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General Article

How to Optimize Space at Home

How to Optimize Space at Home

Many of us are complaining about the lack of sufficient storage space in our homes. However, what we fail to realise is that are actually lots of wasted space. We frequently fail to fully utilise all the possible storage space that is available throughout the entire house. All that we really need is some proper planning and proper surveying to turn this space into useful storage space especially when space is tight.

The Bed

One of the few items that really take up a lot of space is the bed. The space taken up by the bed can be better utilised. Instead of buying fancy bed frames, you can consider one that provides storage space underneath such as space saving furniture. This space can easily allow you to store a couple of pillows or blankets or even shoes, effectively freeing up space in other parts of your home for other things. Not only that, you can also store boxes underneath the bed. Choose boxes which are simple and offer plenty of storage space instead of fanciful and impractical ones. A simple big box can allow you to store a lot of things whether big or small.

The Walls

Walls are another space that is seldom used for storage purposes. When you are using wardrobe or cabinets, choose those that goes all the way to the ceiling. This way, you are maximising all the available space for storage purposes. You can also install shelves on the walls to use as bookshelves or to store documents. Books and documents are 2 main culprits that take up too much space.

Windows

There is also space above the windows in most of our rooms. Most of the time, we do not utilise these spaces and they simply collect dust. The storage spaces above the windows are actually excellent for storing small boxes which in turn can hold many items inside them.

Bathroom

The toilet is another place that offers excellent hidden storage potential. Instead of installing a standalone sink, consider installing a storage cabinet below the sink. In this cabinet, you can store things like towels, toilet rolls and various toiletries which take up quite a fair bit of space.

Fully maximising whatever available space is all up to the creativity of individuals and there is no fixed standard to follow. The most important part is to sit down and look around you and find out what are the hidden storage spaces. You need to think out of the box and let imaginations run wild. When everything fails, there is always a self storage facility option that you can consider.

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General Article

To Be or Not to Be: Converting a Carport Into a Garage Door

To Be or Not to Be: Converting a Carport Into a Garage Door

In countries with colder climates, many homes have parking spaces that don’t have a garage door. In its place, they have a parking alcove, which is usually termed as a carport. The carport tends to be found at the top of the driveway that is covered by an extension of the house’s roof. There are definite benefits to the use of a carport. First, the carport can provide a shade for the household vehicles, making it somewhat protected from damage caused by nature’s elements. Additionally, a carport allows for quick entry and exit of the vehicles, making it easier for people to get in and out of their homes. While there are benefits to the use of carports, doors are generally preferred over them. The following are some reasons why garage doors are preferred over carports.

First, a garage door would provide additional security to a home. Since a garage door encloses the home, it would deter criminals from quickly entering into another person’s home. Furthermore, you can place a lock onto the door so that the home would be more secure. Putting up a door would protect the vehicles from getting stolen as well. Added security is an important benefit in choosing a door over a carport.

An enclosed space would provide for additional storage space for the family. For example, you could place house tools and lawn equipment in the area, reducing the accumulation of clutter inside our homes. There are some homeowners who even install shelves to increase the storage capacity of the enclosure. Additionally, enclosing the area with a garage increases the value of the house. With an enclosed garage, people would be more willing to shell out additional cash because of the increased security and storage space it affords. As such, an enclosed space would be more marketable compared to a carport.

In addition, the installation of a garage door can provide additional space where family pets can loiter around. Since it is enclosed, you would be secure in knowing that your pets would not run way from the house. Additionally, the enclosure can be a good place where the food of the pets is placed so that less clutter would be found inside the house.

Installation of a garage door can provide additional workspace for the homeowners. You can set up a work bench in the enclosed area. Since it is not inside the home, it would reduce risks of family members being subjected to dangerous fumes of varnishes and finish stripping agents. As seen, the installation of doors can provide many benefits to homeowners.

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General Article

Using Room Dividers to Maximize Your Space

Using Room Dividers to Maximize Your Space

Well planned storage can save you time and energy. Put your most frequently used things in the most convenient locations (live storage). Put less frequently used items in less accessible locations (semi-live storage). Put infrequently used items out of the way (dead storage).

Certain types of space dividers can double as storage pieces. These are storage walls, cabinets, and shelves. Other decorative devices used to create separations in an open-plan area are paint, wall coverings, fabric walls, screens, area carpets, furniture groupings, musical instruments, illumination, and the use of plants.

Well-planned storage is the basis of finding the things easily when you need them. If you have to run down a long hall for bath towels (which should be kept near the bathroom), or walk across the kitchen for pots (which should be near the stove), or stand on a chair to reach a new game for the kids then you are wasting time and effort. Today’s home designers appreciate the necessity for well-planned and well-placed storage so your job should be easier than it was 20 years ago.

In deciding on your storage plan, list those items which you use every day. Next, list those items which you use infrequently. And last, list those which you rarely use – you might even think about getting rid of them but that’s another discussion. Next, calculate the length, width, and depth of the items to be stored, so that you will know how much and what kind of space to allow (tall space for bottles, short space for baby foods, and so forth). You don’t have to be exact, just estimate how big a box would have to be to hold all you things.

Put those things which you use daily in the most accessible locations (live storage); the less frequently used items in less accessible locations (semi­live storage); and items hardly ever used out of the way (dead storage).

Live storage space is needed for the clothes you wear every day; for the foods you most frequently eat and the pans you most often use, video games the kids play with, that type of thing.

Semi-live storage space is needed for things like bed linens and bath linens, for sports gear and party items, for foods seldom used and for clothes you don’t wear very often – like your ski jackets.

Dead storage space should be reserved for Christmas tree ornaments, or any other items used once or twice a year. Drawers and boxes with plastic fronts are a great help. Labels are a great idea for workable storage. Too many people are never able to remember where they have stored what. Once you have set up your storage plan, it is mostly a matter of self-discipline to keep everything in its proper place.

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Starting A Business

How to Raise Entrepreneurial Capital

There are several avenues that are available to entrepreneurs when it comes to funding for their business ideas. The nature of the startup would usually depend on where and who an entrepreneur can go to for funding even though there are some ideas that would be welcome in any platform. Below are a few that can be used to get funding for your next big business idea.
Savings: If you already have savings, or money put aside somewhere, this is the advisable method of funding your entrepreneurial startup. This is because money that you work hard to put into a savings fund is not subject to any strings and conditions, except those you choose to impose on yourself to help you focus and streamline your personal funding.
Angel Investors: Angel investors are usually individuals who invest in businesses for a lot of reasons. Mostly they are looking for healthy returns from the business while helping the new entrepreneurs get their business out of the ground at the same time. There is no definite amount that an entrepreneur can expect to receive from an angel investor as it depends a lot on the individual.
The Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire said in a report that most ‘angels’ invest close to home. Therefore, if you are thinking of an angel investor for your business, look around your community or your state. This does not mean that there are no angels that invest further from home.
Venture Capitalist: This could either be an individual or a firm that provides what is known as venture capital. Venture capital is money which is used to fund a new business. This money is provided by an outside investor (much like an angel investor) and could also be used for troubled businesses. The money is usually provided in exchange for an equity stake in the business so it is not a loan.
Microfinance: More entrepreneurs are turning to microfinance as a means of funding their business startups. Although there are banks that offer microfinance, you are more likely to get funding for your business from a financial institution that focuses on microfinance. There are also a number of nonprofit microfinance institutions that specialize in lending to entrepreneurs.
Government: The government has a lot of loan schemes for small and medium businesses and as an entrepreneur, you might be able to benefit from these programs. However, most government loans are restricted to a particular sector, depending on the government.
Crowdsourcing: This has become a lot more prominent in recent times because of the many Dot com businesses that have benefited from crowd-sourced funding. There are several websites such as , , and , which focus on helping entrepreneurs to raise funds.
These are just a few sources that you can utilize as an entrepreneur to fund your business ideas. The most recommended though is either to bootstrap or to get loans from family and friends. Failing that, the options above should help.

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Money

Small Business Enterprise – Why You Need to Do Market Research

A small business not only needs to be unique, but also good enough to survive the harsh economic times. Research is the key word in trying to determine the best business idea. Talking to friends, family and other enterprise owners that operate in the line of the idea you have, will prove useful in helping you establish the venture. Family in particular will give you brutal criticism, both positive and negative that will leave you with only fine content.
Talking to potential competitors will give you tips on how to run and manage an enterprise, such that eventually, you will have acquired the necessary knowledge on what you can do. As you come into the business arena, you will be equipped with knowledge and will be better placed to do more than your competitors. To improve your venture even further, you are advised to take up advisory counsel with the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE).
For your enterprise to be good enough, you should also conduct market research. The information you gather from this exercise makes your mind more open and objective to the market trends and happenings. Market research is crucial when coming up with a long-term plan. It also sharpens your skills as far as handling potential and existent clients is concerned. It makes marketing much easier because then, you will know what it is that clients are interested in.
Once you have your idea on paper, try a test run to see how viable it is. A trial run helps you determine the loopholes that are likely to be exhibited in the course of running the enterprise. Do not be intimidated by large corporations that may be in the same line of operation as you. Starting small is a blessing in disguise because you get to learn in small doses.