A High ROI: 15 Smart Ways to Increase Home Value

We commit to a lot of things when we buy a home. They’re places to raise a family, relax after a long day of work, and all-around settle down. But they’re also something else, too: probably one of the biggest investments we’ll ever make! As such, we need to protect that investment, and if we can, to make sure that it yields as high a return as possible when it comes to cashing in and moving on up to a different house. While there are some things about your home’s value that you can’t control – such as how trendy and well-connected the area is – there are many things that you can influence, and many of them don’t take all that much effort. Below, we take a look at fifteen of the best ways to move your home value in the right direction.

Increase home value

Talk to an Expert

It’s unlikely that you have all the knowledge you need to identify the areas of your home that you should improve. And while the internet and articles – such as this one – can help, every home is different. As such, consider recruiting an expert to take a look at your home and suggest what would add value to your home. If you’re thinking about selling, then have an estate agent come around and take a look. If you’re not, then hire a home planner – you’ll need to pay for the service, but it’ll only take an hour and may be the best money you’ve ever spent if they give you advice on how to boost your home’s value by a significant amount.

Go Beyond Cosmetic

A home can look amazing, but like most things in life, it’s true value will be determined not by what’s on the surface, but what’s going on “behind the scenes,” as it were. If your home has fundamental issues, such as deteriorating infrastructure, then it won’t matter how beautifully decorated your living room is – the value is going to be severely compromised. Before you get to work on making your home look at its best, make sure that everything else is in order. Rotting floorboards or floors that slope to one side might not be the most fun things to correct, but they’ll be money well spent when it comes to selling.

Get Smart With the Spare Room

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, then have a think about what you do with it. To understand what will attract buyers, try to uncover what kind of people will be looking at properties like yours. If you live in a young, professional area, then turning it into an office may be a good idea. If you live in a family zone, then an extra bedroom may be the right way to go. If it’s a large room, then a home gym or cinema room will showcase the potential of the house.

Redo the Front

First impressions count for a lot in all aspects of life, and this is also true of home values. A home would have to be pretty special on the inside to make up for an outdoor area that makes it look like the house should be demolished! Painting the home or rendering the external walls will greatly increase the home’s curb appeal, which is one thing that many home seekers look for. Painting is relatively inexpensive, rendering less so – but you can typically double the amount you spent on rendering in home value.

Increase Home Value

Focus on the Garden

It’s not just that physical front of the home that you should focus on, either. You’ve got a garden there: make the most of it! Typically, people like there to be a semblance of decoration and care. Flower beds, trees, a well-groomed hedge are all aesthetically pleasing. And there are also two other benefits to taking care of the garden in the front: it’s easy to do, and can be therapeutic!

Add Extra Parking

Parking is less important if you live in a rural area, but if you live in the UK, then the chances are that you live in an urban area, where parking is premium. People much prefer to have parking on their property rather than off-road, so if you have the space, consider paving over your front garden and creating a place to park a car. It’s not like anyone sits out in their front garden anyway, so it’s not as if anything will be lost.

A Summer Room

People want to be outside, but alas, in the UK the days when we can sit out in the back garden are few and far between. Even if the sun is shining, the heat seldom reaches the “it’s warm enough to sit out” level. When you have a conservatory, you’ll have the perfect place that allows you to sit outside (in effect) and stay warm. They can be put up quickly, and don’t cost all that much, but are attractive to buyers. Just make sure that it will fit the style of your home before you give it the go-ahead – they’re not suitable for all home types.

Loft Conversion

You may have another room in your house, and not even realise it. A loft conversion is one of the most sought-after rooms in a house and is hugely popular with buyers. It can quickly turn a three bedroom home into a four bedroom home, and what’s more is that you lose nothing in the process – even the building process is relatively peaceful.

Increase Home Value

The Showpiece Room

Of all the rooms that a homeseeker looks for in a house, none are quite as important as the kitchen, which can rightly be the regarded as the home’s showpiece room. If your kitchen is looking dated, then it’ll be worth looking at your kitchen refurbishment options and find a solution that maximises cooking and social space. The only word of advice would be to make sure you have a kitchen that matches the style of the rest of the home; a hyper-luxurious kitchen will not necessarily add value if it exists in a non-luxurious home, for instance.  

Make it Efficient

The homes of the future will be ones that have energy efficiency to the max. As such, ensuring that your home is as efficient as possible will be money well spent, in more ways than one. A simple loft insulation and efficient central heating is inexpensive but adds several thousand to the value of your home. It’ll also decrease the amount of cash you spend each month on your bills, which is something that should be considered when you’re thinking about how much your home costs you.

Focus on the Flaws

Some problems in the house are less to do with the home, more to do with what it is – or isn’t – letting in. An overly noisy house will dramatically reduce the value of the home, as will a lack of natural light. You can get around this by looking at ways to reduce noise pollution, and by adding more windows/doors with windows into your home. Essentially, focus on the pet peeves you have about your own home – and then try to eliminate them.

Don’t Underestimate Cleanliness

Having a quick tidy up is not going to affect the value of your home (though it may make it look more appealing to visitors). However, the deep cleanliness issues really will affect the value. A carpet or curtains that have never been cleaned will make the room look grimy – and give it a corresponding dip in value to match. Stay on top of the really cleanliness issues of your home – they’re hard to recover if they’re allowed to go too far along.

Knocking through Walls

People like to have large homes, but they’re less enthusiastic about having many rooms, especially if they have a family. If your ground floor is large but divided up, consider knocking through some walls and creating a much larger space. It shows the potential of the home.

Avoid Overdoing It

Sometimes, the best way to increase the value of your home is to avoid overdoing it. For example, spending money bringing your bedrooms to perfection would be a waste of money – they’re about the first things people change when they move into a house. Also, adding things that aren’t in fitting with the rest of the home may actually hurt the value of the house, no matter how much they cost. The extreme example is the swimming pool, but it’ll be true of most anything extravagant, too.  

Brighten it Up

Finally, keep in mind one of the oldest tricks in the book: making the home look brighter, more spacious, and all-around more inviting. Nail the lighting to show off the space, and use mirrors in those small rooms and narrow hallways to make them look bigger.

Do any of the above, and you’ll be adding value to your home – whether you’re selling or not, it’s also good to know your investment is in safe hands!

Are You Living To Work, Or Working To LIVE?

Live to work

We’ve all heard the saying working to live or living to work, haven’t we? It’s a phrase which strikes some level of fear into many hearts. After all, who would want to live to work? Okay, that’s not entirely fair. There are workaholics who love what they do, and good for them. Being happy enough in your career to dictate your life around it is admirable for sure.

But, the majority of us would admit to a desire to work so we can live. In short; that means we want our lives to come before our jobs. Only, this is easier said than done. Even those of us who try to embrace life as much as possible can get into a rut here. You know how it is; you get up, go to work, come home, repeat. It’s a terrible feeling and can lead to increased stress, and even depression in some cases. After all, it’s difficult to stay happy when you don’t have time for the things you love.

The good news is, there’s now more focus than ever on achieving a better work-life balance. Fewer people are happy just to roll over and accept their work-focused fates. Instead, we’re doing what we can to alter the scales in our favor. But, what can you alone do to make sure your life gets the time and attention it so deserves? Read on for a few ideas to help you get this right.

Seek remote opportunities

live to work

Thanks to a little thing called the internet, remote working is a big business right now. And, guess what? Working when and where you want ensures that you can make the time for things you love. That’s a definite win for team life. As such, it’s worth seeking remote opportunities if you can. If you’re willing to make a complete change, you could look out for a full-time remote position. This would be the ultimate way to take back control, as you would never need to adhere to office hours again. As long as you were available for meetings and such, you’d be free to work whenever was convenient for you. Opportunities here include everything from personal assistants to digital marketing roles.

If you would rather stay in the role you know, it’s worth asking if there are remote possibilities. In most cases, it should be possible to work at least one or two days from home. And, even that small shift could make a considerable difference towards living the life you dream of. After all, you could work into the evening, and free up large parts of your day. You could run out and complete errands without the whole office noticing it. What’s more, you would get the much-needed opportunity to set up in a new and exciting environment. That’s sure to inspire you more than your work office.

Develop a decent relationship with your boss

The idea of a decent working relationship with your boss is nothing new. This is essential for ensuring happiness at work as a standard. What you might not realize is that this is also crucial for work/life balance. If you’re on bad terms with your boss, they won’t have any real drive to make allowances for you. Heck, you might not even be on their radar. But, if you take time to please your boss and stand out from the crowd, you may find you have a little more leeway to play with. As a valued team member, you would stand a better chance of acceptance when asking for early finishing times or flexible shifts. After all, your boss won’t want to lose you. What’s more, opening communications can help them understand, and try to meet your needs. This could help in a variety of ways, namely getting time off when you need it. It may be that you need to finish early each day to pick up your children. Or, perhaps you have an unwell relative, and need allowances with work hours, as well as time off should things take a turn for the worse. As you can see from articles like Peninsulas employee bereavement leave guide, your manager doesn’t have a legal obligation to give you time off in this case. More, the matter is down to their discretion. And, if they understand your position, you’re far more likely to achieve the balance you need.

Stick to your guns

That said, it’s still important to stick to your guns with issues such as overtime and workload. It’s tempting to take on all those extras to get in your boss’ good books. But, it’s a catch 22 situation which you shouldn’t approach in that way. After all, taking on extra work to impress your boss is not going to lead you towards better life balance. Quite the opposite. You’ll end up working far more than you would otherwise. Instead, it’s crucial to know your limits when it comes to issues like these and stick to your guns. One piece of overtime a week could well be necessary for impressing and work in your favor in the long-run. But, anything over that would be tipping the scales very much the wrong way. As such, it’s essential you learn to say no to extra work. If you’re already used to doing extras as standard, slowing down your life like this would free up an astounding amount of time.

Planning precision

living to work

credit: https://www.cleanandscentsible.com

Another simple way to get this right is to get into the habit of planning workdays. Something as simple as writing out a to-do list can keep your work flowing in the right direction. And, increasing your productivity can ensure you finish earlier than you’re used to. Once you start monitoring your tasks, you’ll likely to come to notice how much time you waste in the office. And, that’s obviously going to tip the scales towards work. But, by tackling your timings, you may find you can leave the office early, guilt-free and ready to embrace more living.

5 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

sleepAccording to the experts, we need at least 8 hours sleep a night. Most of us fall below this, however. The lure of the tv, problems with insomnia, and late night habits can prevent us getting the shut-eye we need. Can you relate to any of the following signs? If so, then you are probably one of the high percentage who is not getting enough sleep, either.

Sign #1: You wake up feeling irritable

When the alarm clock wakes you up in the morning, you are probably tempted to throw the darn thing across the room. Getting out of bed, you probably scowl at yourself in the mirror, shout at the cat, and stomp out of the house to work. Let’s just hope nobody gets in your way on the daily commute.

Sign #2: Your day is unproductive

There is so much to do in the day, but if you are still suffering from a lack of sleep, your productivity level will be low. The household chores won’t get done, you won’t complete your work to a satisfactory level, and you won’t get through half of the things you intended to do during the day.

Sign #3: You fall asleep during the day

A power nap is okay once in a while, but if you are sleeping more than you should, you know your body hasn’t had the rest it needed the night before. From falling asleep at your desk to curling up on the couch when you return home, your sleep patterns will be in disarray if you don’t do something about it soon.

Sign #4: You become forgetful

A lack of sleep reduces brain power. So, if you walk into a room and don’t know why you did, or you can’t find that word you are looking for, even if it’s right on the tip of your tongue, sleeplessness may be the answer. This is problematic, especially if affects your performance at work.

Sign #5: You have a reduced libido

“Not tonight dear,” you say to your frustrated partner for the umpteenth time this month. You just aren’t in the mood, and that may be because sleep deprivation has reduced your libido. If this is a regular occurrence, it will cause problems in your relationship. Our advice: get the sleep you need, so you have the energy and passion levels to regain a better sex life.

The solution

The simple solution is this: get to bed at a decent time! Of course, that’s easier said than done. There may be issues affecting your sleeping patterns that go beyond your nightly Netflix binge and late night partying. To ensure you get a good night’s sleep, try the following.

  1. If your bed is uncomfortable, head to the Bed Shop and purchase something guaranteed to give you a better night’s sleep.
  2. If your bedroom is cluttered and badly designed, check out our calming bedroom ideas to give you a fighting chance of getting to sleep sooner.
  3. Meditate before going to sleep. Whether it’s through prayer or a simple mantra, focus your mind and remove any distractions from your head before you go to sleep.


Assuming you didn’t fall asleep reading our article (we are blaming your lack of sleep if you did), we hope you found it useful. A good night’s sleep is vital, for both your state of mind and your daily living. So, do what you can to get your z’s of a nighttime, and hopefully, you will feel refreshed and invigorated instead of tired and sluggish when you wake up at the start of each new day.

Cheque, Please: Cutting A Monthly Food Bill In Half

Cutting a monthly food bill in half

Men, women and children love food. It’s the fuel that keeps us going, but it’s also tasty and delicious. There’s nothing better than sitting down to a family meal and chewing away the rigours of the day. And, it’s not like you have to be Gordon Ramsay to enjoy the dish. He may have three Michelin stars, but he’s never put a fried egg on top of beans and toast! A side-effect of loving to eat is the cost. Sadly, too many people overspend and put their finances at risk to indulge their taste buds. Anyone that wants to stop should look at the following and take note.

The Pareto Principle

In short, the Pareto principle states that 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the causes. So, you can save money by revolutionising a small amount of factors. Yep, it is this simple as long as you pick the features that doing the damage. An obvious example is eating out at a restaurant. Although you may do it once or twice a week, the cost takes away a huge chunk from your budget. By cutting down to one meal, or none at all, the food bill shouldn’t be as high in the future.

Organic Produce

Supermarkets have all the answer these days, which means picking up fruit and veg is simple. Just park up, throw the groceries in a trolley, and enjoy a coffee in the Costa café afterwards. What every homeowner has to know, however, is that growing fruit and vegetables is straightforward. The trick is to create a patch of land in the garden and add seeds which don’t require lots of time and effort. For example, rhubarb grows like a weed with a little water and some extra nutrients. Carrots and potatoes are effortless, too. Anyone that wants to go to the next level can build a greenhouse and try and grow exotic produce.

Free Range

Plenty of people hate the idea of producing meat but love to buy it from a shop. Ignorance is bliss in many ways. If you aren’t squeamish, keeping livestock is a fantastic way to get a fill of protein without paying over the odds. You’ll need a nice piece of land, mobile field shelters and lots of food, but the hassle is worth it in the end. Not only do the cuts last for weeks, but you know what is on your plate and from where it came. At the moment, supermarkets aren’t one-hundred percent truthful about their sources.

Bill Analysis

Don’t assume there isn’t any waste regarding your food bill. It may feel that way, but when you look at it properly, there will be things which can reduce the costs further. An excellent tip is to buy ingredients and cook meals that are low in cost yet produce a great amount of food. That way, there is plenty to go around if the hunger pains don’t go away without splashing out. Plus, the remainder of the dish can be used during the week for lunches.


It’s your choice, so which option will you pick?

Embarrassing Home Improvement Faux Pas You Better Not Make

Our homes are a place of luxury and comfort, and it’s understandable that we want nothing but the best when it comes to redecorating or making improvements to our homes. A common mistake that many people make is trying to cut corners when they are improving their homes, which can lead to the end result not coming out quite as planned, or even leaving their homes in disrepair. So that you can avoid making these mistakes, we’ve compiled a list of the most embarrassing home improvement faux pas that you’d better not make.

home improvement


You’ve probably seen on home improvement shows on the TV or internet, and it’s likely that you’ve come across some ‘hacks’ when it comes to your walls. Many people choose to simply paint over old wallpaper, which sometimes can work if the wallpaper is still in tact everywhere and not peeling. However, if you’ve got ripped or missing pieces the paint will only show those parts up more, leaving the room that you’ve just painted looking shabby – and not in a good way. Take the time to strip your walls of wallpaper and replaster if needed so that when you come to paint you know that the end result will be top notch.


Everyone knows someone who’s able to fit a carpet, or get the job done for a cheaper price. However, more often than not the end results aren’t as good as you’d imagined in your head. When it comes to putting a new floor down make sure that you’re using flooring installers, especially if you’ve bought hardwood flooring or tiles to make sure that the job is done correctly. Spending that little bit of extra money will be worth it in the long run!


As you probably already know, messing around with electrics is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing or looking at. Like the point made above, many people are in contact with people who say that they are able to fit and fix electrical outlets. Remember to make sure that if someone is doing your electrics that you should take a look at their certificates to prove that they are qualified to be doing the job. Take the advice for your own safety. Again, better to spend a little extra money to know the job is done right, especially when it comes to electricals.


Having pieces of artwork or pictures of loved ones around your home is lovely because it draws the eye to it as soon as you walk into a room. However, many people make the mistake of hanging pictures wrong and therefore damaging their walls. Make sure that when you’re fixing anything to your walls that you’re using rawl plugs so that the weight of what you’re hanging doesn’t crack or deteriorate the wall even further

To sum up, make sure that any improvements that you’re doing around your home are done properly and without cutting any corners to ensure that the end result will be everything you hoped for and more!

Don’t Be Dim: How To Get Your Lighting Just Right


Although it is somewhat of an interior design cliche, good lighting really can make or break a room. If you get it wrong, you will bring down the mood, make everyone feel tired, and possibly even hand out a few headaches. Of course, if you get it right, then you won’t have to suffer from any of these things, and, as a little bonus, the look of your entire interior will improve too. Because of this, it’s essential to get you lighting spot on. If you aren’t sure how to do that, then keep reading for some helpful tips.


Mix It Up

The last thing that you want to do is solely rely on one light source, such as your main overhead light. This won’t distribute light evenly through the room, so you’ll have some incredibly bright areas and some really dark areas which are inconvenient and just don’t look very good. Instead, you should layer your light by using some table and floor lamps as well as your main light and spread these out in the room. This will avoid there being any dark and dingy looking areas in your room.

Watch The Height

You need to ensure that your light fittings aren’t too low or too high in certain rooms of your home. Your kitchen is a great example; If your fittings are too low above your table, then everything will be too bright, too warm, and you could hit your head as you stand up, but if they’re too high, then there won’t be enough light. When choosing a height, you should take the size of the fitting into consideration. For example, if you have a few clear glass pendants, these can generally be placed lower. Larger fittings, on the other hand, need to be higher.

Don’t Be Bright

Trust me, when it comes to lighting a room, dimmer switches are essential. No one wants to be bombarded with bright lights every time they step into a room, especially a bedroom, but dimmer switches eliminate this completely. They can help set a more calm and intriguing atmosphere, rather than make you feel like you’re auditioning for a talent show. Soft white bulbs are also great, as they aren’t as harsh as brighter lighting, and won’t wash you down unflatteringly


Cupboards And Closets

It is incredibly important to make sure that you can see your entire room, but, even while people are on a mission to ensure this, there is always one place that gets forgotten about; Your cupboards and closets. Most people simply make do and hope that they put on the right shirt before heading to work in the morning, but you don’t need to make do, so why would you? Rather than do this, you could add a strip light to the top of your closet to ensure that you match before heading to work each morning.

Lighting is incredibly important in a home for many reasons, so it’s necessary to get it just right. With the tips above, hopefully, you can do just that.

Clock Ticking? 4 Ways To Stay Forever Young

Medical advances mean that we are all living longer, which is fantastic! As we age, are there any ways to maintain a youthful healthy image, body and mind? It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and being beautiful and happy on the inside allows a particular radiance and beauty that cannot be bought, from even the most expensive skin cream on the market.

Thankfully we can take action now, to give nature a helping hand in retaining a youthful image as the years roll by.

Tips to stay young

Eat healthily

As you age it is essential to eat a healthy diet and try to maintain a healthy weight. Avoiding fast weight loss, or fast weight gain is important for the elasticity in your skin. Major and fast weight loss can cause wrinkles and saggy skin, that only Cosmetic Clinic & Aesthetic Treatments can combat. If you lose weight slowly over a length of time your body will have time to adjust. Ensure you include lots of foods that contain omega 3 oils in your diet, examples of foods to include are oily fish and seeds. These are healthy oils that will support brain function and encourage skin, that is moisturised and supple.

Stay hydrated with water and pure fruit juices. Hydrated skin will look younger and brighter. Drinking enough fluids will also give you lots of energy as your body can function to its optimal ability.

Look after your skin

The single most important thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from the sun. UV rays are a major cause of wrinkles and can age the skin dramatically. Always use a sunscreen and pay particular attention to areas of the skin that receives the most exposure to the sun ie face, neck and arms.

Exfoliate your skin regularly as it helps with skin regeneration and leaves brighter, clearer skin. Moisturise daily. It is the process of moisturising that helps and you could consider using a natural moisturiser such as almond oil. There are of course many anti-ageing products on the market to consider too.


As we age it is really important to focus on muscle core strength. Keeping your body strong will help support joints. Exercise gives you more energy and is also an excellent mood booster. Try to get out doors everyday and keep moving.


Like your skin, the texture of your hair changes as you age. Sometimes hair can become thinner, or it may become coarser, one thing is for sure, unless you are one of a lucky few you are likely to find an increasing amount of grey’s appearing. The obvious option is to colour your hair with dye, or you could totally embrace the grey – some people really suit it!  

Choose a flattering hairstyle, you shouldn’t always opt for a shorter style just because you’re older – choose a style that really suits you!  

Although we can;t turn back time, the above tips will help to slow down how aging has an effect on our bodies and appearance. The main focus should be to try and live a happy life, happiness shows on the outside and is truly beautiful!

Putting Some Effort Into The Outside Of Your Home

We can see why you’d only ever put the most effort into the inside of your house. It is the main area that you spend time in. The main area that you socialise with friends and family. And it is the main area that people in general think about first when it comes to making things like nice and new. But why don’t we give the outside of the house enough credit. It is the first place people see, and actually does leave a lasting impression on people. As much as there is plenty to be done with the inside of the house, there is for the outside too. The front and the back are where we’re going to draw your attention to. With our tips below, you should have a snazzy looking house both inside, and now out!

Maintain the outside of your home

The Front

The front of the house is probably one of the most important, even if people don’t like to think of it that way. It is the first thing people are going to see, and the nicer it looks the nicer they’re going to think the inside looks. First, let’s start with the driveway. Your car is going to be coming on and off, day in day out. So it’s easy enough for it to experience some wear and tear, and generally not look as good as it could do. One thing we can recommend is a complete new resurface of the drive. You won’t truly appreciate what this can do to the outside of your house until you give it a go. Resin driveway suppliers can help you achieve the most perfect look. A resin driveway finish looks so smart and sophisticated, we highly recommend this finish if you’re going for a resurface. Finally, just to add to the cute aesthetics side of things, hanging baskets are something you need to add. They’re cheap, easy to put up, and only require a water every now and then if you’re not getting enough rain. One either side of the front of your house is going to look so lovely.

The Back

The back is one of the most important areas for socialising when it comes to the nicer weather. If you’re always sat indoors, you’re doing gatherings the wrong way. Just a little spruce up of the garden is going to make it perfect for all your hangouts. First you need to look at a place for you and your friends and families to hang out. It might be that you get an outdoor furniture set, if you do we recommend padded furniture for extra comfort. To ensure you and your guests are kept warm, a patio heater is something you should grab yourself. Now, if you want to make things extra snazzy, then a hot tub is the thing for you. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot either. You can now get inflatable ones for such a low cost. But if you want to go all out, then there are some excellent wooden ones that feature a large seating area inside, as well as funky lighting inside.

Need A New Fitness Goal?

Fitness and weight training

Having fitness goals is important for staying motivated. Without these goals, it’s easy to look at exercise as a chore. Even if you love exercise, you may get frustrated without a goal to work towards. Here are just a few goals to consider that could help to challenge you.

Get slim

The most common fitness goal is to lose weight. Most people set this as a vague objective, which is why they don’t stay motivated. You need to have a clear end goal in sight when slimming down. This could be a target weight or a clothing size that you want to fit into. On top of having an end goal, you should set yourself micro-goals from month to month. Your end goal may seem too far away and unachievable – micro-goals can give you that sense of ongoing achievement you need to spur you on. It’s worth keeping a record of your progress so that you can see how far you’ve come. There are apps that can do this if you want to lose weight solo. Alternatively, you might be able to join a group in order to help you lose weight.

Go the distance

Another goal could be to improve the distance you’re able to run. If you jog a lot or use the treadmill at the gym, such a goal can help you to give running a purpose which could help to motivate you to get off the sofa on a day where you’re feeling lazy. By slowly adding on kilometres, you can eventually build up to 10k runs and maybe even half-marathons and marathons. Long-distance running can be done almost anywhere – you don’t have to pay for a gym membership. It can also help with the dual goal of losing weight. Running apps can help to record your progress and set new goals for you.

Build your strength

Another goal to help spur you on could be to improve your strength. Just like being able to run a certain distance, being able to lift a certain weight can give you a more tangible idea of how your body is improving. Strength-training can help you to bulk up, but it can also help those wanting to slim down. Weight machines at gyms can give you a clear idea of just how much you’re lifting, although you don’t have to join a gym. You might be able to buy home weights or rely on exercises like push-ups and sit-ups.

Fitness and take up a new sport

Try a new sport

Taking up a new sport could give you something new to learn and master, whilst keeping you fit at the same time. This could be anything from swimming to tennis to kickboxing – whatever takes your interest. Certain sports may have grades and qualifications that you can help aspire to. Others may teach techniques which help you to develop muscles and keep off fat in the process. Not all sports can be self-taught and some may require you to take up lessons with a coach.

Consider a career in fitness

If you’re already dedicated to staying fit, but feel you need a new goal to give you direction, you could consider making fitness a career and passing on your knowledge to others. Certain careers such as personal training are ideal for taking your training to the next level. To become a trainer, you’ll need to be licensed, which involves taking a course. There are lots of sites out there that describe what goes on in this course if you want the course difficulty explained. After getting your qualification, you can then start to build up clients. On top of trying to achieve your own fitness goals, you’ll be helping others to reach theirs.

Train for a competition

Training for a competition might also help motivate you to stay fit. This could be a run or a bodybuilding competition or weight lifting competition or a sports competition. Not only do competitions pressure you to do better than others, they also give you a set deadline to train towards that can stop you procrastinating. You don’t have to compete with professionals – there are many competitions out there for amateurs such as local competitions and friendly club competitions.

Getting Prepared for Spring

Spring Clean

Now, as we begin to see the end in sight with regard to winter almost being over, it’s a great time to start thinking about having a good old fashioned spring clean in preparation for much lighter times.

This article offers a four-step process to creating a more harmonious home environment for you and your family, but before we get started, it’s equally important to focus on taking care of the garden too, as this is where a lot of items on our to-do list carry over year after year.  As an example, we’re forever meaning to fix the broken fence and with so many different types of fence panels available, it’s the sort of job that could be an easy fix; we just never get around to doing them as other higher priorities push to the front of the queue.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to create a list of niggling issues such as fixing the dripping tap or broken fence panels, and work your way through it, this Spring.  The surprising sense of achievement that comes with this cannot be overestimated.  So, presuming you’re now armed with a list of tasks that require your attention let’s look at the more general four step process to a good old fashioned spring clean.


There’s a popular saying that states a “tidy house tidy mind”, which is equally true in reverse; in that a cluttered house can contribute to a cluttered mind.  In fact, there have been a number of sociological and psychological studies that link the two.  If you are always searching through clutter to find your car keys, or frantically searching through drawers prior to going on holiday in a desperate attempt to find your passport – then you could certainly benefit from this advice.

This all important step of decluttering naturally leads onto the next phase of ‘getting organised’… as decluttering your home is a natural precursor to getting organised; for how can you get organised when there is clutter everywhere?


Most people need some form of order in their life in order to feel calm, centred, grounded and balanced.  This sense of emotional stability is closely linked to the feeling of stability and order you feel within your home life.  Now that you’ve decluttered your home, you need to get organised, which sounds like a drag but the time investment will pay off as it will make your life a lot easier in the long run.


Whether it’s removing the internal clutter from your house or removing garden waste it can take a amount of time and effort if you do it yourself.  However, there is a surprising amount of money to be made for people willing to clear other people’s junk; and although junk removal prices vary hugely based on the area in which you live, there’s a strong chance it will be quite high; a better option might be to hire a skip, or a a van for the day, that can be used to cart rubbish to the tip.


The act of cleaning your home isn’t a purely physical experience; it has clear practical benefits but there are significant emotional benefits to cleaning too.  It can be cathartic to go through your home and clean every corner of it, whether that is pulling cobwebs down from the ceiling, hoovering each room, or deep cleaning the mildew that has grown around the bathtub.  The process of cleaning your physical home gives you an opportunity to cleanse the energy and emotion stored within your home, and can be a very soothing experience.

In summary, write a list of all the outstanding items that need to be taken care of… then, declutter, get organised, get rid of unwanted items and cleanse your home.