste for texture

There’s far more to creating an engaging exterior than colour. Texture is playing an increasingly large role in creating design aesthetics that make for eye catching exteriors. Don’t be afraid to play with texture this year, especially when it comes to juxtaposing different textures; rough with smooth, matte with gloss and patterned with plain. Think steel matte on your guttering or roofing juxtaposed with coarse textured or self patterned brick. This contrasting of textures and finished creates a sense of intrigue which will make your guests all the more eager to see what’s in store for them inside.

 

Red brick is back

We’ve been using it to build houses since the days of ancient Rome and there’s still no better choice for creating an aesthetic which is natural, warming and welcoming. Using this classic building material in elegant and contemporary ways is another method of creating an intriguing sense of juxtaposition whether it’s used for an exterior wall or alongside other curated materials. Pairing red brick with a neutrally painted concrete, for example to create a contrast of tone, colour and texture that is appealing and intriguing yet subtle.

 

Say something with siding

While all these juxtaposed materials, colours and textures are currently en vogue, there will always be those who prefer the elegant simplicity of home siding. There are many reasons why this approach appeals to so many. It creates a neat and welcoming look that’s virtually zero maintenance, and the sheer variation of colour, texture, materials and finish ensures that wherever your tastes may lie, you can find a variant to suit you. However the aesthetic benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. The right siding can also seriously improve your home’s energy efficiency. Good quality siding will seal in the heat during the coming colder months while also allowing your home to stay cool when it’s hot.

So, as your social schedule moves indoors over the coming months, make sure that you capitalise on every opportunity to wow your guests, even before they’ve stepped through the front door.

It’s Time To Start Taking Your Health More Seriously!

Let’s face it, taking care of our health is one of the first things that many of us are taught how to do from an early age. We all know that without taking proper care of ourselves, we could well end up in serious danger both mentally and physically. And yet, in spite of this, many people still insist on living their lives in such a way that they make their health and incredibly low priority compared to the rest of their life. People will often be more concerned about their appearance or the way that their home looks than their health. The reason behind this is often pretty simple. Taking care of your health often involves making sacrifices and tough decisions, which is something that a lot of people simply aren’t ready to do. It can also be pretty difficult to know where to start when it comes to taking better care of your health in the first place. In order to make that just a little bit easier, here are some ways that you can finally stop ignoring your health.

 

Stop hiding from your doctor

A lot of people really don’t like going to the doctor, and that’s kind of understandable. After all, doctor’s offices really aren’t the most pleasant, welcoming places in the world. Not only that but avoiding going to the doctor ties in with ignoring your symptoms. If you go to the doctor when you’re worried about something, there’s a chance that they could potentially confirm your worst fears. However, the truth is that no matter what kind of results or response you get from your doctor, it’s always better to get their opinion as soon as possible. Most of the time they’ll be able to set your mind at ease that it’s not something to be worried about, but if it is something serious, they will be able to offer you potential courses of action that you can take, rather than you just sitting around feeling worried. Some people don’t like seeing their doctor because they worry that they’re going to be wasting your time. Just remember that your doctor would rather you get checked out and it turned out to be nothing, that for you to just sit at home and worry. People also worry about things like medical bills but there are plenty of bulk billing doctors that can help you to save a decent amount of money. Besides, your health is a pretty worthwhile investment!

 

Be more active

Most of us live pretty sedentary lives for the most part. After all, most of us spend our entire workday sat behind a desk and then come home to slump onto the couch until it’s time to head off to bed. If you want to start improving your health, it’s time to get a little bit more active on a daily basis. This means that you need to think about ways that you can fit a little bit of exercise in here and there. A lot of people claim that they are unable to make the time to exercise, but that’s simply not true. Something as simple as walking to work if you can, or going for a stroll on your lunch break can make a huge amount of difference. You don’t need to suddenly become obsessed with going to the gym every single day, but if you’re never doing any exercise at all, that’s going to start to have an impact on your body and your overall health. Not only that but staying active can be incredibly positive for your mental health as well. You might think that spending all day relaxing and sitting around is a great way to treat yourself, but if you do it too often, then you’re just going to end up feeling far worse than you did before.


Stop ignoring your symptoms

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people make is that they ignore symptoms that come up far too often. It can often seem bizarre that someone would do this, but it’s a habit that’s deceptively easy to slip into. After all, no one likes to think that there’s a chance that they could be ill in some way, and so when small symptoms appear, it can often be incredibly tempting to ignore them altogether in the hope that they’re just going to go away. And, you know what, there’s a chance that they just might. However, is that really worth the risk that, if you ignore your symptoms, they could just get worse and worse until they start to cause you real problems? After all, knowing is always better than not knowing because at least then you have the option to do something about it before you reach the point when you can’t anymore.

 

Get your lifestyle in shape

The first thing that you can do in order to start prioritising your health in a more significant way is to make some serious changes to your lifestyle. The most obvious way to do this is to adjust your diet. If you’re not thinking about what you’re eating, then there’s a good chance that you’re filling your body with things that are going to cause you problems down the line. No one is saying that you suddenly have to go on some kind of crash diet. You just need to start thinking a little more carefully about the kinds of foods that you’re eating on a regular basis. The same goes for anything else that you’re putting into your body. There’s nothing wrong with going out and having a few drinks with friends now and then, but if you’re staying out drinking every single night, then you’re potentially doing some serious damage to your body. You probably don’t need anyone to tell you how dangerous smoking is and yet plenty of people insist on doing it anyway. If you want to take the best possible care of your health, breaking those kinds of bad habits is a great place to start.

 

Get the right treatment

Of course, there is always a chance that there is something wrong and if that’s the case, then you need to be sure that you’re making the right decisions. If you do find yourself getting ill in some way you need to be sure that you’re getting the right treatment. This will usually involve talking to a specialist. A lot of the time your doctor will recommend a certain treatment or specialist too you, but it may fall to you to find a specialist off your own back. A lot of the time people feel as though having to see a specialist means that there’s something seriously wrong with them, but the reality is that it’s often just because your GP doesn’t have the specific skills required to help you as effectively as possible.

 

Think about the future

One of the most common mistakes that a lot of people make is that they make the assumption that, because something they’re doing isn’t negatively impacting their health right now, that means that it’s not worth worrying about at all. However, it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that that’s not the case. There are plenty of things in your life that can be dangerous or unhealthy, but that won’t actually start to cause any problems for a long time. This is especially true with certain aspects of your lifestyle like your diet, or something like drinking and smoking. You may well be able to go years without feeling any real impact from the things that you’re doing, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not having any impact at all. It’s easy to feel invincible when you’re young, but if you want to start thinking more seriously about your health, then you need to consider the kind of impact your decisions will have in the future. Being able to think about these things can often be a pretty serious challenge and it takes a lot of self-control to make choices that will only really pay off in the long run, but being able to do what’s best for your health, even if you won’t feel the results until years down the line, is one of the most important things that you can do.

Making excuses for not paying attention to your health is one of the most tempting things to do. A lot of the time people claim that they will deal with it another time or whenever they get round to it. But the truth is that your health is just too important to set aside like that. You have to make sure that you make an effort to look after your health now and to commit to taking care of yourself. Otherwise, there will be consequences. Dealing with those consequences is always going to be harder and more unpleasant than taking steps to prevent them in the first place. There are probably a lot of other things that you’d rather spend your time thinking about, but being able to take care of your health means that it’s much easier to set any concerns or worries aside for a while. Your health might not be the most exciting part of your life, but it simply too important for you to ignore.

 

How to Get Started with Selling Antiques and Upcycled Furniture

Selling antiques and upcycled furniture can be a lucrative and sustainable business, provided that you put enough energy and effort in planning your model. Don’t treat this venture as a hobby, and you can expect more than a hobby income from it. Whether you are new to the industry of interior design or have experience in the area, you will still have plenty to learn about running this type of business. To help you avoid some of the most common startup mistakes, you will find a few tips to consider before you jump head first.

 

Find Your Niche Market

Selling antiques is a vague description of any business. You will need to find your market that is interested in what you can get them and your suppliers. Some people simply get started with this venture doing house clearances and renovations, coming across some well designed and valuable items that are too good to get rid of. No matter what got you thinking about starting your business, you will have to find your niche; let it be small boutique hotels, B and Bs or family villa owners.

 

Get Your Finance Right

Chances are that you will have to invest in stock and premises when starting an antique and upcycling business. You will also need some industry licenses, and this will further increase your startup costs. If you would like to make sure you are not stretching further than you should, it is recommended that you get help with preparing a financial plan. This will not only help you keep an eye on your costs, but also serve your interest when applying for business finance.

 

Develop Your Workshop

No matter if you are renovating antique furniture or upcycling vintage items, you will need the space. You might want to build your own steel structure workshop or rent an industrial building that has the adequate infrastructure and security for your business. Your workshop must serve the purpose of your business; you need to take care of lighting, climate control, air conditioning, security, and power. The tools you are using might need a higher voltage than regular power machines, therefore, you must check the supplies and the wiring before you strike a deal.

 

Focus on International Markets

While domestic markets can be profitable, you should not exclude international deliveries. In the United States, China, and some Asian countries, the growing upper class might be interested in unique items to furnish their homes. If you can create a pricing strategy that serves domestic and international customers alike, you will have a greater chance of making profits. There are plenty of international online auction sites thanks to the faster and more reliable internet access around the world, so why not take advantage of the latest technological developments?

 

Do Your Market Research

You wouldn’t start any business without researching your market and getting to know your target customer. If you miss this crucial step of building your venture, you will have to face some unpleasant surprises. It is important that you read industry magazines and find out what is popular and how much various processes and renovation projects cost. Without this, you cannot develop a competitive offer and convince your buyers. Check online auction sites and – if you feel like  – record the sale prices of items, so you can calculate your profits and determine the right price to buy at.

 

Don’t Forget About the Competition

Just like any business, antique and vintage furniture sales are extremely competitive. You will have to account for the bargaining power of the competition, unless you have an exclusive source where you get antiques and quality vintage furniture from. Your competition might offer more money to sellers, and you will end up with no stock. They might also have access to markets you haven’t yet discovered, and turn around items faster than you. Make sure that you study the most successful companies in your market and learn from them.

 

Shipping Methods and Costs

One of your greatest variable cost will be shipping. When moving large items, you will need to get a specialist company with adequate insurance and well trained staff, so you can avoid accidents and damage to your goods. Companies like Freo Group have various shipping and haulage packages and a clear pricing policy, so you can calculate the cost that you want to charge your international customers for the insurance and door-to-door delivery.  

 

Business Insurance

You shouldn’t forget about taking out business insurance, either, when starting an antique or upcycled furniture business. You are likely to come across customers who are not happy with the condition of the item received, no matter how good your photos and description are. It is crucial that you cover your premises and take out public liability insurance. If you employ staff, you must provide them with health and safety training and equipment, so you can avoid injury claims. However, if you have a business insurance, you can at least cover the legal costs when things go wrong.

 

Study Demand and Styles

You need to become the expert in the industry if you would like to take advantage of the knowledge and ride on the latest trends. You can study the latest demands and styles by attending conferences and exhibitions, or even learning more about the history of furniture and trends online. Find an online degree program that will give you that competitive edge and help you determine what each item is worth.

 

Study Interior Design

As a complementary skill, you might also want to study interior design. This will help you advise your customers and prospects about arranging and displaying some of the most valuable items. You can find plenty of online courses or sources of information. Interior design is a great skill to have if you are trying to help your customers make the most out of their homes or spaces and find the best way of selling them unique items.

 

Subscribe to Trends

Even if you get formal education, you will need to be prepared for changes in taste and preferences, so you can change your business accordingly. You are likely to find several quality international interior design and antiques magazines you can subscribe to online, and there are plenty of experts and auction houses that offer a free or low cost newsletter. It is important that you keep an eye on the trends and the various emerging technologies that can reduce your cost and turnaround times. You will even be able to advertise in some of these magazines and newsletters, so you can build a strong brand.

 

Build Partnerships

As a small startup antique or vintage upcycled item retailer, you will find it difficult to find customers on your own. It is important that you build great relationships with suppliers, as well as professional interior designers. You can approach smaller designers and larger companies that would be interested in what you have to offer. If you can create a blog that provides value for industry leaders, you can get them to sign up for updates and newsletters, and it is more likely that you can enter a long term partnership with them.

 

Develop Your Online Presence

No business can survive without online presence in the 21st century. You should have a website that allows your visitors to browse your projects and items for sale, and even take a virtual tour in your workshop. You will also have to register your business in local and international business directories, so people looking for unique furniture will find you. It is not enough to have a website if you cannot draw targeted traffic to it and get people to contact you. Give your potential customers more than one way to get in touch; phone, online chat, messenger, and social media. You can benefit from Pinterest marketing like many other small startups before, and get your site and brand to become popular.  

 

Build Your Showroom

Once you have established your brand in the marketplace, it might be time to create a showroom online or at your workshop, where people can browse. While some antique dealers choose to go to exhibitions and trade shows regularly, this can cost a lot of money, and success is not guaranteed. If you can get people to visit your showroom or take a virtual tour, you will be able to show off your style and unique brand without having to spend money and time traveling and delivering your furniture from one location to the next. You can even create an online showroom embedded in your website, if you choose the right designer.

If you are thinking about starting your online or offline antique and vintage furniture business, you need to be prepared for a strong competition. Trends change, and you will have to find the niche market, you can provide more value than other small companies. Build strong partnerships with potential suppliers and end users, and focus on creating a strong, unique brand that people can relate to.

De-Clutter Your Home, De-Clutter Your Mind

A cluttered home creates a cluttered mind. If you seem to have things everywhere and you can’t get your house in order, it is a clear indication that you need to get rid of the clutter. Not only will this make your home look better, but it will help you to have a clearer mind in the process too. You will be able to relax, as you will no longer be leaving in the middle of chaos. With that being said, read on to discover how to de-clutter your home and de-clutter your mind in the process.

Be brutal – You need to be brutal. If you have not worse something in the past year, the chances are you are not going to wear it in the coming year. Don’t hold onto things on the off chance that you may need them someday.

Give to charity – If you have items that you no longer want or need, give them to charity. You know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There are bound to be people that need the things you don’t, and it can make you feel good about yourself by helping someone else out.

Make sure you remove all items correctly – Another important step is to make sure you remove all items correctly. Got an old or broken kitchen appliance? Contact a professional company to remove this for you. Have you got electrical gadgets you no longer need or maybe a computer you don’t use? Go to your local electronics store and they should be able to dispose of this for you. Chucking such items in the bin only contributes to landfills and the massive pollution problem we are experiencing around the world.

Tackle one room at a time – De-cluttering can seem overwhelming when you have so much to tackle. Make it easier for yourself by splitting it up into different tasks. Give yourself one room to tackle per day, instead of giving yourself the mammoth task of tackling the entire home in one go.

Follow the one in, one out room – Now that you have created an environment that is free of clutter, you need to maintain it. To do this, you need to follow the one in, one out rule. This means that whenever you purchase something new for your home you need to get rid of something that is already in there to accommodate it.

As you can see, there are a number of different steps you can take to get rid of the clutter in your home and the chaos in your mind as a consequence. Follow the steps that have been presented above and you will be shocked by the difference that this makes.