Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/7/2016

We all have our own version of the ideal work environment. Some of us require a distraction-free bubble to be productive, whereas others prefer to work in a bustling cafe. There are many factors that contribute to workplace productivity and there have been numerous studies on that very topic, focusing on things like the best time of day to work, how often to take breaks, and even the benefits of looking at cute pictures of cats to boost your performance. For our purposes, we're going to focus on environment. Specifically, your home. We live in a time when more and more of us are unable to "punch out" at the end of the day and leave our work at the office. Whether it's checking emails, staying up late grading papers, or studying for a work-related exam, odds are you'll find yourself having to work in your home at some point. Step 1: Choose which room you will dedicate to work Whether it's a bedroom or home office, you'll want to be consistent with which room serves as your productivity zone. Just as you've trained your body to sleep when your head hits the pillow, you'll need to train your brain to work when you sit down at your desk at home. Step 2: Setting up your desk You won't get much work done if your back aches or if your chair is so comfortable that you're likely to fall asleep in it. Pick a chair that is sturdy and ergonomic, and make sure your screen and keyboard are at a good height so you aren't slouched. Step 3: Setting the mood If you need noise to work, determine what kind of noise will help you stay focused. There are sites like Noisli that let you combine different natural sounds. Pandora radio is free and will play a diverse mix of songs based on what you want to hear, and you can pay a small monthly fee to get rid of the ads. Maybe nature sounds and music are too distracting for you but the sound of silence is even worse. If that's the case you might want to invest in a white noise fan. Step 4: Do some decorating As important as the sound in your environment is what you put in it and how you arrange it. Depending on personal preference, you might want to keep your workplace either minimalistic or homey. You should also consider the lighting of the room. Dimming the lights a bit might save your eyes some strain if you're looking at a computer screen for hours at a time. Generally speaking, people work best in natural lighting (so avoid blue LEDs or harsh fluorescent bulbs). The options are endless and the best way to find out what keeps you productive is to experiment with different set ups. What's most important is that you find what works for you. And remember, this isn't the office; you have the opportunity to design a productivity sanctuary of your design. Why settle for anything other than perfect?





Posted by Kathy Foran on 7/3/2016

No matter how big your kitchen is, making the most use of your storage space can be tough. There’s many ways that you can expand the kitchen storage that you already have without starting a demolition project. Below, you’ll find some stellar ideas for storage that may have never crossed your mind. These tips can help you to maximize the use of your kitchen storage space. Use Cabinet Doors For Storage You can put cork boards inside of a cabinet for reminders and shopping lists instead of hanging it on a wall. You can also hang a small spice rack for spice storage. You can even think about placing hooks inside of the cabinet doors of the kitchen to enable you to hang measuring cups and spoons along with other small kitchen utensils. A metal towel bar also makes a great storage apparatus inside of a cabinet door. You could hang everything from kitchen towels to utensils to the lids of your pots and pans inside of these cabinet doors. Check Out Unused Space Over Doors and Windows You can make great use of unused space over a door or window by hanging simple shelves above the frames. These shelves can be used for storing things like off season dishes or rarely used serving dishes and cooking vessels. You could even consider displaying bottles of prized liquor or wine on these shelves. Keep Pots and Pans Under Control Pots and pans are one of the bulkiest items in your kitchen. You can save a lot of cabinet space by hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling mounting rack. This way, all of your pots and pans are easily accessible, and you’re saving precious storage space. If you can’t hang pots and pans from the ceiling of your kitchen, use hooks and mount your pots and pans to the wall for some practical decor. Storage Solutions Many over-the-door storage solutions exist to help maximize space that would be wasted under other conditions. Small racks made from metal or plastic can be handy for the storage of things like plastic containers. Baskets and bins are also great in places like inside of the pantry where foo items can often become disorganized. Behold Baskets Baskets are a stylish and a practical way to keep clutter out of the way. Baskets can be placed on shelving or inside of cabinets to be used for snacks, kitchen towels, napkins, utensils and anything else that you can think of that may need a place! As you can see, getting creative with your kitchen storage is the best way to maximize the potential of the space.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/8/2015

Buying a home is still one of the best ways to build wealth. If you are looking to add value to your home without breaking the bank there are many projects that will increase your home's value for less than $1,000. One thousand dollars can go a long way when it comes to home improvement projects. If you think and plan smart your profit should outweigh your investment. Here are a few projects that will give you the most bang for your buck. 1. Organize Your Home Declutter your home by organizing closets, cabinets and pantries. Add bookshelves for more storage. Maximize space in the kids’ rooms by installing platform or bunk beds. A neat and organized home is easier to live in and shows better to potential buyers. 2. Make an Entrance Simply updating and replacing your entry door will spruce up your curb appeal. Not only will the new door look great it can also help save money.  Adding a steel door will save on energy. Most of the new steel doors are made to look like wood. A new door will cost approximately $400. 3. Install a Programmable Thermostat. Another way to save money is to switch from a manual to a programmable thermostat. Prices vary greatly on these thermostats but don't expect to pay more than a few hundred dollars for a high end model.  A programmable thermostat can save you $180 a year in energy costs. 4. Update your Cabinets Cabinet hardware makes a huge difference on how new your kitchen looks. Simply update the cabinet hardware by installing new knobs and pulls in more modern metals and looks. Most large hardware store have a large selection of hardware you can usually buy a 10-pack for approximately $20. 5. No more Bathroom Blues Bathrooms can be one of the most expensive updates in a home. You can give a bathroom a quick facelift by replacing old tile. Vinyl tiles are inexpensive and easy to install or with ceramic tile can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 9/14/2014

Closet space is one thing that you never seem to have enough of. Especially is you live in a smaller or older home. If your belongings are spilling out everywhere, then you most likely need a closet makeover. Some planning and a few changes will net you some prime storage real estate and help you finally get organized. Think vertically Stand in your closet and look up. If you see empty space, you have an opportunity to take advantage of it with hanging racks, pegs or hooks. Use adjustable shelving Why use a tall shelf when a shorter one will do just fine? When you have shelves that you can customize, you might be able to salvage enough wall space for a whole new shelf. Separate the seasons If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, you may be able to split your wardrobe and store items in another location when you're not using them. Declutter and purge If you don't have enough room, something may have to go. Just think of it this way, if you haven't used that bowling ball, pair of mittens or electric blanket in a while, it may be time to share the bounty by donating to Goodwill or your local shelter. Someone will benefit from your generosity, and you can console yourself with the tax write-off. Go with baskets Wicker baskets are an inspired storage solution that will corral your small items and organize your larger ones. They'll streamline your shelves and liberate your floor space, too. If you don't remember the color of the carpet in your closet and your shelves are prone to occasional accessory avalanches, baskets will save the day. Organize You knew this part was inevitable: having to pull everything out, sort it into piles and put stuff into some logical order. Organization will help you maximize a small closet by encouraging you to keep like items together. Shoe Storage Over the door, on the floor, on hangers or under the bed, shoe racks can be lifesavers. Properly stored shoes will look better longer and you won't be wasting time with one shoe in your hand and the other, well, who knows where. Specialized hangers When you use creative hanger solutions, like tiered hangers that let you stack clothes conveniently, you can sometimes double or even triple your useful space.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/18/2013

Getting organized in your home can be less expensive and easier than you think. There are items all around your home that can help you get the clutter in order. Here are just a few tips to get you off to a good start: A big problem is spices, they get lost in the cabinet, take up tons of room and are always hard to see. If this is a problem in your home use a mop holder to store spices on the inside of a cabinet door. Too many craft supplies and a place to put them is a typical problem. Arrange crayons, colored pencils and more in an over-the-door shoe organizer. You have all your supplies organized and easy to see in no time. Use the shoe organizer for anything. It can also be great for cleaning supplies. If you need decorations for your playroom walls and you have too many board games this is a great solution. Take the glass out of frames and frame the board games and hang on the walls. Attach the game pieces in little baggies to the frame. What about all that jewelry? If you could actually see it you may even wear it more. Hang a peg board on the wall in your closet and hang your necklaces from it. Need a place to put your earrings? How about an ice cube tray? These are just a few nifty ideas. What are your best ideas to keep your home organized?




Categories: Help Around the House