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.

Live With Confidence Using To-Do Lists

As a new year approaches, you’re likely reflecting on how to live a better life. Whether you seek convenience, effectiveness, or success with goals, consider using To-Do lists. Even if you have a great memory, your mind can always use a little help holding onto everything you need to do.

If you use To-Do lists, you’ll feel confident that nothing will fall through the cracks. Also, not trying to recall every single thing will help reduce your stress.

Putting things down on paper means you don’t have to expend your precious energy trying to recall scads of small details and tasks to do. Instead, you can confidently accomplish projects and daily goals with minimal effort. This way, you save your energy for the big things, the ones that really matter.

Over time, as you use To-Do lists for daily accomplishments, you’ll notice a boost in your confidence. It makes sense that if you achieve more in a day, you’ll feel better about yourself.

Try this simple, effective system:

  1. Buy a spiral notebook. Write “To-Do List” on the front of it in big letters. Utilize this notebook only for this purpose.
    • Get the size of notebook that will be most convenient for you. If you like a full size 8 ½ x 11 inch notebook, go for it! If you prefer one that fits in a purse, that’s good, too.
  2. Make a commitment to yourself. Always use your notebook as your To-Do list. Avoid writing your lists on scraps of paper here and there. Put your name on the notebook.
    • Your To-Do list is your key to experiencing more success in everything you do. Nothing builds confidence like knowing you’ll eventually achieve every single goal. All you’ve got to do is write down tasks to be completed and goals to be met. Then do them!
  3. Start using your To-Do list today. Open the notebook and on the first page, start listing all the tasks you want to complete. Don’t worry about big projects versus small tasks. It doesn’t matter how many pages it takes to think of every project/task/errand you want to finish.
  4. Celebrate completing tasks. When you finish a task, cross it off the list.
    • As you learn to depend on your To-Do list, you’ll find you worry less about whether you’ll complete tasks. Your confidence will grow as you learn that when it’s on the list, it’ll get done. Plus, putting a line through completed tasks will build feelings of success.
  5. Tear out old pages. Eventually, you’ll start to have pages where every task has been completed and crossed out.
  • It’s an amazing feeling to realize you’re getting things done every single day. Sure, some days you’ll get more done than other days, but still, you’re doing something to be proud of. Who would’ve thought you’d feel so confident, just tearing out a page from a spiral notebook?

A simple to-do list will bolster your confidence in many different ways. You’ll be proud that you planned ahead and followed through with your tasks. Plus, finishing each job and getting rid of a whole page of completed tasks will boost your confidence enormously.

Writing down what you want to accomplish in a day can be an integral part of an organized, effective and self-assured life. Start living today and every day with more optimism and confidence by making use of To-Do lists.

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.

Handle Your Anger at Home: 5 Ways to De-Stress and Relax

You may really love the people you live with, but they can still make you angry from time to time. To keep you and your relationships healthy, it’s important to find a way to handle your anger and lower your stress level.

So what can you do when you feel angry? Instead of focusing on ways to address any specific situation, it’s more effective to look for ways that work to handle anger at home in general.

Follow these tips to diffuse anger and invite peace and harmony into your home instead:

1. Exercise. One way to work off stress and anxiety in your home situation is to get moving. You can join a gym, work out in your bedroom or garage, or just take a walk. It’s a great way to get your endorphins going and feel happier.

• With exercise, you can make yourself feel better even if the circumstances that caused the anger don’t change.

• You can also try exercising together with your family. One of the benefits of exercising together is that you’ll all feel calmer afterward. When you’re all de-stressed together, you can help one another through issues that might have otherwise made you angry.

2. Listen to music. Try doing something mentally soothing to keep stress at bay. Music is one of the best ways to relax and de-stress, and it’s popular with people of all ages, income levels, and other factors. Pick the music you like; it’s usually more effective, though, when you choose something quiet. Listen to music that makes you feel rested and calm.

• Try several different musical styles – you’ll know when you’re listening to something that works for you. And once you’ve located it, you can listen whenever you need to for a calming break.

3. Read. Reading is also a good way to de-stress. Choose a lighthearted book that’s comical, romantic, or otherwise makes you feel good. You can also read a religious or spiritual book if you’re so inclined. Any book that gives a good, positive message about the world or the people in it can help you feel better and be more relaxed.

4. Be thankful. When you’re feeling stressed, try counting your blessings. Write them down, if it helps you. Sure, there might be some aggravating things going on in your home – but there are also many things you can be thankful about. Think about what’s good in your life, rather than what you don’t like.

• When you focus on gratitude, you’ll also see more of the good in your life.

• When you think negatively, it’s easier to feel angry and stressed. These emotions can make it harder to relate to the people in your family. Positive thinking, on the other hand, helps diffuse your anger and brings you more good things to feel good about!

5. Breathe. When you feel angry, take a moment to take a few slow, deep breaths. This action has multiple benefits. When you breathe deeply, it sends extra oxygen to your brain for clarity of thought and relaxes your muscles. It also gives you a moment to take a mental step back and look at the bigger picture.

• When you give yourself time to think first, you’re much less likely to lash out, either verbally or physically. You can then approach the issue feeling calmer.

The people who love you can make it difficult for you sometimes, even if they don’t mean to. If you use the tools suggested here to help you stay positive, you can get a handle on your anger and enjoy greater happiness in your home.

Improve Your Powers of Concentration

Improving your powers of concentration will help you get more done in less time. Below are some of the major benefits of developing your ability to focus as well as some practical steps for achieving extreme concentration.

The Benefits of Improved Concentration:

1.      Be more productive. By devoting your full attention to whatever you’re doing at the moment, you’ll produce better quality work in less time. It really is this simple!

2.      Be a better friend. Conversations are more pleasant if you feel like others are really listening to you. Paying attention to others will help you appreciate your family and friends, and understand how to support them when they need it.

3.      Feel more peaceful. Many studies have found that multitasking makes people slower and less effective at performing various tasks. Trying to do too many things at once can cause stress and make you feel less alert. By contrast, focusing on one thing helps to calm your mind.

Training Your Mind To Concentrate:

1.      Focus on one thing at a time. Place your mind on whatever you’re doing in the present moment. Think about how you act when you’re engrossed in a thrilling movie or a new romance and try to duplicate that experience. If you don’t feel passionate about a particular task, look for some meaningful aspect or motivate yourself with the desire to complete it in less time.

2.      Abandon distracting thoughts. Your mind will wander. Remain aware of your thoughts. When you notice a distracting thought, decline to pursue it. Return your attention to your chosen object. Repeat this as often as necessary. With practice, it will get easier.

3.      Meditate. To enhance your progress, try meditating. Sit and focus on your breath or spiritual attainments. You can extend that mindfulness to all your daily activities from eating lunch to playing with your children.

Other Steps to Improve Concentration:

1.      Minimize external distractions. Your restless mind is probably the greatest distraction, but a controlled environment can help too. Turn off your phone and wait until later to check your email. Clear off your desk. If you can’t find a quiet spot, consider using white noise recordings, instrumental music, or earplugs.

2.      Get fully engaged in what you’re doing. It’s easier to focus when you’re actively involved. Take notes in class. Highlight passages while you read. Think about questions you want to ask a speaker. Invent ways to improve a routine household chore.

3.      Vary your activities. While you’re increasing your attention span, it may be helpful to switch from one activity to another to remain alert. So if you feel stuck writing a report, go return some phone calls for a while – you’ll feel rejuvenated when you come back to the report.

4.      Plan regular breaks. Taking breaks can improve your performance. Chat with your co-workers or walk around the block. Reward yourself with an activity you enjoy after completing a difficult project. Just standing up from time to time is refreshing because it helps your brain get more oxygen.

5.      Avoid overloading your schedule. Budgeting your time realistically can make it easier to concentrate. You’ll be less likely to get distracted by worries about getting everything done. If you’re chronically overloaded, you may need to adjust your priorities.

6.      Take care of your health. Your physical health affects all your mental functioning. Get adequate sleep and rest. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a nutritious diet and getting daily exercise.

Your ability to focus will improve with practice. As you learn to concentrate more fully, you’ll enjoy greater peace of mind and productivity.