Some folks (usually the messy ones) claim that a cluttered and discombobulated workspace is a sign of creativity and intelligence. That could be, but a tidy and sleek work area is a pleasure to sit down in when all files and supplies are in order and there's no chance of finding a week-old, half-eaten tuna sandwich under a stack of manila envelopes.
Whether you're a pack rat or a neat freak, it would benefit you to learn the perks of a decluttered workspace. Giving neatness a chance can confirm that you're just as creative and smart while still being able to maintain a neat office. Tidy up and reap the rewards!
No Mess, No Stress
A big mess can lead to major stress. Missing papers, an exploded pen, and the constant shuffling of junk is unnerving and raises stress levels. As per Online Career Tips, "Just looking at a messy, unkempt workspace first thing in the morning can raise your stress levels."
TriNet concurs, "In a disorganized office, it's easy to misplace documents. That can be very stressful, especially when your boss or client is waiting for you to produce said documents." When things are in place and tidy, you'll never worry where your important files and docs are hiding. No one wants a frustrated boss breathing down your neck as you rifle through stacks of disorganized paperwork.
While some declare they "have a system" to explain away their mounds of who knows what, these are the very folks who are often wasting time and resources, and causing unnecessary chaos. While this may seem like an employee's personal choice, it creates a snowball effect when others need to help them out in a bind or start to feel the collective blood pressure rising. Time is money for business. There's enough to stress over at work. Why make your sloppy workspace part of the problem?
A Wealth of Health
Crumbs, dirt, germs, you name it. A messy area is not only unpleasant to look at, but it can actually make you sick. Many of us eat at our desks to save time and money. If the desk is clean, we can see where food has fallen and drinks have dripped and swiftly wipe it clean. Not so for a messy desk. A wayward piece of fried chicken and a glop of Dijon mustard swiftly disappear in a pile of files and scribbled-on Post-Its.
As Online Career Tips puts it, "Your office may have a cleaning service that comes through once a week, but many are not allowed to move items on desks. That could leave many surfaces untouched for weeks." That's going to make for one funky chicken.
"Your desk could be harboring germs or mold from viruses or crumbs. Make a point of cleaning your desk and computer keyboard with the proper cleaners on a regular basis for the sake of your health," notes Online Career Tips. If your desk's a mess, it's simply too difficult to really get in there and clean properly. Papers may cover up the grime, but bacteria will grow and you can get sick.
Do you really want to miss days of work and potential money because your desk was too sloppy to wipe down and you contracted a cold or virus? It's lazy and some may say crazy!
A clear workspace can help promote a clear mind. Unclutterer says it best, "When you know where things are, what your goals are, and take care of the piddley busy work as it appears, you've got significantly more time and energy for the big goals in life."
Professional organizer, Seana Turner told Monster, "Knowing where things are keeps you on top of your game. People who pile paperwork often obscure items underneath the stacks, resulting in wasted time trying to find what they are looking for. Filing things where they belong creates less surface clutter — and ensures you know where they're at when you need them."
Plus, it's hard to prioritize when everything's in a jumble. You may even forget to do something because it went missing amidst the clutter. And when you do finally remember, will you be able to find the needed paperwork to get to work?
Along with personal efficiency, a clear area is beneficial to the company at large. As per TriNet, "Your office is a reflection of you and your company. And first impressions count. What do your clients, vendors, colleagues, prospective employees and other visitors see? A dirty break room, cluttered desk or messy reception area does not inspire confidence in your professionalism or ability to manage the finer details." If that's not reason enough to tidy up, what is?
It's time to declutter and re-focus. Your time will be more productive and you'll have more room to make a difference personally and for your business. Why be a mess when you can be a success?
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As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.
Extensive Plants and Greenery
A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.
As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.
There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.
Usable Outdoor Furniture
Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.
A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.
Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.
Acting Quickly Out of Emotion
Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.
Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.
Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation
Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.
If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.
Donating Unusable Materials
Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.
Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.
Strictly Giving at Year's End
As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.
With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.
Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.
The Age of Your House
Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.
The One-Percent Rule
An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.
The Square-Foot Rule
Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.
The Mix and Match Method
Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.
Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.