#50 Window Shop

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.

#50

Window Shop

This term is probably on the brink of being obsolete as very few of us can identify at all with the notion of walking down a street lined with shops that promote their wares in the big front window. It was that stroll that identified the substance of Christmas lists of yesterday. Today, we ‘window shop’ by browsing through the ads injected throughout our social media accounts.

Inspiration

Window shopping can offer inspiration for a number of different areas of your life. It can inspire design when you see complementary colors positioned together. It can inspire a haircut you saw on a mannequin or it can prompt you to go home and recreate the skirt it was wearing. Window shopping can inspire you to cook more, read more, or exercise more just by glancing at the ‘message’ conveyed via the storefront display.

Motivation

Likewise, it can move beyond inspiration and sincerely motivate action to do any of the above. It can motivate you to clean house, organize, and redecorate. It can motivate you toward a goal after seeing something you would really like to have.

Patience

Window shopping can encourage and teach patience. When we only buy something once we have discerned it is the right time and the right price – we are acting in our best interest. Walking past a display two, three, or four times across a few days, weeks, or months may be just the amount of time we needed to make sure that our purchase wasn’t impulsive. A decision made after waiting and thinking is typically a better decision.

Staying Current

Window shopping is one of the ways that we can stay abreast of current trends and styles. Merchandise design is a specialty in and of itself and consequently, we are often exposed to the newest thing when we walk past a storefront – a cleverly designed space to lure you into the shop where you are welcomed to spend your money.

Reinvent

Since many of us don’t have a ‘main street’ to stroll down, window shopping can take on a whole new meaning. Certainly, we browse through the mall from time to time – that counts. We can also internet browse by scrolling through Pinterest and the sites of our favorite stores. I will sometimes open those ad emails that get stuffed in my inbox and peruse the sale items… just looking to see if there is something that commands my attention.

Yes, there can be a downside to window shopping… if you have no impulse control – don’t do it. If you lean into greediness or jealousy – don’t do it. If you are resentful or bitter about your financial situation – don’t do it. Generally speaking, it’s a pleasant way to spend a little time now and then. If you’re in the market for something, need some inspiration or motivation, or just need to connect with the times, all you have to do is…

Window shop.

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

#51 Go to Open Houses

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.

#51

Go to Open Houses

Here, I’m specifically talking about homes and residences that are for sale and host ‘open houses’ in an effort to entice people that are house hunting.Of course, you may not be in the market for a new place to live but attending open houses can still be a fun activity with benefits.

Decor

One of the most enticing reasons to attend open houses if you’re not house hunting, is to get real time and real people decorating tips. Even when you see a couple of homes in a ‘cookie cutter’ community where the floor plans are all identical – you are exposed to different configurations and design elements that give entirely different looks to the homes.

Model homes are great for professional flavor. They have had the personal touches of interior decorators – in most cases – and offer a well thought out idea of what your home could look like. Going to open houses though, allows you to see what kind of closet space there ‘really’ is… It offers real world visions of a room when three kids and a dog take up space with their belongings.  Yes, these days many open houses are staged and a good real estate agent will have you ‘de-personalize’ the home a bit but, your experience will most likely be more ‘real’ than a model home.

Affordability

As long as you are keeping your visits to homes in your general socioeconomic bracket, you may fall in love with a place and find out that it’s entirely affordable. I’ve heard from real estate agents that a fair number of people who visit open houses aren’t actually in the mindset to move but only curious.

Scouting

Potentially helpful is attending open house in your own neighborhood. It’s always advantageous to understand the housing market where you live. Scouting out sales comps and talking with a realtor who is experienced with homes in your community is a way to be informed about the value of your own home. It’s doing the preliminary homework for selling your house, someday.

Curiosity

You can attend open houses for sheer curiosity as well. Is there an architectural beauty in your town you’ve always wanted to tour? Is there a view in a Penthouse that you’ve often wished to see? Are you simply curious about the outcome of all that construction noise you listened to all summer? Go ahead and walk through the open house. Just be considerate and tell the agent your “just browsing” so that neither of you waste time or breath.

Looking for something interesting and free to do this weekend? Use a realty app or one of those free “Homes” magazines and …

Go to open house.

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

#286 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#286

Explore Google Earth

I’ve always been a map lover. My dad taught me to read a map when I was young and ever since, I’ve studied maps for fun. I enjoy knowing how to get from here to there more efficiently, with more scenery, or with a specific stop in-between. It’s no surprise then that I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being able to tap into Google Earth.

For anyone who doesn’t know – Google Earth is Google’s effort of bringing the world to our fingertips – at least visually.  Almost anywhere the Google car – with all of its virtual cameras – has traveled across the globe – you can see and explore with internet access.

Google Earth Capture

Google Earth

When a family member moved to Europe, I was able to type in the address and virtually explore the street they lived on, the park nearby, and landmarks they were excited to visit. Since I couldn’t get there right away, it was a way to feel connected to their new experience.

I’ve sat with my children and explored the town where I grew up, the schools I’ve attended, and had a virtual ‘drive by’ of some of my favorite childhood haunts. I loved seeing where my parents were raised and places they’ve talked about.

When I’m planning a vacation, I explore the area ‘virtually’ a little just to get my bearings and bolster the anticipation.  When I want to go somewhere that isn’t in my budget or when I don’t have time available but want to simulate a little vacation experience – I get on Google Earth and ‘take a little vacation’ by visiting places that seem fun to see. What does it look like from the top of Mount Olympus in Washington state? Google Earth will take you there.

Beware: you can lost in the wonders of the planet and spend far too much time exploring … but it’s amazing and fun and interesting; some would say downright educational. So, the next time you want to take a little trip but don’t have the time or money – grab a cup of coffee, a cold beer, or a glass of wine and sit down to …

Explore Google Earth.

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