6 Tips for Preparing for a Big Move

Moving is stressful. In fact, it’s safe to say that a big move is one of the most stressful things we go through in life. There are a lot of things to consider when preparing for a major move. The next time you’re ready to pack up and move out, consider these six tips to help make the transition easier.

Plan Ahead

Think about everything you need to do in order to orchestrate a successful move. Write down all of those tasks to create a checklist. You’ll want to consider everything from going to the store to collect boxes and packing tape to finding the contacting the moving professionals of movinglocal.org to help you with the details. Once you create the checklist, you’ll have a better understanding of everything that needs to be done. Chances are you’ll want to start sooner than later. When it pertains to packing an entire home, it’s a good idea to start at least six weeks in advance.

Declutter Your Home

Over the years, we tend to accumulate clutter. It happens, and it’s the stress of that clutter that can be so overwhelming when it comes time to move. Even if you’ve skipped over spring cleaning the last few years, decluttering is possible. Give yourself time, starting a few weeks before your moving day. Take on one room of your house at a time, focusing on decluttering and tidying up.

Once you declutter, create piles for different purposes. Create a pile that goes directly to the recycling bin. Another pile can go to friends and family members who might find some of the items useful. You can donate items to charity. However, make sure you get rid of the items you don’t use.

Consider Your Expenses

Take a look at your finances. Factor in where you’d like to spend money and where you’d like to save money. Figure out where you can save money. One of the best ways to save money involves moving boxes. You’ll probably need a lot of boxes when you’re preparing to move. If you go to any supply store, you can easily spend up to $20 on garment boxes and more. Instead, it’s a great idea to reach out to the local grocery stores. Ask when they’ll be receiving their next shipments. Usually, they receive shipments on a weekly basis. Ask them if they can set aside a certain number of boxes for you. Be ready to pick them up when they ask you to retrieve them. That’s one way to keep lots of money in your pocket.

Plan Your Meals

While you’re going to be really busy during a move, it’s not a good idea to solely rely on fast food to feed your family. Instead, it’s a wise idea to set up meal plans. You can prepare the meals for your family at the beginning of the week. You can make a few casseroles, place them in the freezer and pull them out whenever you’re ready for a dish to feed your family. Print out a few coupons so that you can enjoy one night off with pizza or takeout for the family. However, don’t make it a nightly practice. You’ll waste so much money.

Pack Strategically

You already know that your family needs to eat. Knowing this, make sure that the kitchen is one of the last places you pack up. It’s a good idea to pack up the items you don’t use first. Always label all of the boxes. Instead of solely labeling the items based on what’s inside, take it a step further. Create a color-coding system. Put a large red sticker on each box that’s supposed to go to the master bedroom. Put a large blue sticker on each box that’s designated for one of the children’s bedrooms. This will help the movers understand where to put items when it’s time to unpack.

Create Diversions for Children

Especially if you have young children, it’s easier to have them out of your hair when you’re in the middle of packing. Ask family members and friends if they’d be able to help out with babysitting. Make sure they have activities to engage in while you’re working.

4 Tips for Hiring Your First Babysitter

Even though most parents look forward to some free time away from the little ones, leaving children can be a stressful experience for moms and dads. Whether you are looking for regular care or just an occasional babysitter to call as needed, there are a few important steps you can take to ensure your child’s wellbeing and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve.

Make a Stress-Free Introduction

It is always a good idea to introduce a potential babysitter to your child before leaving them alone together. Invite the sitter to your home and allow individual playtime with your child or infant. You can use this time to relax or get work done, ut remain in the house, and occasionally observe how the sitter and your child interact with one another. The sitter should be calm and gentle while maintaining control of the situation. This is a good opportunity for your child and the sitter to get to know one another and for you to be easily accessible in case the sitter has questions or concerns. You should also familiarize your sitter with the layout of the house, and show him or her where to locate any necessary items.

Check Background and References

Talking to references and running a background check is a crucial step before you entrust anyone to care for your child. It is a quick and simple process to run a criminal background check online. This is the best way to obtain verified information on a sitter’s history. Also, be sure to ask any potential caretaker for multiple references. Get a first and last name for all references, and take the time to contact each one.

Set Clear Expectations

Defining your needs and expectations upfront can save you and the babysitter a lot of hassle and stress down the line. It is important to be clear about little things, such as wanting the sitter to give the child a bath before bed or clean up any toys used during the day. Things that may seem obvious to you may not be obvious to the new caregiver. As you establish a list of rules and guidelines, try to walk yourself through a typical day in the shoes of someone who is unfamiliar with your home and your child’s routine.

Consider Training and Experience

Any qualified caregiver should have CPR and First Aid Training. It is also a good idea to match your sitter’s age and experience level with your individual situation. If you simply want someone to play with the child while you are nearby, a younger sitter may be a good choice. If the babysitter will be doing a more extensive parenting routine, an older teenager or adult may be more appropriate. Similarly, a sitter who only has experience caring for older children may not be the best fit to watch a newborn infant. Assess each potential babysitter according to your needs.

The right babysitter can make a world of difference in the lives of both parents and children. Parents can find time for social activities and date nights, while their child builds a fun relationship with a caring sitter. It is best to begin your caregiver search early, and follow these tips to create a safe and smooth transition for everyone.

Are You Drinking Enough Water During Your Workouts?

Starting or modifying a daily exercise program can be beneficial for your body, mind, and spirit. There are many advantages to physical fitness, including lowering the risk of certain health problems like obesity and heart disease. Staying hydrated as you work out can help you reach your daily fitness goal, and there are a few facts to keep in mind that may make it simpler to balance water intake and whatever type of exercise you choose.

Hydration Can Increase Stamina

Drinking plenty of water before you begin your workout can reduce the risk of dehydration, muscle cramps, and dizziness that might occur if you lose too much water. This can be especially important if you are taking part in moderate to fast-paced exercise activities, such as a spin class or a challenging cardio workout. Water lubricates your organs and is a major component in helping muscles work properly, so drinking water before you exercise can also reduce the risk of injury.

If you are not sure how much water you should drink before a workout, consider the type and duration of your program. Drinking at least eight to 12 ounces before a 30-minute session will likely be beneficial, and you can always drink more during any brief rest periods you take.

Steady Hydration May Improve Performance

While drinking water before a workout can improve endurance, creating a consistent hydration schedule may help you reach peak performance during a workout or sport. For example, when you get up in the morning, drink an eight-ounce glass of water instead of having a cup of coffee, then take a spill-proof water bottle with you to the gym so you can drink more right before your workout. The more consistent your hydration, the better the chances of you reaching your workout goals.

One way to maintain a hydration schedule is to set an alarm on your phone or smartwatch. You can remind yourself to drink your morning water and to prepare your water bottle for the gym. Most smartwatches sync directly to your phone, so one will likely back up the other when it comes to reminding you consistently.

Water Helps Lower Your Caloric Intake

Drinking water during and after your workout can help you avoid overeating. While you may feel hungry after a workout, drinking water fills your stomach and may help you feel full so you eat less during your next meal. When you are fully hydrated, digestion tends to slow as well, so you may feel fuller longer if you drink before your meal.

Water may also help you battle cravings as well. The next time you crave sugar or carbs, have a cold glass of water with a lemon or melon garnish and sip it slowly. This can take your mind off the craving until it passes, and the additional hydration is beneficial as well.

Water Battles Fatigue

While you might want to reach for an energy drink or fancy coffee to boost your motivation, opting for water may be a better choice. Not only will you be avoiding the extra sugar and calories most other drinks contain, water hydrates the cells in mind and body, making you feel ready and willing to exercise.

Learning about water conservation and how it benefits all living things can enhance your workout program, as it can nurture the mind/body balance necessary to get the most out of your exercise. For example, if you live in Southern California, learning about the Cadiz Water Project and the program’s efforts to create a sustainable fresh water supply for the area can help you appreciate the important role water plays in health and wellness for everyone.

Increasing your activity levels typically improves your health and lower the risk of weight-related medical problems. Understanding the role water plays in fitness can help you get the most from your workout and support long-term health and wellness.

How to Start Successfully Flipping Houses

There is a lot of money to be made in flipping houses. However, this is not the right job for everyone. The following tips can help individuals who want to make a success of flipping houses.

One of the very first things that you need to be able to do in order to flip houses successfully is to determine the true cost of everything. This is going to require quite a bit of work on your part. If you already have some experience buying real estate or doing home repairs, this will work to your advantage.

When you look at a house, you need to be able to take the price of the house and combine it with the costs of repairing the home and compare that to what the house is likely to sell for. The problem that many individuals run into is that they underestimate how much repairs will actually cost.

While your goal is to save as much money as you can on repairing the home, there are times when it is best to spend money on professional help. For example, if you do not have a trained eye, you may end up making a judgment that a roof only needs a couple of repairs when in reality it needs to be completely replaced. The difference in how much these things will cost is usually quite substantial. The same is true when it comes to Chicago garage flooring. Does the garage floor just need to have a few repairs done, or does it need to be completely replaced? Working with professionals at the beginning of the project is going to save you a lot of money and heartache along the way.

One of the ways that many individuals have had success flipping homes is by doing a lot of the repairs themselves. They can save a ton of money on labor if they already have some construction experience or are willing to take the time to learn how to do different projects around the home.

Flipping houses is a great option for individuals who are willing to work hard and take some risks. It takes a lot of research and time, though, to make it a success.

Looking Good While Working Out, Does it Matter?

Most people get ready for a workout knowing that they are going to get sweaty and gross. Because of that, they may not put a lot of effort into their appearance. However, that mindset may just be what is holding them back.

According to an article published by WebMD, looking good while working out can help you stay driven and self-assured. As a matter of fact, it can help increase your performance. One performance expert interviewed said that a cute outfit can be the motivation to get out and exercise in a public place, like at the gym, an exercise class, or park. But what is “flattering?” That is what many readers would like to know.

“Flattering” is Subjective

The expert who was interviewed for the WebMD article suggests that women wear predominantly black clothes to the gym. Black sports bras, black spandex, and black t-shirts with hints of lime green, soft pink, and shades of blue. For those who are not comfortable with their bodies, she suggests that “baggy clothes” are ideal. Unfortunately, this is where WebMD makes itself yet another source that fat-shames women who are just looking for fitness tips. Frustrating, considering it is such a well-known source for medical information, but not surprising.

While it may be true that having workout clothes that make you feel good can lead to better performance, the clothing choices are decidedly not. To tell someone that they should wear black, baggy clothes because their body shape differs from what society has deemed “ideal” is a form of fat-shaming. It is on par with telling someone not to eat a cookie because you have decided that they are too overweight. It is unconstructive at best and insulting at worst. In-Style has far more useful and inclusive gym style tips.

‘Show Off Your Curves’ and Other Good Advice

No one should be told that it is best to hide their bodies. Regardless of shape or size, our bodies are beautiful and capable of tremendous things. Luckily, more clothing lines are beginning to embrace body positivity. Lines like Le-Vel Thrive Gear create gym wear that invites people to show off their bodies, not conceal them.

Unlike WebMD’s advice of wearing black and hoping no one notices you, InStyle suggests wearing bright sports bras. Not only will they show off your assets, but they are also fun to mix with other bright clothes.

Many women consider some areas of their bodies to be “problem areas.” One of the easiest ways to get out of that mindset is in the clothes you choose. Seeing those areas in clothing that flatters them will completely transform how you see — and appreciate — your body. If you don’t like your hips, butt, or love handles, try a top that is tight in the chest and flares towards the hips. According to Le-Vel reviews, it is a flattering cut that pulls the eyes up while concealing areas that you may not feel comfortable having on display.

InStyle also has suggestions about which type of pants to wear in order to feel your best. While you can never go wrong with black, if black just isn’t your color, try out a bright pant that highlights the thinnest point of your leg. If you’re tall, an above-the-knee crop might be the best length for you. If you’re shorter, try a bootcut style that flares at the ankle and nips at the knee.

Feel Good, Kick Ass

Though WebMD may have been off on some of its advice, it does offer some wise parting words. For one, the author suggests not wearing an outfit that makes you feel uncomfortable. Wearing something that makes you feel bad about yourself is a huge energy zapper and you likely won’t be very productive.

While it’s important to feel good, don’t forget to dress for the activity you will be participating in. Long shirts can get in the way of gym equipment; loose clothing is not practical for yoga; overdressing can cause you to overheat and lose energy.

The next time you’re getting dressed for the gym, remember that you’re better than wearing black head-to-toe and fading into the background. When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you can smash your goals — inside and outside of the gym.

Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist During Your Next Visit

You have been in charge of your own oral hygiene since you were a child. While you think you have a pretty good handle on things, there may be parts of your routine that you’ve been rushing through. If you’ve been skipping out on flossing, your dentist may ask you to watch a short video on proper habits.

Of course, the easiest way to make sure that you receive the best possible care is to have all the information you need. Here are some of the top questions to ask your dentist during your next visit.

What is Your Experience?

You should not be afraid to ask your dentist about their level of experience. While you may find a brief history on their website, like the one you can find for Dr. Ruyak, a credible Bethlehem dentist, you can still inquire further. For instance, you may have questions about their education and how long they have been practicing. You will also want to know how comfortable they are with any special treatment that you might need.

What are the Best Home Care Tips?

This is one of the most important questions to ask your dentist during your visit. In addition to brushing and flossing, your dentist may have some tips to care for your teeth and gums at home in between office visits. They may also recommend a different style toothbrush, a new mouthwash, or implementing a Waterpik into your routine. These tools may help minimize the risk of cavities and other dental problems.

How Do You Manage Fearful Patients?

If you have a major fear of seeing the dentist, your practitioner may have tools to help you stay calm through your visit. Many dentists offer sedatives to anxious patients to help ease their nervousness. If that is not an option, some dentists have headphones available to their patients, or you can bring your own in. Listening to your favorite music while your treatment is being performed can help reduce anxiety.

If you are a fearful patient who needs to undergo oral surgery, your surgeon may decide to use general anesthesia.

It is difficult to communicate with your dentist while undergoing treatment. For anxiety-ridden patients, this can make a simple checkup even more daunting. Work with your dentist to come up with a hand signal that can be used to indicate if you feel excessive pain or discomfort. This will ensure that you are comfortable, both physically and mentally, throughout your procedure.

Do You Offer Oral Cancer Screenings?

Even if you don’t use tobacco products, you may still be at risk for developing oral cancer.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. In fact, nearly all sexually active people will get HPV at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. However, in some people, it can lead to health problems like genital warts and forms of cancer.

Traditionally, cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat) have been thought to be caused by the use of tobacco and alcohol. However, recent studies show that HPV may be a contributing factor in 60-70% of these cancers.

Oral cancer can also affect people of all ages with no obvious cause. A thorough examination done by a dentist can detect the presence of oral cancer. Some dentists also use a special device that emits light into the mouth to detect cancer.

Your dentist wants you to have a positive experience while in their care. After all, patients who are anxious or fearful may put off their appointment and not seek the care they need. By choosing a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and asking the right questions, you can be sure that you are taking charge of your oral health.

Home Maintenance Tasks: DIY or Seek a Professional?

Completing DIY household maintenance tasks can save you a lot of money. Some projects, however, are best left to the professionals for safety and cost purposes. When should you do it yourself versus calling in a professional for your home maintenance tasks?

Plumbing Maintenance

Many homeowners do not realize the cost of a single plumbing problem. While dumping some drain cleaner into the basement toilet that keeps backing up might fix the problem temporarily, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars later. Of course, you could take a DIY approach to minor plumbing problems like a leaky faucet or a slow draining toilet. But any plumbing problems that could indicate larger plumbing problems require a professional. Otherwise, you risk damage to your floors, walls, and even furniture.

HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is extremely important to maintaining the quality and efficiency of your HVAC unit. The homeowner should complete some of the necessary maintenance tasks such as changing the air filter regularly. Other tasks, such as inspections, tune-ups, and duct cleaning, should be left to someone who is knowledgeable about your HVAC system. Proper maintenance on a routine schedule can extend the life of your system while also offering you comfortable and efficient heating and cooling.

Landscaping

You have a folder full of dream backyard pictures. Now what? Depending on the complexity of your project and your comfort with landscaping tools, you might be able to handle your project alone. More extensive landscaping projects, including those involving retaining walls or outdoor kitchens, might require the services of a professional. Tree removal should also be completed by a professional with the right tools. Consider your skills, your project budget, and your comfort level when deciding whether to bring in a pro.

Painting Projects

There are many reasons you might choose to paint your home, including chipped paint or simply a design refresh. Although you could hire a professional to paint, this can be expensive, and most people are capable of doing it on their own. Stock up on all the necessary paint supplies, grab a friend, and get to work. You might even find it somewhat enjoyable. Besides, the worst that could happen is that you might need to touch up places or repaint the room.

Roof Maintenance

Your roof is very important to your home, and it requires routine maintenance. While major roof repairs should be left to the professionals, homeowners can handle other tasks related to the roof, such as keeping the gutters cleaned. Some homeowners might be comfortable with replacing single shingles on the roof, but it’s important to have the appropriate safety precautions in place. Roofing contractors are used to scaling high heights and are insured.

It’s important to keep in mind that while many DIY projects can save you money, some can end up costing you more. Additionally, taking on a household project that’s best left to the professionals can put you in a dangerous situation. Always weigh the pros and cons before jumping into a DIY household project.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers

If you have a stained, cracked, or chipped smile, chances are that you have considered cosmetic dentistry to help upgrade your smile. While there are many options to consider, porcelain veneers can be both fast and cost-effective.

Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-colored “shells” that are applied to the surface of your teeth. They can hide all kinds of damage, whether your teeth just need to be whitened or repaired and strengthened.

As with all cosmetic dentistry procedures, there are both pros and cons to getting veneers. Let’s take a look at both sides of the decision to figure out if they’re right for you.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

The biggest advantage of veneers is that they can fix your teeth in a mostly-permanent way. While they aren’t immune to damage, they’re quite strong and durable, and they generally last for more than 10 years before you even need to think about replacing them. Don’t let the “porcelain” part of their name fool you into thinking that they’re fragile. They last much longer than other kinds of dental composites, so they’re a great choice for people who want to fix their teeth and be done with it. They require no special maintenance.

Another great thing about veneers is that they’re custom-made, so they’ll be completely unique to your particular mouth. They won’t feel bulky or uncomfortable. They won’t hurt. They’ll mold to your teeth like they were meant to be there.

Veneers are also invisible to detection when shaped and shaded correctly to match the rest of your teeth. Unlike silver crowns and fillings, no one will be able to tell that you have veneers. If you’re worried about having obvious dental work done, veneers can give you the look that you desire without broadcasting it to the world.

Last but not least, porcelain veneers won’t irritate your gums. The tissue of your mouth will tolerate their presence. This means that you won’t ever have to deal with gingival discomfort when wearing veneers, which is a rare and remarkable thing when you’re talking about long-term shells.

Disadvantages of Porcelain Veneers

While there are many benefits to veneers, there are some downsides that you need to know as well.

The biggest disadvantage is the way that they permanently alter the structure of your teeth. A small layer of enamel needs to be removed for the shell to fit, and you can’t get that enamel back once it’s gone. In an ideal world, you’ll be happy with your veneers forever, and this will be a non-issue. However, it’s something to consider if you’re not certain that you want veneers to be a lifelong choice.

Another drawback of veneers is their cost. They average about $1,000 – $2,000 per tooth, so if you don’t have insurance, you might need to get on some kind of payment plan to afford them. It’s also a good idea to double-check with your insurance company to make sure that they’re covered.

Veneers can also be stained by certain beverages. While you won’t have to swear off coffee and tea entirely, you’ll need to be careful with the amount that you consume. You don’t want your veneers to be a different color than the rest of your teeth!

Finally, veneers can increase your sensitivity to hot and cold. They aren’t painful in any way, but if you’re a big ice cream lover, veneers might give you stronger sensations than usual when you enjoy your favorite treat. It’s something to keep in mind before investing in them.

These are just a few of the advantages and disadvantages of porcelain veneers.

Want to learn even more about porcelain veneers? Here’s a video on Union Square Dental‘s website that explains everything you need to know. As you can see, there are many things to consider before you make your final decision, so don’t rush anything. Take your time and think about all sides of your choice before hopping into the dental chair.

7 Ways to Make Your Healthy New Year’s Resolution Successful

If you are like millions of others, you may be thinking of making a good-intentioned New Year’s resolution for the upcoming year of 2019. Unfortunately, many well-meaning people make resolutions and fail at keeping them. It’s important to make a New Year’s resolution that you can realistically stick to. Here are seven ways you can finally achieve your New Year’s resolution for a healthy body.

1. Avoid Unrealistic Diets

The first rule when making a New Year’s resolution is to avoid starting an unrealistic diet. If you’re trying to lose weight, the reality is that you will have to adjust the way you eat. But going to extremes, such as starvation diets or eliminating entire food groups, can end up backfiring. Instead, make small changes to your diet that have a big impact.

2. Choose an Exercise You Love

The second key rule of finding success with a healthy New Year’s resolution is sticking with exercise. While diet makes up a big part of staying healthy, exercise can give you the necessary support to help burn those excess calories. Avoid jumping into a serious exercise program that you don’t enjoy. Many would-be exercisers buy gym memberships around the New Year and end up never going. A better idea is to choose an activity you love that gets you moving. If you love what you’re doing it won’t feel like exercise or work.

3. Have Reasonable Expectations

Next, the key to finding success this year is to have a realistic goal. Generally, the maximum amount of weight to lose is no more than two pounds per week. If you adjust your current caloric intake to reflect your ultimate long-term weight goal, you’re more likely to achieve it. Extreme weight loss in a month or less typically doesn’t last.

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

Another key part of finding success in finally losing weight and getting healthy is to hold yourself accountable. Make a calendar of milestone goals you want to achieve starting with the New Year and going well beyond January. Check in with yourself and make sure you are hitting your milestones each week. Start a diet and exercise blog and commit to documenting your struggle with weight loss. Take pictures of your progress and post them in an online weight-loss community.

5. Use Technology

Today, dieters and healthy eaters have access to a wealth of resources with technology. You can achieve your New Year’s resolution this year by partnering with convenient tech tools. Track your diet with a calorie counting app to make sure you’re not overeating. Log your exercise and daily steps by investing in a smartwatch that calculates your activity. These tools make weight loss and New Year’s resolutions much easier.

6. Add a Supplement

Another helpful tool in the quest for a healthy body and a successful New Year’s resolution is the supplement market. Today, there are plenty of options for supplements and weight loss aids on the market. Look into how the Thrive Experience can help you achieve your New Year’s weight loss goals. Le-vel Thrive gives people working towards a healthy weight and lifestyle that much-needed support.

7. Expect Setbacks

Finally, the journey to a healthy body will definitely come with some setbacks. Your best bet is to be prepared for potential failures along the way. You may give in to temptation at times and eat a few unhealthy things. It’s also common to regress and go back into poor habits at stressful times of the year. Instead of reacting by giving up, pick yourself up and keep going so you eventually find success.

If you want to be successful this year with your healthy New Year’s resolution, follow these tips. Having a healthy body is one way you can enjoy 2019 even more and focus on your next big dream for 2020.

Creating Your Home Utility Emergency Plan

Most homeowners rely on the comforts of their home utilities. When your HVAC system, electrical wiring, plumbing, and other utilities are running smoothly, it’s easy to take them for granted. When a problem does occur, you’ll want to be able to solve it as quickly as possible. By putting a home utility emergency plan in place that addresses the following issues, you’ll have a shorter downtime when essential systems in your house experience problems.

Keep a List of Contacts

When a problem occurs with one of your utilities, you don’t want to waste precious time looking up phone numbers and comparing companies to find the best service for your needs. Instead, look up reviews and get recommendations for companies and technicians you can trust to take care of repairs before you need them. In addition, note the contact numbers for your utility providers. Your list of emergency utility contacts should include:

  • 24-hour plumber
  • 24-hour HVAC service
  • Water company
  • Gas company
  • Electric company

Post this list in an easily accessible place (such as on the fridge) so you can quickly make a call in an emergency.

Locate Your Utility Controls

If an emergency does occur, you might need to shut off your utilities as quickly as possible to avoid damage to your home or for the safety of your family. That’s why it’s critical to know the locations of each of the following utility controls:

  • Breaker box/electrical fuse box
  • Heating fuel shut-off
  • Main water shut-off
  • Individual shut-off valves for toilets, sinks, and washing machine

Know how to use each of these controls. If any tools are required to operate them, such as a wrench, keep one nearby.

Create a Maintenance Schedule

One of the best ways to avoid sudden problems with your utilities is to have the main systems in your household maintained routinely. By checking for problems regularly and taking steps to improve efficiency, you’ll reduce the risk of more serious breakdowns later on.

Schedule biannual maintenance for your HVAC system to make sure it’s ready for the winter and summer seasons. This is one of the utilities you’ll want to have checked more frequently since it directly affects your comfort at home. Periodically, you might also want to hire a plumber and electrician to inspect the utilities for potential issues. There are also several home maintenance tasks you can handle yourself, such as keeping drains and gutters clear of debris, trimming trees away from the house, and replacing or cleaning air filters.

Set Aside Funds for Repairs

Home repairs can happen at unexpected times, and many are inevitable. Part of being a homeowner is dealing with repairs and replacements as the systems and materials as your home ages. Make sure you’re ready when the time comes by saving money in a fund specifically set aside for home repairs. You’ll be happy when you have money available to pay for a utility emergency rather than having to use credit or dip into other savings.

Don’t let a home utility emergency catch you off guard. Prepare for the unexpected with this list of planning tips.

News, Lifestyle & Entertainment for Women