#140 Create a List of Home Maintenance Responsibilities

And… that dryer vent accumulation that you never see and therefore never think about – is responsible for thousands of house fires around the world each year.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#140

Create a list of home maintenance responsibilities

Being a homeowner can be overwhelming at times when life is pulling at us in a gazillion directions. Even if you don’t own your home, there are basic maintenance items that make living in a home more efficient and healthy – leading to a higher quality of life and a sustainability of your home’s value.

If you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, just search Google for a list of House Maintenance Items – there is no shortage of links to investigate but there are a couple of categories you must be sure to include:

Monthly items:

The things you need to do each month such as changing your air filter, are designed to keep abreast of potentially bigger problems. One list suggested moving from sink to sink once a month with a hair drain clog remover so that the drains never become clogged… a proactive stance to remove buildup. Anyone with girls living in the house needs one of those do-dads. It’s completely gross but oh-so-worth-it!

Quarterly items:

On a less regular basis it’s good to inspect under sinks and around toilets for water leakage. Additionally, someone suggested inspecting extension cords and surge protectors – something that I personally, take for granted. I imagine the one behind the couch hasn’t seen daylight in more than a year which, means it’s nested in a full out hollow of dust bunnies. When those babies collect extensively, they create hard core matter that can catch fire from a spark.  Yup… gotta check them.

Bi-Annually:

Get the vacuum out and suck up the dust on your refrigerator coils. You’ll have to pull it out to do this but it will save a ton of money on power efficiency and it will take all of 10 minutes or less. Of course, you’ll want to scrub up the spilled milk that’s been baking there for months along with spider poop and the dead flies.

Annually:

Inside, you’ll want to prioritize vent cleaning (including the dryer vent!). The air you breathe will be so much cleaner if it’s not blowing back the dust that has settled in your vents throughout the year. And… that dryer vent accumulation that you never see and therefore never think about – is responsible for thousands of house fires around the world each year.

Outside, you’ll want to make sure that shrubs and trees aren’t up against the house too close. It’s especially important to get those climbing vines off the house as the little feeder roots it uses to hold itself to your masonry will over time, break apart the concrete, stucco, brick, or make its way into your siding and create havoc as water and ice will have a path to parts of your home where they are most destructive.

Of course, the whole idea of a list is to be organized with these tasks and make sure that they are accomplished. While you’re thinking about it – go ahead and …

Make a list of home maintenance responsibilities.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#141 Drop in on a Friend for Coffee or Dessert.

If you’re worried that you may not be received well by just ‘stopping in’ then I suggest you check with your friends to see if they’re game.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#141

Drop in on a friend for coffee or dessert.

My mother used to say that if you were coming to see her home you needed to call first but if you were coming to see her… you could come at anytime. She had an open door policy and as such – she was loved dearly by all of the people who knew that the coffee was hot in the pot all day long.

These days, we monitor our doorbells from our cell phones and ‘dropping in’ has become somewhat socially awkward; a lost tradition it seems. Yet, the surprise that someone takes time to stop by and check on us – to lean on us – to engage, is timeless. It’s an endorphin shot if we can step back from the idea that our house isn’t clean, our bed isn’t made, and our mascara is from yesterday.

If you’re worried that you may not be received well by just ‘stopping in’ then I suggest you check with your friends to see if they’re game; kind of ‘advanced permission’ to stop by unannounced. With that consideration, you’ll have no excuses.

Another suggestion is to take the coffee or dessert. While this isn’t necessary of course, it’s a great gesture. These days it can be as simple as a drive through Dunkin on your way or showing up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia! In both cases, your thoughtfulness will likely be appreciated in case your friend just drank that last cup of coffee or didn’t serve dessert that night.

In the days of social media and instant connection, I think these little traditions could use a comeback… Ask for permission if necessary or just go ahead and …

Drop in on a friend for coffee or dessert.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#142 Make That Appointment You’ve Been Putting Off

Getting those things completed that you have been putting off… especially when they are medical related may in fact, save your life.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#142

Make that appointment you’ve been putting off

Almost everyone I talk to speaks to the fact that our lives are over scheduled these days. It’s become worse over the last several decades as we have to work longer and harder to meet our obligations or catch the American Dream. Consequently, those necessary appointments – the ones that hold our reality together – are often sliding to the bottom of our priority list.

Do you need to go to the DMV? Have you had your annual physical? Your 6 month dental cleaning? Have you procrastinated on your mammogram or colonoscopy? What about your fireplace or carpet cleaning? Sadly, most of us have to take a full day off – some of us, without pay – in order to accomplish these tasks.

Be Efficient

My recommendation is to make a list of all those ‘appointments’ that need scheduled and make as many of them in one day as possible. It’s the peak of efficiency to manage your day in this manner. This is practical time management solution.

Fear

Procrastination occurs for other reasons too… particularly with medical appointments. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to fast or to clean out our system. We’re fearful of what the test may find or we anticipate bad news or judgment from the doctor. Occasionally people will tell me they don’t want to change parts of their lives – knowing that a doctor will make that suggestion (i.e., weight, smoking, drinking, etc.)

Overwhelmed

Sometimes we don’t make an appointment because the things we need to do leading up to them feel cumbersome and/or overwhelming. Something as little as getting a money order for an application can stifle the completion of that task. If you don’t need an ‘appointment’ for the pre-task, get that completed either before or after work.

Accomplishment

Getting those things completed that you have been putting off… especially when they are medical related may in fact, save your life. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when we get things done that we’ve been putting off. The appointments you keep for home repair and maintenance are for your welfare and safety. Don’t waste another minute… make that list and then…

Make that appointment you’ve been putting off.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#143 Plant Your Mother’s Favorite Flower

As such, they ignite endorphins in our brain that connect to happiness and overall feelings of good.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#143

Plant your mother’s favorite flower

I cannot see a yellow rose without thinking of my mother – it was her favorite flower. I would buy a birthday card months in advance if I saw one with a yellow rose so that I was acknowledging her with perhaps a little more intent. There is a yellow rose bush planted in the corner of my flower garden in her memory and each time a bud pops up, I am reminded of the comfort she provided in my lifetime.

Cop a Glance

It’s nice to glance out my window and capture a quick glance at those roses. In that split second my mind automatically moves to thoughts of my mom, even if for a nano-second. It’s similar to what happens when I brush past a person and catch the aroma of Old Spice… a flash of my father’s arms embracing me in support is instantaneous.

It’s often tradition to plant a tree in memory of someone we’ve lost which, is a wonderful tribute and long lasting for sure. There were two amazing Willow trees in the rear of the yard at a home I lived in when my step-dad passed. He directed the planting of those trees and frankly, it was the one thing that I regretted leaving when I left that house. If the idea of leaving the plant behind is uncomfortable, it may be better to use a large container. Certainly, that may be the only option if you don’t have a yard in which to plant.

Someone you Love

If your mom isn’t available to ask about her favorite flower, think of one that reminds you of her. Fall is a good time to plant bulbs so that they will bloom next year. Certainly, you can plant something and start it indoors, transferring it outside when the weather is warmer. If, you don’t necessarily want to be thinking of your mother on a regular basis (acknowledging that some people have distant or no relationships there), think of someone who inspires you or reminds you of love (grandmom, a friend’s mother, an aunt, or mentor).

Happy Feelings

Flowers are generally beautiful. Sometimes they smell good. As such, they ignite endorphins in our brain that connect to happiness and overall feelings of good. They do this even if we have allergies as long as we’re admiring them at a distance. When we couple those good feelings with thoughts of someone that reminds us of love – it’s a double happy.

Today is a good day to do something that has the potential to bring a smile to your face. Why not…

Plant your mother’s favorite flower.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#144 Give Up Your Favorite Beverage for a Day.

It’s a reminder to your psyche that YOU have authority over your actions.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#144

Give up your favorite beverage for a day.

If you happen to be reading this just as you move your favorite coffee cup up toward your nose, simultaneously enjoying the aroma and the bold flavor of liquid caffeine… I apologize. Yet – any negative reaction to the suggestion is further evidence that it may be just what you need.

We tend to get sewn into our habits and that morning cup of coffee, tea, lemon water, the evening frosty mug of beer, or the stemless glass of wine are easy habits to do without much thought or consideration; and that’s the danger. Some habits aren’t necessarily good for us. Indeed, it has been postulated that any  habit at all is rather detrimental if we have little awareness of it.

Perhaps the best part of making a decision to give up your favorite beverage for a day is the subliminal (or direct) understanding that YOU are in control of your being. It’s a reminder to your psyche that YOU have authority over your actions. Far too often I hear people say… “I couldn’t help it” or “I don’t even realize I am doing it” when it comes to habits. Paying attention to something as automatic as pouring a cup of coffee or a glass of wine helps you to raise awareness overall.

It’s a simple suggestion and a simple effort that helps you stay focused on the little things. Make a decision to…

Give up your favorite beverage for a day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#145 Hide a Love Note

I’ll describe a number of the variations for this suggestion as well because it isn’t as black and white as it may seem.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#145

Hide a Love Note

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about surprising someone you love. While finding a love note you’ve tucked away may be a surprise to the person who finds it, I thought it detailed enough to be its own tip to promote your (and another’s) happiness.

This suggestion is almost always found in lists of ‘things to do’ in order to perk up your relationship or build trust and intimacy between you and a partner. It’s another one of those things we are apt to do in the early stages of romance before our attention and energy get pulled into the day-to-day distractions of real life. Yet, it’s another – rather easy – free effort that reaps big payoffs in the long run.

Variations

I’ll describe a number of the variations for this suggestion as well because it isn’t as black and white as it may seem.

  • Love note: This can be a one liner; a lengthy tribute; or anything in between. It is specifically directed to someone you love and the note points to those emotions; includes any ‘loving’ relationship.
  • Thinking of you note: Generally a one liner but may include a romantic suggestion or a good will wish.
  • Appreciation note: A note specifically pointing out the attributes of the individual that you especially appreciate; more meaningful if you speak to ‘who’ the person is versus ‘what’ the person does.

The Medium

The notes can be from a sticky pad, beautiful stationery, printer paper, or the back of an old envelope. It doesn’t matter what the note is written on – what matters is the time and sentiment that it takes to write and then ‘hide’ the message. Likewise, your penmanship, spelling, ‘writing ability’, and writing instrument makes no difference. The sentence: “I luv u with my hole hart” scribbled in crayon is just as sentimental as one that is typed on parchment paper and spelled correctly.

Hiding Spot

Hiding them is perhaps, the trickiest part. It’s nice when they aren’t blatantly obvious although if your only option is to lay it on the kitchen table before you leave for work – it’s better than not doing it. However, the little surprises of finding a note hidden in a towel as you grab your shower, or inside a shoe you only wear on weekends, or at the bottom of a cereal box… those are the moments when you least expect to be presented with something significant or sweet. The goal here is for the note to be discovered in the most least expected way.

Think about the person you are writing to… where would they least expect to find a note of love, appreciation, or a kind thought? Grab something quick, while you’re thinking about it, jot something down and then…

Hide a love note.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#146 Plan a Surprise for Someone You Love

We love the dopamine rush when we pull off a surprise and many of us enjoy the experience of receiving these kinds of gestures.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#146

Plan a Surprise for Someone You Love

This suggestions will elevate happiness for both you and someone special in your life. Surprising someone is always fun but planning a little (or big) surprise for someone you love is the best! For this particular post, the intent is to up your game romantically.

Dopamine Rush

A lot of us made this part of our early romantic life. We commonly offer the unexpected as a way of initiating romance. We love the dopamine rush when we pull off a surprise and many of us enjoy the experience of receiving these kinds of gestures. Coming home to an impromptu candlelight dinner… a hot drawn bubble bath with spa music… being whisked away for a steamy night in a local hotel room… These kinds of surprises turn up the ‘you’re special to me’ meter in any relationship and they are generally low cost; low effort.

Awareness

Keeping this type of energy alive in a relationship demands awareness and intent. An awareness of time and activity with the intent to keep our romantic partners needs and interest in the forefront of our mind regardless of the years that have passed.

Appreciation

Perhaps the surprise is being picked up from work and escorted to a coveted sporting event or a favorite restaurant. Perhaps it’s bringing in a cleaning team or scheduling a babysitter for a couple’s night out. It could be as simple as declaring it “Jane/John Appreciation Day” – and treating that person as if you would on a birthday or Mother’s/Father’s day – but for no special reason other than they are ‘appreciated’. Everyone receives an endorphin rush by being appreciated.

Keep Them in Mind

It’s important to specifically consider the individual you are wanting to surprise. The surprise needs to be something THEY would enjoy. Some people don’t like ‘surprises’ so the gesture needs to be softer and maybe less spontaneous. It may be important to have a random and casual conversation with your romantic partner to find out what kind of surprises they would enjoy and then write them down or commit them to memory.

Spice up your life, invest in your relationship, and elevate your mood by…

Planning a surprise for someone you love

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below