Switching Homes? Make Your Move a Successful One

Moving homesMoving is stressful; there are very few people who have a 100-percent anxiety-free move. There are things that you can do to make moving as stress-free as possible. If you want to have a successful move, there are tips to follow. Here are five of them:

1.Book Your Moving Company

The American Moving and Storage Association tells us that summer is the busiest time for professional movers. If you are planning to move between May and September and will be using a moving company, find one and book your dates now. This will ensure that your dates will be free and you won’t have to adjust the time of your big move. If you’re not moving during the busy summer months, still plan to give any moving company that you choose a six-week notice.

2.Try to Overlap

If it’s possible, overlap the close of your home with the move into your new home. Try to give yourself a two week cushion. This will give you time to paint walls, replace carpeting and make minor, necessary repairs to your new home. A cushion will also allow you to move slowly rather than all at once. When you do this, you can move one room at a time, unpacking as you go. Moving in this manner ensures that your new home will be set up and ready to live in when it’s time to vacate your old one.

3.Purge

Before you pack, take a good look around your house and get rid of anything that you don’t use. The general rule of thumb is this: If you haven’t used it in six-months, and it’s not a seasonal item, it can go. There’s no sense spending time and energy moving your unused items into your new home. Whether you sell your belongings, give them to charity or recycle them is up to you; just make sure they don’t make the move with you.

4.Utilities

Two to three weeks before your move, contact your utility companies. You’ll want to have your old utilities shut off and your new ones turned on. If you call ahead of time, you won’t have the hassle of living in a new home without lights or heat. Try to set up your appointments for a day or two before you move into your new home. This will ensure that you aren’t inconvenienced by schedule changes or problems that arise with your hook-ups.

5.Cleanclean house

There’s no sense putting your items into a dirty house. Before a single box makes its way into your new home, wash the floors, clean the cupboards and wipe down the walls. As you’re unpacking, wipe off your belongings to remove any dust that settled during transportation. You aren’t going to want to spend a week unpacking and another week cleaning. Cleaning as you go will save you time.

You can’t make your move completely hassle-free, but if you follow these tips, your move will be as easy as it can possibly be. Make appointments ahead of time, overlap your move-out and move-in dates and get rid of clutter before you pack. For more tips on a successful move, contact your realtor for assistance.

About the Author 

Robin Knight writes for real estate blogs. If you live in the DC area, click here to find out more about homes in Alexandria.

Taking Melatonin Correctly for Night Owls

People who are charged up in the evenings can spend a lifetime battling their body’s natural drive to go to sleep later. Low dose melatonin at ).3mg – 1mg taken 3-4 hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep earlier in the evenings.

4 Strategies to Help You Remember Names

Do you find it embarrassing when you’re unable to recall someone’s name – especially when they remember yours?

Although some people seem to have an inherent talent for remembering names, we’re not all that fortunate. However, the good news is you can learn this important social skill.

Dale Carnegie, long known for his approach to business success, formulated an interesting 3-step method for remembering peoples’ names. Step 4, although not Dale Carnegie’s, will also help.

Try these strategies to help you memorize names the first time you meet someone:

  1. Immediately start imprinting the person’s name in your mind. Unfortunately, when we first meet someone new, we tend to focus on being polite. However, it’s wise to focus, instead, on the person’s name. Pay close attention to their name and make eye contact with them as you restate it.
    • If you don’t catch the name, state something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name; could you repeat it?” Then, when they say their name, say it back to them to ensure you get it right, like, “Oh, it’s very nice to meet you, Jane Doe.”
  2. Repeat the name over and over. After you’ve said the name of the person back to them, repeat it to yourself — “Jane Doe, Jane Doe, Jane Doe.”
    • What you’re now doing is applying a basic rule of memory theory – if you want to remember something, repeat it over and over again to impress it into your short-term memory.
    • To solidify the name into your memory bank, repeat it to yourself throughout the day, evening and even the next day. Doing so will help you transfer the information into your long-term memory. Think, “Last night, I met Jane Doe and John Smith.”
    • When you meet up with another friend at the social event, mention, “I just met Jane Doe; she’s the woman with red hair and blue dress over there.” Any type of repetition of the person’s name will help you remember it later.
  3. Connect the name to an image in your mind. This strategy is very powerful. Make a mental picture of the person that will help you remember their name.
    • For example, if the person’s name is Rose Brown, imagine her sitting on a brown horse holding a bouquet of roses. Carnegie stressed that the more elaborate and nonsensical your mental picture, the more likely you are to recall the person’s name.
    • Of course, there will be times whenever the person’s name is not a common object (like Rose) or color (like Brown). During those times, there is all the more reason to visualize a quirky picture that will help you remember the person’s name.
    • For example, if a person’s name is Gloria Armstrong; imagine her singing the hymn, “Gloria” while pumping iron (think “arms strong”). The wackier your mental picture visualizing the person, the more likely it is you’ll remember their name.
  4. Use technology. Use your smartphone’s voice recording app to repeat a person’s name and a brief description of their characteristics.
  • If you don’t have voice recording capability, type in a quick note of the person’s name, where you met him, and some facts about him.

Whether you decide to use some or all of these steps to remember names, you’ll increase your ability to recall someone’s name later. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how successfully you recall names of people you’ve only briefly met. Strengthen your memory for names by practicing these simple strategies.

Choosing Your New Year’s Resolutions

At this time of year, you may be considering whether you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve made them in the past and lost interest over time. Or perhaps you buckled down and followed through. Either way, you’re now facing the beginning of another new year.

Even if you’re less-than-thrilled with your follow-through in prior years, the new year brings amazing opportunities to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways.

Try these ideas to help you set up your resolutions so you’ll be successful during the coming year:

  1. Select an area of your life that’s important to you. One of the keys to choosing your New Year’s resolutions is selecting a goal that truly matters. Ideally, you can find something you want more than anything. This will help keep you dedicated.
  2. Be specific. The whole idea of making a New Year’s resolution can seem over-simplified. You’ll hear people say, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in to shape” or “I want to work less.”
    • What do statements like, “I want to spend more time with my family this coming year” really mean? Here’s how to be more specific:
      • For the resolution to get into shape, why not state it in more detail? Consider committing to specifics, such as, “I want to lose 2 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my hips.”
      • Another example of being more exacting might be “I want to increase visual muscle definition in my abdominals and my upper arms.”
  3. Make your resolution measurable. How will you measure your results?
    • For example, spending more time with your family may manifest as, “I plan to work 4 hours less per week in the coming year,” or “I won’t work on Saturdays, starting January 1st.”
  4. Structure your resolution using mini-goals. Consider cutting your overall goal into smaller, separate goals. Select the first mini-goal to accomplish in the process and designate it as your New Year’s resolution for the first 3 months.
    • Consider this example: You want to lose 30 pounds. You’ve struggled to drop the weight in the past. But you want to get serious now.
    • Here’s one way to cut this into mini-goals: Lose 10 pounds in the first 3 months of the year, lose another 10 pounds in the second quarter of the year and drop the final 10 pounds the third quarter of the year. The fourth quarter of the year, plan to focus on maintaining your weight loss.
  5. Be realistic. It might not be possible for you to accomplish everything you want in just one year. But you probably can be well on your way to your goal by the end of the year if your New Year’s resolution is within reasonable standards.

When selecting your New Year’s resolutions, focus on what matters to you. Be specific and make your resolutions measurable. Use mini-goals and be realistic in establishing whatever resolutions you select.

By addressing your resolution as a process rather than just a goal, you’re much more likely to succeed. And when you achieve one goal, you’re more apt to set resolutions and accomplish them in the years that follow. Start this year to make each year your best one ever!

How Does Getting Therapy Help?

Since therapy (also known as counseling) is a rather misunderstood concept, the suggestion that you see a counselor can be scary.

You may perceive getting therapy to mean that there’s something wrong with you. This isn’t the case! While it may not be for everyone, counseling can be beneficial to most people at challenging points in their lives.

Although it’s important to recognize that therapy is not a panacea, it makes a difference every day in thousands of lives across the world. If you find that you have uncomfortable feelings or “stuck” places in your life, you may very well benefit from this practice.

Consider these ways that therapy can help you:

1. Get an objective viewpoint. Counseling allows the opportunity to talk about your current challenges with someone who’s trained and objective. Open communication with your friends and loved ones is usually a good idea. However, there are times when you might find it more comforting and safe to share your feelings with a therapist.

2. Clarify your feelings. Many times, people begin therapy feeling confused and not really able to identify their emotions. A therapist can assist you in recognizing your feelings.

* The therapeutic process helps you explore particularly troubling emotions and resolve them.

3. Learn to appropriately communicate how you feel to others. Being able to share honest, genuine feelings using more effective communication can enrich your relationships and help you succeed in your endeavors.

* Once you learn to pay more attention to your feelings and share them with others, you’ll get more of what you want from life, whatever that may be.

* Plus, your life is more fulfilling when you live based on how you truly feel.

4. Getting therapy can be a freeing, stress-relieving experience. After all, how many times do you have an opportunity to say whatever you want however you want with no repercussions later?

* It’s possible to liberate yourself from psychological pain by talking with a therapist.

* Therapy is a safe place to vent your negative feelings. Whether you’re feeling scared, hurt, angry, lonely, or other negative emotions, you can share it with the therapist and take a load off your chest. For many, therapy is a sanctuary when they’re feeling overwhelmed with negativity in their life. This makes counseling a great stress reliever!

5. It’s all about you. When you go to therapy, the session is focused on your benefit. Your time with a counselor is all about you. You can say whatever you want.

* You don’t have to worry about being judged by the therapist, as they are trained to keep their personal feelings out of it.

6. Gain valuable insights. When you talk about yourself with someone who’s nonjudgmental and objective, you’re truly tuned in to the moment and what you’re saying.

* Therapy provides a chance for you to hear yourself talk and share your own personal struggles. It may sound unusual, but people in counseling frequently have “Aha” moments about something they shared.

* Your therapist will ask questions which encourage you to examine your current situation more thoroughly. After all, human difficulties are complex. Through this process, you can discover your motives and learn to understand yourself better.

* Developing insight and awareness into your feelings empowers you to set priorities about what’s most important to you and make choices that enable you to live the life you truly seek.

7.  Bring your strengths.  With therapy, you can develop or gain confidence in your capacity to live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Seeing a therapist can be one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself. Most likely, you’ll experience less stress and feel more satisfied and contented with your life after participating in counseling. If you find yourself struggling emotionally, remind yourself that therapy can help.