tips from the pros tagged posts

Stress and Your Clutter

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros on stress and your clutter.

stress and clutterPsychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter said in an article in Psychology Today, “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”

Touching causes an emotional attachment, and that makes us attached to the things around our homes. The pain of giving up something reaches the anterior cingulate cortex part of the brain. It’s the same place associated with physical pain, so the pain you feel when giving up your belongings is real.

That’s how we are attached to our clutter, bu...

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BGE recycling event of window AC units and dehumidifiers

BGE recyclingIf you’re a BGE customer with a working window AC unit or dehumidifier, take advantage of the BGE recycling program and get a $25 rebate for your troubles. This incentive by the energy company is to help you recycle the units and reduce what goes into the landfill. Each BGE customer is eligible for two donations. This is an opportunity to get a little cash back for something you no longer need.

BGE recycling event for AC units

Window AC and dehumidifier event:

The recycling event will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Columbia Athletic Club, 5435 Beaverkill Rd, Columbia, MD 21044. 

Bring your BGE account number or a bill along with you to receive credit. BGE helpers will even unload the items from your car in order to make it easier for you.

According to BGE, about 95% of the units c...

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Shopping verses Organizing – Friend or Foe?

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about organizing.

tips from the pros shoppingPeople who have organizing issues sometimes have shopping issues, too. The more one likes to shop, the more items accumulate in the home. Many shoppers have a hard time resisting a good deal and if it is a really good deal, they feel the urge to buy more than one item and often times many more. Some shoppers are always thinking of others when they see various items in the stores or online. For example, a relative who loves cats may appreciate the 75% off canvas bag with cats on the outside. Or, the cousin who gardens might like the 80% off book on garden design...

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Fireplace Safety for the Winter

This issue of Tips from the Pros is brought to you by Clean Sweep Chimney, Gutter & Slate Service.

clean sweet fireplace safety

Staying warm during the winter could mean piling on blankets, slipping on socks or huddling on the couch in front of a space heater, but for many people, it means lighting up the fireplace. Before you get cozy, refresh your fireplace safety knowledge with these simple tips.

Is Your Chimney Clean?

Before you worry about what type of logs to burn, you need to ensure that you have a clean chimney. Your chimney should be professionally swept at least once a year. Creosote, soot and debris will all be removed from the inside and the structure will be inspected for safety. If there are any problems with your chimney, it’s much better to find them out before something dangerous occurs.

How Low Sh...

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Do I need to organize?

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about how to organize your home.

organize your home

When you organize, you will find you have more time for yourself.

“I can find everything I need, it might just take me a while.”

“I know where all of the important stuff is in my home.”

Are these statements you’ve made? Do you spend time every day looking for things? It’s time to get organized!

Having clutter can be like carrying weights around with you all day. It slows you down and takes away time that could be spent with more productive or fun tasks. You may have trouble reaching your personal and business goals.

Once you have eliminated clutter and organized what is left, you’ll find that your mind seems more clear and you actually feel better...

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Tax Reform Bill and What it Means

Thanks to L.K. Benson for this issue of Tips from the Pros.

L.K. Benson Tips from the Pros tax reform

Over the past several months we have been closely following the tax reform bill and providing you with regular updates on the proposals and planning opportunities surrounding those proposals. Both the House and Senate passed the final version of the bill and received the President’s signature. The bill was signed into law and will be effective for the 2018 tax year. That leaves you with very little time to implement any tax planning strategies!

We have written a more detailed overview of the reform bill and some tax strategies you should consider before December 31 that you can find on our website here. Below is a brief summary of these planning ideas:

  1. If you have not yet fully paid your 2017 state income taxes, consider maki...
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L.K. Benson Tips from the Pros tax reform

Tax Reform Moves Closer to Reality and Capital Gain Distributions Incoming

Thanks to L.K. Benson for this issue of Tips from the Pros.

Last Friday night the Senate passed a tax reform bill that would bring sweeping changes to our income tax system for individuals and corporations. The House of Representatives had already passed a similar bill earlier in November, and now the reconciliation process has begun. While significant differences between the two bills remain (see here for a good summary), there are enough similarities that we believe the odds are high that a compromised version of the bill will be signed into law before the end of the year. Unfortunately, you won’t have much time after the bill is passed to determine exactly how it will impact your own situation and implement any tax planning strategies before year end...

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fireplaces clean sweep

The Role of Fireplaces in Home Value

Thanks to Clean Sweep Chimney, Gutter & Slate Service for this episode of Tips from the Pros about fireplaces and home sales.

Fireplaces Play an Important Role in Winter Home Sales

Fireplaces have a direct positive effect on home sales, provided that they are in good condition. A study by the National Association of Realtors showed that fireplaces were one of the top three amenities requested by prospective homebuyers.

How Do Fireplaces Affect Home Value?

Almost half of homebuyers indicate that they are willing to pay more for a home with a working fireplace. On average, both wood-burning and gas fireplaces increase a home’s selling price by 12%. Their value is undeniable, whether they are inside of a home, condominium, townhouse or apartment...

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Preparedness for big storms

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about how to organize your home.

preparedness is important when storms are on their way

With the number of hurricanes happening this season, it’s time to talk about planning for an emergency. It might seem corny or unnecessary, but having family fire drills can save lives. An emergency plan can come in handy when you need it.

In Baltimore, we have been spared the worst of the hurricanes, but the storms that end up here can be serious. They cause downed trees, water coming inside and a loss of power. Preparedness before a big storm is always a good idea.

Doctors recommend you have at least a week of your medications on hand at any given time. Having only one or two day’s worth of your medication could cause you extra stress in an already stressful situation...

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The 15 minute organizing challenge

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this month’s Tips from the Pros about ways to reduce clutter.

aim 4 order tips from the prosInstead of trying to organize your entire home in one afternoon, break bigger tasks into smaller ones and start organizing little by little. The clutter didn’t happen in a day and reducing it doesn’t either. Take the challenge and try to do 15 minutes of organizing every day for a week.

Here are some thing you can do in around 15 minutes:

Go through a stack of mail.

Recycle what you can, and keep current bills in a folder or drawer. Or pay the bills and file whatever you need to save for tax purposes. If you haven’t read an article in a few months, toss the magazines. If you really want to save it, cut out the article you want and recycle the rest...

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