Month: February 2013

14 Ways to Love Your Home

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are sharing fourteen ways to love your home.

1. Set a regular cleaning schedule

There is a quote—often attributed to Benjamin Franklin—that says, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t let this be the case with your house. Make a schedule to clean one or two rooms each day and then stick to your schedule. By doing this, you won’t have to feel overwhelmed by a day full of cleaning and you’ll feel happier and more comfortable in your home.

2. Take care of your yard

Whether you love to spend all day in the dirt or would rather be off having some other adventure, take a little time to trim the grass and keep the weeds in check. A well cared for yard, no matter the size or style, increases the value of your house and how you feel about it.

3. Transition to LED lights

While the cost may be a little more upfront, LED lights are gentler on your wallet in the long run. These lights are longer lasting and more durable, which gives you more use than a regular light bulb.

Plus, they look great in your house and in your garden. Check back often to learn more about the release of our new line of energy-efficient, LED landscape lights.

4. Plant a tree (or two, or three)

Trees are a great way to bring beauty and variety to your yard. Take care to pick the right variety for your area and need—talk with a specialist at your local nursery for more ideas. A well-placed tree can also serve as shade and protection for your yard and home and can lower energy costs.

5. Plan a date

You know that list of projects you want to get done, but never seem to have time for? Plan a date. Whether it’s a deep clean or a new paint job, your home needs a little pampering once in a while. After all, it does keep you safe and comfortable from the world outside.

6. Keep unwanted pests out of your yard and home

Whether you are dealing with deer eating your prized tomato plants, or ants invading your pantry, there are ways to protect your house. For those annoying spiders, ants, and bugs, try calling a local pest control company. If it’s bigger critters in your yard that you’re worried about, check out our Yard Enforcer. The Yard Enforcer is a motion-activated sprinkler that deters unwanted pests with sound and water. The best part? It actually works! Check out this video:

7. Increase the safety of your home

There are little things that we can do all year long to increase the safety of our homes. Whether it’s keeping the walks shoveled, or keeping our yard well lit at night (again, check back for more information on our new landscape lights), or baby proofing our cabinets and stairs, do the little things to make your home a worry-free space.

8. Give your plants the perfect amount of water

To keep your yard lush and green, give them the water they need. Our sprinkler timers are a great way to ensure that your landscape receives consistent watering, because in our crazy world, we all have a lot on our minds.

9. Try something new

Don’t be afraid to try out a new idea. The internet is full of DIY projects, for budgets big and small that may give you just the change you need. Check out our Pinterest page for some great DIY ideas for your home and garden.

10. Plant a garden

Who doesn’t love fresh produce? If the weather is nice, set aside some land and start working the earth. But don’t let snow keep you down. You can start your garden seeds indoors. What’s better than getting your hands in the dirt again? Plus, you can start enjoying the fruits of your labor earlier than if you wait to plant when the weather’s nice.

11. Give

Sometimes we let our lives get too cluttered. Instead of throwing things away, pick a number (any number) and then select that number of items to give to charity or a family in need in your area. It’s a great, and easy, way to serve your community.

12. Add some color

If you’re not ready to commit to a big color change or if you just want to update a space with this year’s color trends, try incorporating color in small ways. Buy some plants for a room, or plant some flowers in the garden—it doesn’t have to cost much to bring a lot of life to your home.

13. Take time to enjoy some peace and quiet

Whether you like to spend your time indoors or outdoors, it’s always nice to sit back and relax for a few minutes. Read a book, work in the garden, or sit on your porch and watch a rainstorm roll in. Take some time out of your busy day and do whatever it is that relaxes you. You will find that you are more centered and ready to accomplish any task.

14. Build relationships

Often, our homes are special because of the people we share them with. Don’t forget what truly makes your house a home. Take time to build those important relationships with the people you love.

 

Please share. What are some of the ways that you love your home?

 

 

 

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How to Prevent Back Injuries while Shoveling

Just a few days ago, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. Whether or not that’s true, there are many of us who still have snow to deal with until Spring makes her appearance.

While the white, fluffy stuff might be beautiful, it also brings an increased risk of back injuries due to shoveling. And no one likes a sore back.

So as that snow continues to pile up outside, here are some tips to save your back.

  • Stretch before going out to tackle any load.
  • Wear the proper clothing to protect yourself from the cold.
  • Choose shoes with a great grip so you don’t slip.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the cold and that give you a good hold on the shovel.
  • Pick the right shovel. An ergo shovel is the ideal choice in snow shovels for a number of reasons. First, the blade is a lightweight plastic to make your loads easier to lift. Second, the shaft of the shovel is angled to help you maintain body posture and minimize stress on your back while shoveling. Third, ergo shovels often feature a D-grip handle for maximum grip and comfort.
  • Push the snow to where you want it, and then lift.
  • Lift with your knees, not your back. Rather than twisting your torso, move your feet and keep your back as stable as possible.
  • Shovel early and often. The sooner you shovel after a snowfall, the lighter the snow will be. The same goes for shoveling often, the more often you shovel, the less snow you will have to move each time.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take breaks as needed.

If you’re looking for some stretches to loosen up before shoveling, we liked these suggestions from Fitsugar.com:

Forward Bend Stretch

  • Stand with your shovel in front of you, holding the handle with both hands
  • Walk your feet back, lowering your chest, and stopping once your feet are underneath your hips
  • Relax your head and draw your shoulders away from your ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds as you breathe deeply and allow your lower back to release

Lower Back and Hamstring Stretch:

  • From the forward bend position, stand up and walk forward a few inches
  • Place your right heel on top of the shovel and fold forward over your right leg. Keep your left leg straight. To bend deeper into the stretch, hold the top of the handle with your right hand and rest your left hand below it as far as you can.
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds. Switch to your left side and repeat.

As you combine these preventative measures with Orbit’s specially designed ergo shovels, your risk of back injury will be reduced, giving you more time to enjoy the snow on your own terms.

Here’s wishing you happy and safe shoveling, and an early spring!

 

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