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  • How to Fake a Clean Home in 15 Minutes

    We’ve all been there: guests are scheduled to arrive in 15 minutes, but you got caught up, and the house is still a mess. Here are seven ways to fake that clean home, fast:

    All hands on deck. If you’re lucky enough to have family members or roommates around, ask them to pitch in. Divvy up rooms to declutter and tidy. If you don’t have any helping hands, you’ll just have to continue to the next steps, solo.

    Focus on trafficked areas. Since time is short, make sure to focus on rooms your guests will frequent, like the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The entryway is also important, as it’s the first thing your guests will see, so hang the jackets, straighten those shoes and stash that mail stack.

    Freshen air. As you begin to clean, throw open the windows to let fresh air in. Too cold for open windows? Light a mildly scented candle or spray odor neutralizer.

    Declutter. Run through your high traffic areas and remove clutter. Piles of mail, shoes on the floor, blankets unfolded and errant clothes all need to be stashed. If you don’t have time to put things where they belong, do a tornado sweep with a laundry basket, nabbing all out-of-place items to rehome when you have more time. Simply stash your full basket in a hidden area, like a closet or laundry room.

    Tidy. Now that the clutter is gone, tidy tables and counters to make your space look open and clean. Stack those magazines in an orderly pile, arrange the remotes, put away those drying dishes and take out the trash.

    Wipe down. Head to the kitchen and bathroom with a rag and disinfectant and wipe down counters, mirrors and toilets that your guests might encounter.

    Vacuum. Now that your surfaces are fully clean, run a vacuum over the floors (and furniture!) to pick up pet hair and dirt. Nothing says “clean home” like vacuum lines on the carpet, so fake it until you make it.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 5 Basics to Jumpstart Your Home Gym

    We all know it; sitting is the new smoking. Everyday experts are coming out with new reasons for us to get our bodies moving to ensure long term health, but it can still be hard to get to the gym while accommodating your busy schedule. If youre ready to make exercise a little easier on yourself by starting at home, there are a few items you should have to jumpstart your home gym and tackle those excuses.

    Non-Slip Exercise Mat

    Slipping and tripping is an easy way to set yourself up for an injury while you are just getting started. Prevent an injury while making your workout more comfortable by selecting a cushioning mat that will support you while you perfect your next moves. Bonus, if you are working out while others are in the home, these mats can act as a mild sound dampener during your next HITT session.

    Adjustable Dumbbells

    Dumbbells are useful for a multitude of exercises, and finding a set with various weights can make them a veristiale powerhouse for building muscle. Opt for an adjustable dumbbell set that will allow you to add or take away weight as-needed. This makes it simple to swap based on your exercise routine for the day, and makes it easy to share with family members who may have different fitness regimens.

    Foam Roller

    Supporting your health through exercise comes with its fair share of perks, but sore muscles isnt one of them. While you can mitigate soreness by stretching after your workouts, foam rollers take the cake when it comes to relieving muscle tightness.

    Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands are perfect for beginners and experienced exercise enthusiasts alike. Their low-cost makes them approachable and they are easy to store without cluttering your space. Buy a set with a range of resistance levels to ensure you always have the right level of challenge for your goals.

    Streaming Device

    A streaming device is a vital tool for the home gym. Between instructional videos on Youtube, tv streaming applications you already have, and fitness-specific subscriptions options, you will be sure to find great workouts to follow.

    Remember this is just a jumpstart to get you on your way to the perfect home gym. Wait until you have created a habit with these essentials before buying any bulky equipment that you wont commit to using.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 5 Elegant Styles to Elevate Your Outdoor Living Area

    Here are five fashionable looks that bring endless charm outside.

    Cottage Garden

    Cottage gardens are all about the hardscaping.
    Meandering paths surrounded by flowers can be complemented with wrought iron furniture.

    Tropical Paradise

    Lush plantings and exotic patterns are the key to creating a backyard area that feels Caribbean cool.

    Moroccan-Inspired

    Mosaic tiles, suzani textiles and low seating are common characteristics of Moroccan-Inspired style.

    Tuscan-Style

    Olive trees, oversized potted plants and tiered water fountains are just a few of the reasons to love a Tuscan-style outdoor space.

    Minimalist

    Minimalist outdoor spaces are all about simplicity, clean lines and soft colors.
    Add modern or contemporary furniture to create a streamlined feel.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Choose the Right Executor for a Will

    Part of setting up a will " which is something most adults should do " requires choosing an executor.

    Executor is a fancy name for a person who will be in charge of your estate after you die. Theyll probably work with an attorney, but the executor will be the main person dealing with your assets. This includes dealing with your assets until theyre distributed, paying the estates bills and debts, and giving the right assets and money to the right people at the right time. They may also have to sell your property, review medical records and bring lawsuits.

    The easiest way to choose an executor is to name a lawyer, accountant, financial planner, bank or trust company. The problem is that this costs money. Fees range from 1% to 5% of your assets. Unless your estate is large or complicated, its easier to choose a relative or friend.

    Choosing a younger executor is important because you want someone who will likely outlive you. Youll also need to pick a backup in case your first choice dies before you do. Your children can be named as executors and others can be listed as co-executors.

    Pick someone who is responsible and who realizes when they need to hire people to help them. They should be able to make hard decisions when required, such as dealing with beneficiaries. A good executor has their personal finances in good order and doesnt have credit problems.

    Whoever you choose must give you their permission. Ask them first and make sure you tell them where your assets and important papers are. Some states require executors to be bonded so that the estate is insured if they run off with the money.

    You can also seek professional help in finding an executor. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils can help, as can the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

    An executor doesnt have to live close to you. They may want to make an in-person visit to your house to ensure your personal property is distributed and to meet with your estates attorney, but many of their tasks can be handled without going to your town.

    The simpler your estate, the less work the executor will have to do, and its less likely youll need to hire a professional to do it.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Save Money by Bundling Your Insurance

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

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