How To Have A Quieter Home

hg20Noise pollution can be very annoying and distracting. You really cannot manage to concentrate on anything or even enjoy a good sleep where there is too much noise around you. Machine, lightweight constructions and open floor plans are some of the culprits behind noisy homes. Fortunately, something can be done to soundproof your home so you are able to enjoy some calm and quiet when you need it the most.

Enhance your windows

Double glazed and triple glazed windows are very effective in blocking sound. They have air layers that break passing sound and sound energy is lost. It is best to make considerations when building your house in a noisy area or to make enhancements to already existing windows.

Reduce noisemakers

When choosing your appliances, remember that there are models that have nosy operations and they can limit you from enjoying some quiet around the home. Buy models that are quieter in operation to enjoy a significant noise reduction around the home. Whether you are buying a dishwasher, fans or fridge remember to check noise levels. The appliances should also be in good working order all the time to eliminate vibrations, rattles and buzzing.

Use materials that are sound absorbing

What you need to remember is that softer surfaces absorb sound waves whereas hard surfaces tend to reflect them. You can use the soft materials such as padded carpeting and acoustic ceilings to minimize sound bouncing around your home. Drop ceiling systems and acoustic tiles also have good acoustical properties and they can be considered.

Enhance your doors

Soundproofing doors can get tricky, but you can start by sealing edges that transmit sound. It is also advisable that you install doors that block sound. Solid core doors block sound interference and eliminate the drum-like reflections that hollow core doors have. The doors might be a little costly, but they go a long way in soundproofing your home, especially when you also weather strip them.

Think about the garage door

The garage door is a very important addition to a home. When you select a door with internal foam insulation complete with interior panels, you will manage to minimize sound and noise. This is especially important if you have rooms right above the garage door. It will prevent outside noise from seeping in through the door. You also want to make sure that your door is properly maintained so it does not end up being a noise maker around your home.

Take care of noisy pipes

Pipes can chatter and rattle or even make loud bangs during different situations. One of the easiest ways of silencing the pipes is by using water hammer arrestor. There are however so many other ways of ensuring that the pipes do not make the annoying sounds.

Eliminate floor squeaks

Floor squeaks seem to be worse during the day when there are lots of activities and traffic around the house. You should fix squeaky stairs and floors to achieve a calmer home at any given time, regardless of how much traffic it receives.

Put Down Your Phone

hg19I had gotten to the airport too early for my flight, and as I was sitting at my gate with my coffee in my hand, I realized I was too tired to open my laptop or even look at my phone. This got me thinking; I wondered how many things we miss while we are on our phones. We have all see the video of the woman texting on her phone while she was walking in a mall and she walks directly into a fountain, head first. (If you haven’t seen that video, please do yourself a favor and Google “Texting woman falls into fountain” trust me, you will be glad you did). I also know that everyone is on their phones a majority of the time and a million things have been written about it, but because I was going to be sitting in the airport all day, I decided to experiment. I put away my phone and did some good ole fashion people watching. These are just a few things I observed:

1. A guy spilling coffee all over his shirt. I got to watch this event from start to finish – he fumbled with his phone, coffee, and bags. His coffee decided it would be better off on his shirt, you know, to free up an extra hand.

2. Some creepy guy was talking to an equally creepy girl. Then when the creepy guy wasn’t looking, the girl took a picture of him and texted if off to a friend or the FBI, no one will know for sure.

3. A little girl getting run over by her dad because she stopped dead in her tracks, mid-run, to look up at all the flip flops on the ceiling. (it’s an “art” installation at the Nashville Airport, not just random flip flops thrown up on the ceiling of the airport).

4. A couple in their 80’s walking hand in hand to their gate smiling and talking like they were taking a stroll on a beautiful day in a park. Then they stop right in front of me, the old man leaned over and kissed his wife on the cheek for no reason, and they start walking again.

5. An entire college baseball team wearing their sunglasses on the back of their heads while their gloves were on the top of their heads… yes, the whole team.

6. So. Many. People. Running, no sprinting, to their gate, which was the gate right next to me, only for them to find out their flight was delayed for three and half hours.

7. A 70 something woman who clearly was a participant in the first Woodstock, plop right down on the floor, plug her phone in, put in her headphones and proceed to dance while sitting on the floor like no one was watching, well because no one was.

8. A little girl with light up shoes, fall, take off her shoes, and throw them at her Mom yelling “I can’t walk in these they are making me dizzy!”

9. Famous drummer, Abe Laboriel, Jr., (well I’m 90% sure it was him), walked right past me… and because it’s Nashville, so many musicians, and their instruments.

A five-foot girl with a cello on her back that seemed to be taller than her, running to her gate like she was in a race.

10. Then when I went into the bathroom there, two stalls over, were a pair of three-foot-long flippers and a passport, just laying there on the floor.

Family Reunions the Easy Way

hg18First, think about what you need for a fun, successful family reunion! And then find all the places that you have all those things. And last but not least, find a way to do that all, the easy way.

Years ago, the family reunions, usually, were held at one home and usually it was one person who had the responsibility and the work of the whole reunion. In this article, I offer ways that the work and the planning can be shared amongst a few or many of the family members.

First, consider whether there are young children or babies, and make sure that there are activities or places where these babies and children can fit in and enjoy themselves. Then consider the age and the experiences and health of the other family members. Make note of how people will arrive at the appointed place and make note of who will go with whom, etc.

Once you have all your research done, the last thing to do is to develop the list. And quite possibly, set up a ’round robin’ to cover all bases. The round robin is when one person calls a person on the invite list and then that other person calls another person. This way one person doesn’t have to make all the phone calls. Ask people to respond in writing or by email.

If you are really adventurous or creative, you can set up a free, private website for the family reunion. Name it “family reunion”, and put it on private with a code for everyone who will join in.

For example, if you set up a website at WordPress or at open diary or some other blog site, you can give the code to all the older family members and have them respond right there to the website. All responses will be private and only family members will see the responses. Having all this invite information handy in one spot simplifies things. Or you can just do a group email. However, if you do a group email have the main person, or the one who is planning the whole event, have a brand new separate email account–separate from their regular email account. Everything related to the family reunion goes right there and doesn’t get confused with any of your regular email addresses. This is to ensure that nobody is invited (like strangers etc) who is not supposed to be invited.

Now, of course, no invites are sent out until the place is chosen, and the date and the time, etc.

Now, for ideas, for places, think about this. What about having a family reunion at a festival or at a fair, a local one. Or perhaps having it at a very large state fair or country fair? If you do that, all the minor and almost all the major details of the family reunion are settled (through the fair). So, participants will get to the fair alone, and they can give carpools to those who have no cars. And the food is already handled—at the fair. Since most fairs have an abundance of food, all you have to do is find a central meeting place to enjoy your meals together. Someone can bring the family reunion cake or cupcakes to the fair, in their own car. And if everyone wants it, you can even arrange ahead of time to get t-shirts for all family members. The t-shirts will say’ “SO AND SO FAMILY REUNION”!. Be sure to order extras for those who can not attend the reunion; they might just want a t-shirt. They can wear it to the next reunion!

If you are going to a fair that has more than one day, be sure to put it in the invite the date that the family will be attending the fair.

Now, if the fair is too big an idea for you, you can probably rent out an area in any state park that is near you. One year we rented a building at the Belmont Lake State park. And the building had electricity, tables and a sink. You had the choice to rent the building or just the open air pavilion but we rented the building just in case I t would rain. And outside the building there were more and more picnic tables for our lunches. And yes, there were BBQ tables also. The park was awesome, complete with tables, green grass trees, a beautiful lake with swan boats! Your local park probably has similar things for your family reunion.

Good Freedom Reasons to Downsize Why Not Small House Living

hg17Living in a larger home has been a challenge. Downsizing into small house living, on the other hand, has been a blessing for the family, not so much cleaning, less expenses, less utilities and more sharing with one another. Want to live big? Move into a tiny house, shipping container, an RV, small apartment or studio for more fun and less financial stress. Remember when all the average family wanted was a larger home and more space for entertaining? Why not entertain using the outdoors?

However, during a point in time, I recall longing for a much smaller home and work less at it. Arriving home after work and feeling I had arrived at my kingdom was priceless. The larger the home, the bigger the bills! And the weekends were for cleaning, grocery shopping and patio maintenance. It usually was a run-run-run deal, and then all of a sudden it was Monday again and all tired to start working again. It was a vicious cycle for many years, while looking forward to the next weekend in order to rest, but it never happened. Not every family lives this way, but many fall into this routine easily.

There are much desired advantages that are achieved when you downsize. Just think about the less effort, time and money on keeping up with the lifestyle. Another one is that just the necessary things are kept in order to avoid clutter for a much simpler daily life. People will own what they need and have what they want. They will find it easier to live day by day because they are no longer complicated.

Downsizing will allow them to use smartly the available space, there will be one spot for eating and having family togetherness. Without a doubt, there will be more time for yourself. They will enjoy traveling with less worries. And what about not having to pay a 30 year mortgage, while another obvious advantage would be to save more money for the future and well deserved vacations. Mostly the things you never get to do unless you take out a loan and oops, you’re tied up again to another debt.

Freedom we scream! When we were teenagers, we couldn’t wait to grow up to be on our own, but then we found out there really wasn’t any freedom because we are sucked into the things that life swallows us into slowly.

So why not think ahead, plan ahead, dream ahead? Pay off your bills by daring to take upon that freedom and downsize to live the real lifestyle you were longing for. Set a goal date and start the process. It is possible, search for the options available in tiny houses, shipping container homes, recreational vehicles, small apartments or studios. Live big in a tiny home and plan your own wellbeing for the future. Have more fun, live more, live healthy physically, emotionally and financially.