RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Design for Productivity in Home Offices

February 26, 2015 2:09 am

(BPT) - It's a common piece of advice from effective home-based workers: start each day as if you were going to work in an office outside your home. (Translation: take a shower and don't work in your pajamas.) The philosophy behind this tidbit is easy to understand.

The same axiom can apply to your home office. Is it tucked in a dark corner of the spare bedroom? Is your desk beside a bed covered in old toys? Is your filing cabinet stuffed in the closet under clothes? If your home office doesn't feel professional and uplifting, how productive and happy can you be spending eight or more hours a day there?

Decorating your home office isn't an art, but following some basic principles of office design can help create an organized, effective and productivity-enhancing space.

Choose a wall color that facilitates focus.

Even if your home office will be in the guest room that you just painted last year, it may be a good idea to repaint. Not only does a fresh coat of paint make a room feel energized and new, repainting gives you the opportunity to put a color on the wall that's office-appropriate.

In an interview by Chris Bailey of the blog "A Life of Productivity," color psychologist and author Angela Wright suggests that your home office color scheme needs to match the type of work you do because different colors create different effects. For example, Wright says, blue might be stimulating if you do a lot of mental work in your home office. Additionally, yellow could encourage creativity, and green might be soothing if your work is particularly stressful and balance is important.

Luxuriate in light.

"You are stuck in your office - albeit at home - all day, working and slaving away, staring at the same wall and some bland office furniture you got at a garage sale," writes Herman Chan in Home Business Magazine. "Spending all those hours in the same spot, it would behoove you to splurge on one luxury piece." Chan suggests an inspiring piece of furniture, but you can also create a luxe effect - with only a modest "splurge" - by decorating with lighting elements such as a skylight.

Add a solar-powered fresh air skylight and an energy-efficient solar-powered blind to your home office and the products, as well as the installation, can be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit as a green home improvement.

If your home office happens to be located in a renovated attic space, roof windows, which are very much like skylights but are in-reach, can offer natural light and fresh air plus access to the roof for debris removal, maintenance or for emergency access.

Organize with attractive storage.

If your idea of home office storage includes the cardboard boxes you used to transport files from the last job you had outside your home, it's time to revisit your organizational plan. A cluttered, disorganized home office can cause you to misplace important documents and can make you feel overwhelmed.

As more people have begun working from home, office furniture manufacturers have branched out from the sterile-looking metal storage units ubiquitous in workplaces across the country. Today, it's easy to find attractive storage options that fit with virtually any home office decor.

If you just can't find a file cabinet that speaks to your soul, why not try some alternative storage options? Move that beautiful sideboard you inherited from grandma - that just never fit anywhere else in your house - into your home office and use it for filing. Not in love with any of the desk options available at your local office store? Hit an antique shop and find an antique desk or even a dining table that you adore. Remember to keep furnishings and storage solutions size-appropriate for the room so your home office doesn't feel crowded.

Working from home offers many advantages, including the opportunity to decorate your home office the way you want. By following some basic steps and incorporating your own personality, you can create a home office where you'll be productive and happy throughout the work day.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Protecting Your Home's Plumbing in Winter

February 25, 2015 2:06 am

In winter, many homeowners are unprepared for plumbing issues associated with cold weather. Failure to prepare early may prove costly when pipes freeze, so winterize your plumbing as soon as possible.

The plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter recommend:
  • Disconnecting outside water hoses. If left connected during freezing temperatures, water in hoses will freeze and expand, causing connecting faucets and pipes to freeze and break.
  • Inspect outside faucets. If dripping or leaking, make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before a freeze.
  • Note that when pipes freeze, water pressure builds, causing cracks whether the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash 250 gallons of water in a single day.
  • If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes.
  • Cover outside faucets using an inexpensive faucet insulation kit.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around exposed pipes.
  • Your water heater works harder during winter months. Drain corrosion-causing sediment from the tank, which reduces energy efficiency.
  • Set water heater thermostat to 125 degrees Fahrenheit for optimum performance without risk of scalding.
  • Clear any leaves and debris from roof gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage throughout the winter season.
  • Inspect and clean sump pit. Remove any rocks and debris from pit then dump a bucket of water into the sump pit to test the pump. If it turns on and pumps water out then turns itself off, it is operating properly.
  • Make sure your furnace is set no lower than 55 degrees during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing.
Source: Roto-Rooter

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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