Asking for help doesn't have to be spooky

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While we like to think we have it all together, let’s get real for a minute, we don’t.

The only thing that is really constant in our lives is that the world is always spinning. Things change daily, the outcomes we expected don’t always happen, and sometimes we get extremely overwhelmed. It happens to everyone.

But the most important way to handle the changes in our everyday lives and to still have the lifestyle we want is to ask for help. As hard as it may be, asking for help is crucial to keeping our stress levels down low, getting to use our time how we want to, and still keeping ourselves together. Keep in mind, none of us are self-made.

Time and again we are asked to help people get better control of their daily lives, whether it is handling regular tasks they don’t have time for or just coming into their home to handle projects that overwhelm them. Ideally, this would go smoothly, and people would just celebrate their newly acquired time and organized home. The reality is, sometimes people struggle with letting us help them. But why is it such a struggle to ask and let someone do the things that stress them out?

 

Why people are afraid to ask for help

Does it make me weak if I ask for help?

The answer is, no.

It is easy to ask yourself why someone would rather stay in a stressful and overwhelmed state instead of asking for assistance, but the answer isn’t that simple.  Asking for help seems to depend on the situation. Most people can easily ask for a family member to help them with something around the house, but it isn’t as easy to ask a co-worker or even a stranger for something similar. Why is that?

Asking for help requires a person to be vulnerable, and odds are they are scared that asking will make them look weak or that they will be rejected. The good news is, asking for help doesn’t make you look weak and hearing a no isn’t the end of the world.

One of the most important things to know about asking for help is that it doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of completing the task yourself. Instead, it means that you are using your resources to get the task done quickly and to the best of your ability.

Hearing “no” doesn’t mean that people you asked for help think less of you or that they don’t want to help you. We have somehow turned rejection into a reflection of ourselves, but that isn’t the case. Odds are if you are told no, the person or people you asked for help want to help, they just aren’t able to.

How to ask for help

We all struggle with it, but asking for help is vital to a healthy lifestyle.

We shouldn’t be fearful of asking for assistance for something we cannot or don’t have time to do. To put it in perspective, if your air conditioner quits working during the summer, you probably won’t get out there and try to change the capacitor. Instead, you will rinse off the unit and hope that it is just not getting enough airflow. When that doesn’t work, you will contact a professional to diagnose the problem and repair it. Why does asking your personal assistant to grocery shop or take your pet to the vet have to be any different than calling the repairman?

If you aren’t sure how to ask for help, here are some simple ways to get you started:

  • Change your mindset. When you ask for help, you can’t beat yourself up over it. You can’t tell yourself that you can’t do it or that people will think you are weak. Turn it into a positive. Tell yourself that you are asking for help so that you can have more time for things that matter, like your family.

  • Make it easy to help you. When asking for help, make sure you ask the appropriate person. If you have a LifeSquire personal assistant, you can ask them to shop for you, but asking them to stain your concrete is probably more appropriate for a handyman. Make sure you ask people that have the ability to complete the task so that you set yourself up for success instead of failure.

  • Be direct. Proper communication is key to success when it comes to asking for help. Dropping hints may be easier, but you can’t expect to get the help you need. Instead, communicate clearly what you need to be done, any important information needed to complete the task, and when you want it to be completed.

  • Practice makes perfect. The best way to get used to asking for help is to actually do it. If you find it intimidating, make a list of the things you could need help with and put into practice asking for it. Start slow if you need to.

 

Why people are afraid to give up control

The act of being controlling often comes from fear. But what is there to be scared of? People that have trouble giving up control often have anxiety that if they do not manage certain events, then something bad will happen in the future or the outcome will not be beneficial to them. They feel the only way to be successful in said event or task is to handle it themselves.

Inability to give up control isn’t healthy. People that aren’t comfortable with trusting others to handle tasks or projects are often extremely stressed and very anxious. They spend a lot of time and energy planning, predicting, and preventing outcomes that are different than they originally planned. Unfortunately, the universe isn’t always predictable, and those planned outcomes don’t come with a guarantee.

Giving up control doesn’t just exist in the workplace. For example, LifeSquire personal assistants will wash and fold your laundry. It is perfectly okay to let your assistant know which clothing shouldn’t be put into the dryer or if it needs special care, but telling them not to do any washing because that one article may get handled incorrectly puts more stress on you. There is a lot of trust required to give up control, but it is important to try even if it is slowly. Once you see each task getting completed to your satisfaction, it will get easier and easier.

  • How to give up control

  • If the universe is fickle, and no matter how much you plan the outcome is still unpredictable, it only makes sense that we should give up control. This world is stressful enough without having to manage every detail in our lives. But how do you start giving up something you have done all of your life? Here are some simple ways to get started:

  • Start with simple tasks. You can’t just hand over every task and think you will be able to handle not doing them yourself. Instead, pick something simple to give up. For example, have your assistant go to the grocery store for you and trust them to clean out the expired items in your fridge.

  • Build trust. Trust doesn’t come right away, but when you have the people in your life help you more and more and you see that those tasks you managed before still get done and the world doesn’t stop, you’ll trust them to do more.

  • Imagine the worst-case scenario. When you start to let others handle tasks for you, imagine the worst-case scenario. If you let someone grocery shop for you, what is the worst thing that could happen? They forget your favorite yogurt?

  • Stop doing it yourself. In an ideal world, every task will get done exactly as you would do it, but we are all human and we all make mistakes. If your assistant makes a mistake, don’t just correct it yourself. Instead, let your assistant know what happened and give them a chance to make it right.

  • Communication is key. If you find yourself stressed about a particular task, don’t just tell your assistant to forget it. Instead, communicate, communicate, communicate. Let your assistant know the importance of the task and have them provide you with regular updates. Also, make sure you clearly communicate any important information they need while working on the task.

  • Practice mindfulness. Work on being present in the world. Work on focusing on the now and not what may or may not happen in the future. The reality is, we cannot control every situation, and recognizing that will help you in this process. Consider meditating if you start to feel anxious about a task. Eventually, you will realize that it is okay to not control everything.

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If you need help with the projects and tasks that are keeping you away from doing the things you love, you may need a LifeSquire. Learn more about our personal assistant service by contacting us at info@lifesquire.com.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

10 ways your rockstar assistant can make your life easier

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When you feel like your case of the Mondays happens every day of the week, you may be suffering from overwhelm. Whether you are just starting a business, running a large corporation, or somewhere in between, the key to minimizing overwhelm is in your office. Not sure what it is? The answer is simple, your assistant.

According to a Gallup study, 39% of business owners work over 60 hours a week. That’s 20 more hours a week than a normal employee.  But how do you cut back on the number of hours you work each week? You delegate to your rockstar assistant.

What a rockstar assistant can do for you

A rockstar assistant can do more than just answer the phone; instead they are an extension of the executive. They often handle all of the day-to-day work and problems in the office, but they can also manage how your work and personal life intermingle. Their goal is to make your life easier, but you will never feel the benefits if you don’t let them in and hand over control. Here are a few things your assistant should be doing for you:

 

Meeting  support

Whether you're leading or attending a meeting, you need support. Your assistant can help support you by preparing any paperwork and materials you need before your meeting. You can also have your assistant attend meetings and take notes for a debriefing when needed.

Inbox filter

How many hours a day do you spend reading, writing, and deleting email? Instead of ignoring your inbox when you’re busy, hand it over to your assistant. Create a system for your assistant to place emails that need your attention, but also empower them to respond to lesser important messages on your behalf.

Manage your schedule

From planning your meetings to your lunch, your assistant should manage your calendar. Always communicate any important dates or messages to your assistant and have them pencil you in. Giving up control of your calendar is stressful, but when managed successfully, it is a huge weight off of your shoulders.

Date planner

Never miss buying a gift or being at a family function when your assistant manages important dates. Hand over your personal calendar and have your assistant keep you informed when a special day is near. You can even send your assistant out to shop for gifts as needed.

Coordinate vendors

When your email isn’t working, or you need an important fix, your assistant should be there. When it comes to working with vendors and coordinating service, have your assistant schedule and meet with all service providers.

Office equipment aficionado

Instead of worrying about learning how to use all of the technology in the office, stick to the basics. Have your assistant learn how to use the equipment and even create easy-to-use training manuals. When you need to fax an important document, or have something scanned, delegate it to your assistant.

Organize your travel

When your meetings require travel, delegate the travel planning to your assistant. Have your assistant handle all of your flight and hotel booking and transportation needs. Before you leave, have your assistant program your transportation details into your favorite app.  If there is a chance your flight may be delayed, have your assistant monitor your travel so that they can make changes and reschedule as needed.

Personal errands

When you’re building a company, time is precious. Sometimes you may need to ask your assistant to handle personal errands or schedule household repairs. Don’t be afraid to ask your assistant to take care of these tasks while you focus on work.

Project finisher

Some projects don’t require you to complete them. Since your assistant is an extension of you, don’t be afraid to delegate some of the projects to them. When you hand over projects, make sure you communicate clearly what is needed and when it is due. Regularly follow-up on the progress of the projects so that you will know the status and can answer any questions that may arise.

Noted notary

Legal documents always require a notary. Having your assistant become a Notary Public in your state will save you a lot of time and added expenses.  

 

Learning curve

Your assistant is extremely important to your well-being and success, but training them isn’t always easy. That is where we come in. LifeSquire has created a professional assistant training program called LifeSquire Academy. When you send your assistant through this program, they not only learn the basics of how to be an assistant, but they will also learn how to meet and anticipate your needs, how to manage their time, how to create professional boundaries, and more. We feel these classes can take your assistant to rockstar level.  For more information, click here.

Need an assistant?

Did you know that it takes approximately 33 or more hours to find and place one employee? It could take even longer when you are looking for a certain set of skills. The time really adds up when you don’t find the perfect fit or the turnover gets high.

LifeSquire Connect goes beyond the typical cookie-cutter staffing agency and finds the perfect assistant (or any other support staff role) for you or your company. We find out what you need from the person in that role and customize our recruiting process to find you the perfect match.  You’re already busy without an assistant; you don’t need to add ‘hire an assistant’ to your to-do list. We can handle that for you. For more information, click here.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

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Tip Tuesday

Sometimes working with an assistant can be a struggle. We want to help make your working relationship better. Join our weekly Tip Tuesday email list by emailing info@lifesquire.com and letting us know you're interested.

16 tips for parents on how to make this school year the best

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From day trips to afternoons at the local waterpark, it can be hard to give up what summer break has to offer and get back into a school routine. But as the school year approaches, it is important to plan for more than just the first day of school. If you’re ready to have the best school year ever, follow our guide to get and keep your children school-ready.

Ease Into The First Day

The first day of school can be a challenge for you and your child. There is a lot of stress in starting a new year. Here are some tips to make your first day easier:

  • Get into a routine. Summer fun often includes late nights and later mornings, but as the alarm bell gets closer to ringing, it is important to be ready for it. You should start getting your child into their school routine at least two weeks before school starts. Read our post about how to get your child into their school routine easily.

  •  Organize school supplies. While you’re out school supply shopping, think about organization. It may seem weird, but sometimes parents just get the items on the list. Get all of the necessary supplies, but also consider getting pencil bags and containers to keep their supplies organized and easy to find. Also, open necessary supplies before sending your child to school.

  • Transportation. Before the first day, make sure you have a plan for getting your child to and from school. If they ride the bus, make sure you know where the bus stop is and what time it will arrive to pick your kids up. If you have someone taking your child to school and picking them up, make sure they know where the drop-off and pick-ups are located and the times for both. If you’re struggling to find someone to handle the transportation, contact LifeSquire.

  • Conquer first day jitters. No matter their age, your children may be nervous about starting a new school. Beat the first-day stress by going to the school beforehand. Show them how they will enter the school, where their classrooms are, and show them where places like the cafeteria and bathrooms are located. Also remind your child that everyone is nervous on their first day, even the teachers.

  • Storytime. If you feel your child is getting into the back-to-school blues, share your experiences. Tell your child stories about positive experiences you had during your school years. That will encourage and excite them about school.

 

Throughout The School Year

Even though the first day has passed, it is important to set your children up for success. Besides getting their quarterly report card and encouraging them to join school clubs, there are other things to encourage a school year full of learning. Here are our tips for ongoing success:

  • Activity Calendar. Your children will often be sent home with a schedule of activities throughout the year. In order to make sure that your child has a clean purple shirt on purple shirt day, create a calendar with all school events. An activity calendar will keep you from being caught off guard or missing any important events.

  • Snacks and meals. Children that eat a nutritious breakfast and have healthy snacks will be able to focus and function better at school and while at home. Plan out breakfast and snack options for your child during the week.

  • Have a lunch plan. It doesn’t matter if you want your children to eat lunch at school, you pack their lunches, or a mix of both, have a plan. Children are bound to not like every meal, so they will probably request a mix of both. To avoid a lunchless day, go through the schedule each week, and determine what your child likes. When packing lunches, follow our handy guide on how to make school lunches easier.

  • Late nights = struggles. Even through the sad puppy eyes, you have to be strong. Your children may beg and beg for another 30 minutes, but always stick to their bedtime schedule. Your child getting enough quality sleep is critical to their success in school. Always make sure they follow their nightly routine and get adequate sleep.

  • Buddy system. Encourage your child to become friends with another child that lives near you. The buddy system is important for walking to school and for waiting at bus stops. It also will make them more confident and comfortable starting and ending each school day.

  • Encourage reading. Even during the school season, you should encourage your child to read. Take them to the library regularly to pick out books. Set a book reading goal for the year and maybe a prize for accomplishing it. Do something that keeps them encouraged to explore the literary world.

 

Create Excellent Homework And Study Habits

We send our children to school so that they learn and grow into educated decision-makers. Unfortunately, with all the activities and goals you and your child set, they may not have adequate study time. Here are some tips to ensure your children get the best study time possible:

  • Study space. Create a homework and study space that includes supplies your child will need. Make sure it has limited distractions and have them do their homework and studying there each night. Their work space is key to effective studying.

  • Ample time. Make sure when scheduling activities after school, that your child has ample study time. Don’t rush them through homework to make it to their little league game.

  • Technology. Create a household rule that all electronic distractions (i.e. phone, television, and more) stay off during study time. If your child needs to use the Internet or computer for homework, supervise them to make sure they stay on track.

  • Know the due dates. Children can be forgetful or not know when their homework is due. Make sure that you know their assignment deadlines and make them visible for your child. Include a paper calendar in their study space and write due dates for each assignment. Teach your child how to prioritize their homework.

  • The struggle is real. If you see your child struggling in a particular subject, don’t let it continue. Schedule a meeting to talk to their teacher about their struggles and get recommendations for people that can help them get back on track. It is OK for your child to need a tutor.

 

If you find yourself overwhelmed during the school year, reach out to LifeSquire. We provide quality personal assistants that will purchase school supplies, provide safe transportation to and from school and other events, meal and snack prep, and more.

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

9 tips to keep your pets summer safe

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With warmer temperatures outside, you’ll likely want to get outdoors and play with your pets. But did you know that the dog days of summer can put your pets in a furry situation?

As the sun beats down this summer, make sure you keep your pet safe from the elements. Here are 9 tips to keep your pet safe this summer:

Water and shade

Playtime can be dangerous without plenty of water and shade when it is hot outdoors. It is important to remember that your pets are thirstier than you are. When they play out in the heat, they will need more water to avoid dehydration. If your pets have dry gums or become excessively drooly, they may be dehydrated.

Having a shady spot also will help your pet stay more comfortable in the sun. While your pets love to sunbathe, too much direct sunlight can cause heatstroke and dehydration.

Understand heatstroke

Did you know that your pet can also suffer from heatstroke?  You probably already know that dogs and cats do not sweat, so instead, they drink water and pant to bring down their body temperature. If their temperature stays too high, they will suffer from heatstroke. It is important to watch for the signs so that you can get your pet help.

Signs of heatstroke:

  • Heavy panting

  • Dry or bright red gums

  • Thick drool

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Wobbly legs

If your pet shows these signs, move your pet to a cool place and give them water. You can also put a damp towel on their body to help cool them off while you call your vet. Just don’t put your pet in cold water, that could lead to shock.

Paw patrol

Be mindful of the temperature of the roads and concrete when walking your dog during summer months. They can get really hot and burn your dog’s paws. A great way to check if the roads are too hot is to put the back of your hand on the cement. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for them. If you would like to go on summer walks without burn fears, consider getting your pup some shoes.

Swimming safety

Dogs love to swim and keep cool in the water. If you plan to take your pet to the pool, lake, or ocean this summer, consider getting them a life vest. Even the best swimmers can struggle with getting out of the water or currents. Think safety first when it comes to water time.

Safely keep bugs away

Rain and heat are great for things we hate, bugs. There is always the fight against fleas and ticks, but other summer bugs can carry diseases. Make sure you treat your pets against fleas and ticks; we recommend using a Seresto flea and tick collar or using a heartworm pill that also controls fleas and ticks like Sentinel, but always check with your vet before starting any new treatment.

Also, be cautious when using pesticides and fertilizer on your lawn. There are chemicals in some of these products that can be toxic to your pets. Keep your lawn in pet play areas cut short to help keep bugs at bay. If you have to use pesticides, find ones that are safer for pets.

Never leave your pet in the car

Your dog probably jumps around excited when you mention a car ride. While it is fun to take your pet with you on the go, never leave them in the car. Even 70 degrees outdoors can be dangerous for your pet. Your car can heat up to 90 degrees in 10 minutes. If you have to leave your pet in the car, cracking the window isn’t enough. Leave the air conditioner on and blowing to keep them safe.

Antifreeze watch

When cars run and heat up during the summer, they can leak antifreeze and leave puddles in driveways and on the street. If you take your pets out for walks during the summer months or even trips around town, make sure you keep your pet away from the puddles. Antifreeze is toxic and potentially deadly for pets.

Sun protection

You put sunscreen on yourself to protect against the sun, but did you know that some dogs need sunscreen too? Often, dogs with short hair and pink skin are susceptible to sunburn. Check with your vet to see if your dog needs extra protection and how to apply it safely.

Pet care

Beach dreaming and travel can keep you away from your pet this summer. When it comes to pet care, make sure you hire someone you can trust to watch them while you’re away. LifeSquire offers pet and house sitting to make your overnight stays a breeze. Contact us for more information .

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

15 tips & tricks to move like a pro

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Congratulations on finding your new home! Next comes the fun part, the actual move.

Now that you know you will be moving, it is time to start getting those boxes and packing away your items. You know that you should pack fragile items together, use packing tape instead of masking tape, and to label your boxes, but there is more. We thought of some unique moving tips and wanted to share them with you.

Utility move

Avoid a weekend in the dark without water by scheduling a transfer as soon as possible. It can take a few days to set-up electric, water, gas, and more during your move, so when you know your move date, call your utility companies.

Overnight ready

Odds are, after your move you won’t want to start unpacking boxes to find your essentials. Instead of searching for your toothbrush and favorite pajamas, pack an overnight bag. Keep your overnight bag in the car with you, and you’ll be able to say goodnight without hunting through boxes.

New home prep

If possible, try to get to your new place and clean the kitchen and bathroom before you move.  Try to clean more if you can, but those two rooms are the most important. Also, set-up your bathroom with your shower curtain, clean towels, and don’t forget the toilet paper.

Pack ahead

Packing can be stressful, but it is even more stressful to pack on the day of your move. Don’t be extra sleepy on moving day because you stayed up all night packing. Be ready for your move in advance.

Leave the drawers

Instead of emptying all of the drawers, pull them out and wrap them with saran wrap. You’ll save box space and can avoid having to unpack and reorganize them.

Create a number system

When packing your boxes, also create a numbered spreadsheet. Label the box with the number and put a list of items for that number on a spreadsheet. This will keep you from having to dig through every bathroom box to find your hairdryer.

Purge unwanted items

When packing, don’t just throw everything into a box thinking you will donate items as you unpack. It is easier to discard and donate unwanted items before you move. As you pack, decide if you really need the items you are boxing up.

Bag it up

When taking down TV mounts, removing doors, or other hardware, make use of sandwich bags. Put all of the nuts and bolts in the bag, use a Sharpie (https://www.sharpie.com/) to label the bag, and tape it to the item.

Take a photo

Before removing the cords from appliances or technology, snap a photo. It will be easier for you to plug the cords in the right spots later if you can glance at a guide.

Use what you have

Make use of baskets, trunks, hampers, luggage, and more for packing. Not sure you can carry a box of heavy books? Use a rolling suitcase to pack your favorite reads.

Color coding

Color is your friend when it comes to moving. You can write the room each box goes to on the box, or you can use easy to see color. Grab a few rolls of different color tape and add it to the box. Write the name of the room on the tape just to be safe.

Schedule a pick-up

At least a week or two before you move, schedule a nonprofit to come pick-up your unwanted items. It will keep you from having to load up the items and take them over for donation. Not sure who to donate to? We recommend Focus On Home.

Be a good host

If your friends and family are helping you move, make sure you have plenty of water, drinks, and snacks. Also, opt to buy pizza for your helpers. If you’ve hired movers, it is still nice to offer treats and drinks.

Change your address

Don’t forget that you need to update your address. Have your mail forwarded by USPS, update your address on all of your credit cards, store accounts, magazine subscriptions, PayPal, your bank, and driver’s license. Try to get this done within two weeks of moving.

Schedule LifeSquire to organize

Now that you are in your new home full of new spaces, it is time to get organized. Schedule LifeSquire to come organize your new home. We specialize in organization and can set-up any room or closet for easy use.

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For more moving tips, see our previous post 8 ways to make moving a breeze.

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

10 tips to get you prepared for your summer vacation

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As the weather heats up, you’re likely beach dreaming. But before you can put your toes in the sand, you have to prepare for your trip. Forgetting to do something as little as taking out the trash could dampen your vacation.

With all the excitement of exploring somewhere new or returning to your favorite place, you can often forget some essential tasks before you board your jet plane. From packing to preventing a moldy fridge, LifeSquire is sharing some tips on how to get you ready for your summer trip.

 

  • Check your passport. If you have summer travel plans, don’t forget to check the expiration date on your passport. Don’t wait until you’re about to board the plan to renew. It often takes longer during summer months to receive your updated passport in the mail.

  • Book your pet sitter. Don’t forget about your furbabies! Make sure you schedule a pet sitter in advance to care for your pets. LifeSquire offers pet and home sitting, contact us (https://www.lifesquire.com/contact) to schedule.

  • Call your bank. When traveling, make sure you call your bank and let them know when you are traveling and where you are going. Don’t get locked out of your funds because you didn’t make the call.

  • Stop your mail. While you’re away, have USPS (https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/) stop delivering your mail to your house. Alternatively, you can have your LifeSquire bring in your mail when we check on your house.

  • Skin protection. Your skin doesn’t want to go to war with the sun. Now is the time to stock up on sunscreen before you spend your time soaking up the Vitamin D.

  • The great purge. Before you put the luggage in the car, make sure you won’t come home to refrigerator mold. Check expiration dates and remove everything that will go bad before you get home. You won’t want to clean up right after your trip.

  • Copies, copies, copies. Even if you don’t like paper, you should make copies of important documents before traveling. Consider making copies of your confirmation numbers, itineraries, passports, credit card information, insurance cards, and emergency medical information. These can come in handy if you happen to run into any problems.

  • Make a list. When packing right before your trip, it is easy to forget essential items. Before you pack, make a checklist so that you don’t forget your most important items. Don’t forget your phone charger and portable battery!

  • Roll your clothes. Roll all of your clothes for maximum luggage capacity and minimal wrinkles. If you don’t like to roll, you can also use compression bags and roll the air out by hand.

  • Prepare your house.  Close the curtains and blinds, set the automatic lights, leave a radio playing, unplug appliances, and set the alarm before you leave.

 

Not having to worry about forgotten items or coming home to horrid smells will help you enjoy your time away from home. If you need help planning and preparing for your vacation, LifeSquire is here.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

8 ways to put the fun in summer break

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As the school doors close for summer, you’ll be the main component for entertainment for the next few months. As the days go by, you might hear the words, “I’m bored,” come out of your kid’s mouths. Keep the boredom away by preparing for a fun summer break. Here are some tips on how to get ready:

 

  • Annual passes. From the local zoo to amusement parks, several places offer annual passes. Consider purchasing some passes for fun activities throughout the summer.  Also, check to see what summer events those places have and put them in your calendar.

  • Summer camp.  There are a ton of different summer camps available, but they usually fill up fast. If you’re sending your children to summer camp, get them enrolled as soon as possible. Once enrolled, make sure they have all of the necessary supplies to have a good time at camp. Also, get your children any identification they may need for the travel.

  • Keep track of get-togethers. Summer is the perfect time for families and friends to plan get-togethers, reunions, and parties. When the invites come in, make sure you mark your calendar. You don’t want to miss out on the fun. Get your kids excited for the parties by having them help prepare food and other party favors.

  • Book challenge. Explore distant lands in your own living room. Inspire your children to read this summer by creating your own book challenge. Take a weekly trip to the library to check out a new book. Once they read a pre-set amount of books, reward them.

  • Swim like a fish. With warmer weather comes water activities. Make sure your children know proper pool safety and how to swim before summer is in full swing. Enroll your children in swim lessons, so that pool parties are more fun than terrifying.

  • Travel local. Take short road trips to state parks and local hotspots. Pack a picnic for even more excitement on the road. Before you go, also prepare an emergency kit, bring extra clothes, and don’t forget the water.

  • Learn something new. Consider enrolling your children in some classes this summer to learn something new. Art classes, cooking classes, or music lessons can keep your children entertained and still keeps them learning.

  • Activity books. If you’re worried about the long summer break, consider getting some age-appropriate school activity books to keep their school content fresh. Set aside some time daily to work on these books.

 

Summer is a great time for your kids to keep learning and try new things. If you find yourself struggling to create activities or get them from one place to the other, LifeSquire can help. We offer children transportation services and creativity.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

9 ways to get your home ready for the summer heat

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While it may seem like the most important thing you need to do to prepare for summer is to pick out the best sunscreen, there is more. As the temperature heats up, your home should be ready to beat the heat. No one wants to come home to a scorching home, an algae-filled pool, or a cracked foundation. Besides getting a standard A/C tune-up and the regular home things you do, here are some other ways to make sure you stay cool this summer:

 

  • Gutter gleam. Your gutters are clogged from all of the leaves that fell during the fall. Keep your gutters from overflowing by having the debris removed.

  • Shingled out. Cold winter temperatures and spring storms can take a toll on your shingles. Avoid finding leaky spots by having your roof inspected. Get any repairs completed as soon as possible to keep your home in tip-top shape.

  • The white stuff. When your windows let in air, your air conditioner has to work harder to keep your home cool. Have the LifeSquire handyman add a fresh coat of caulking around your windows to beat the leaky window heat.

  • Water more than the plants. When the ground under your home dries out from summer heat, it can mess up your home’s foundation. During dry summer days, make sure to water your home’s foundation at least once a week. When in drought, water the foundation several times a week.

  • Fix your tools. During the summer months, you break out a lot of tools and equipment. Have the tune-up on your lawnmower taken care of. Clean your grill before your next meal. Have your pool inspected so that you can spend the summer in the cool water. Whatever tools you use, give them a check before they are regularly used.

  • Waterworks. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing. It is always a good idea to have a plumber come out for a pipe inspection to stop and prevent any leaks.

  • Trim around the bushes. Your trees will bloom and grow all season. Have them trimmed to avoid problems with power lines and other objects that don’t need to be consumed by branches.

  • Streak-free. After the winter weather and spring pollen, your windows aren’t exactly spotless. Book window cleaners to come out and put the shine back in your glass.

  • The cool down. Your attic holds a lot of heat. Before the temperature gets too bad, have your insulation checked. Add extra insulation to your attic to help beat the heat.

 

When you get all of the maintenance and chores out of the way, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the summer months. If you don’t have time to complete them all, LifeSquire can help. 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

Tips on how to prepare for severe weather season you probably didn’t think about

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From damaging winds to tornadoes, it’s the craziest time of the year in Oklahoma. You already know that if a tornado is coming, you should seek shelter and watch or listen to the news until you know you are safe, but there are several things you should do before the bad weather hits.

We spoke with Hail Trace’s Lead Meteorologist John Choquette for some tips on severe weather safety.  Here are some of his tips to stay safe this tornado season:

  • Go into your storm shelter and clean it out. Make sure it is ready if you need it.

  • Put all of your important paperwork and medication in one spot so that it easy to grab if you have to take shelter or evacuate.

  • Purchase a portable phone charger and make sure it is charged.  A portable phone charger is “pocket juice,” according to Choquette.

  • Download weather apps and make sure to have the “loud, annoying, and scary notifications turned on your phone. Those noises will definitely wake you up if a storm comes in the middle of the night,” he said.

  • Create an emergency kit or go-bag that has products you need to survive for a few days.

Weather apps LifeSquire recommends

More and more weather apps are coming onto the market, but when you live in a state with high severe weather activity, you need apps that work when you need it.  Here are a few of the apps we use and trust:

  • MyRadar: This is an animated radar for your phone. You can easily zoom in and out on the app to see what is going on in your area. The radar is professional quality. This app will also send you push notifications about weather warnings in your area. Available for iOS or Android.

  • News 9 Weather: This app centers around the Oklahoma City area. It has been recently updated and shows you everything meteorologist David Payne is forecasting. You will get severe weather push notifications, you can set up to 5 preset locations to receive notifications about, and you can listen to local weather forecasts. Available for iOS and Android.

  • KFOR 4Warn Me: This app provides you with warnings and information about the weather, but it also includes live streaming of newscasts, breaking weather and news events. Available for iOS and Android.

If you don’t live in Oklahoma, look for apps from your local news stations. They often offer warnings and immediate coverage of your area.

What to include in your emergency kit

To be prepared for an emergency you need more than a few band-aids and an Ace bandage. We consulted the experts, Ready.gov, to find out what you should include in your kit. Ready.gov recommends:

  • At least 3 gallons of water per person, for sanitation and hydration

  • At least a 3 day supply of food for every person

  • Battery-powered or hand crank weather radio

  • Flashlight and batteries

  • First-aid kit

  • Whistle for signaling for help

  • Dust masks

  • Moist towelettes and garbage bags

  • Manual can opener

  • Portable batteries for cellphone

Extras we suggest:

  • Plastic ponchos

  • A small amount of spare cash

  • Emergency blankets for each person

  • Advil/Tylenol and wound care products

  • Extra batteries for flashlights

This is just the basic list, there are other things you can include. Visit their site for a full list to get you emergency ready.

How can LifeSquire help?

You have enough on your plate, so have your LifeSquire help. Your personal assistant is available to check your storm shelters and get them ready for you. Your assistant is also available to get the supplies you need and create your emergency kits. Just add a task to the LifeSquire App.

Don’t have a personal assistant? We can also help you. We offer assistant service on demand, by project, or on a monthly package basis. Contact us for more information about personal assistant service.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

10 Spring cleaning hacks to spruce up your home

As the temperature warms up, you can’t help but get in the mood to clean up your home. From opening the windows to scrubbing the floors, it’s time to let the fresh air in and get the dust-out.

While you already know you should clean the ceiling fans and the baseboards, there are plenty of other tasks you may not have considered.  We have compiled 10 of our best Spring Cleaning hacks and wanted to share them with you.

Beat the kitchen sink stink

Does your kitchen sink have a smell you just can’t get out? Cut the rind of a lemon in thin slices and run it through the garbage disposal. Follow with cold water, and the stink will be gone.

Microwave magic

Heating up food can be so messy. Have you ever fought so hard to get those pesky stains off of your microwave that you ended up with a sore arm the next day? We have a trick to make it easier. In a microwave safe bowl, add a cup of water and a half a cup of vinegar. If you want you can add some of the lemons you didn’t use for the sink. Put it in the microwave and cook it for at least five minutes (maybe more). The solution should be boiling. Let the solution cool for 15 minutes before opening the door.  Remove the solution and wipe out the inside of your microwave.

Grocery bag grime

You’re saving the planet cutting out one plastic bag at a time, but did you know those reusable bags can hold bacteria and lingering food? Regularly run your grocery bags through the wash to keep the grime and germs away.

Get your stainless steel stainless

Keep those fingerprints at bay with an easy solution. Mix one teaspoon of dish detergent and one quart of hot water. Use a microfiber cloth and the solution to rub small circles on the spots. Rinse with hot water and dry immediately.

Junk busters

Go through your junk drawers and discard anything you haven’t used or needed in the last year. When replacing the leftover objects, use small organization containers to keep everything easily accessible. Your junk drawers will look less junky and more organized.

Makeup managed

It is important to keep your makeup current. Check expiration dates and discard anything that is expired. Not all products will have a specific date on the package, but they will say how many months they are good for after opening.

While you’re in your makeup storage, you should also clean your brushes. Put a drop of shampoo or dish soap onto your palm and rub the bristles into the soap. Gently work the suds into all of the bristles and hold the bristles down to rinse under the faucet. Gently shake and lay the brushes on a paper towel to dry.

Vacuum the hidden places

There are a lot of hard to reach places throughout your house. When you’re doing your deep cleaning, move your furniture and vacuum behind and underneath it. Even though these areas aren’t high traffic areas, they still collect a lot of dust.

Beautiful bookshelves

After reading your books or magazines, you may just throw them on the shelf. Instead of alphabetizing them (yes, we really do discourage this), organize by size and color. Your shelves will be more aesthetically pleasing. While you’re organizing the shelves, don’t forget to dust and remove any unwanted marks or stains.

Disinfect the toys

Make use of the dishwasher to wash your children’s and your pet’s toys. You can run all the plastic toys in the dishwasher on a quick cycle, just make sure you skip the heated dry. For stuffed toys, read the instructions on the tag. If the tag is missing, put the toys into a mesh bag or pillowcase and wash on the gentle cycle.

Appliances need love too

While you’re cleaning every crevice of your home, don’t forget about the big ones. Make sure you share some of the cleaning love with your appliances. You can get packets of cleaner to run through your dishwasher and your washer. Also, run the clean cycle on your oven, and make sure you clean out and wipe down the inside of your refrigerator. 

 

Don’t have enough time to get all of these tasks done? Put the tasks in the LifeSquire App, and your LifeSquire personal assistant will tackle them for you.

 

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring Cleaning Checklist

It’s time to get your clean on, so download our free Spring Cleaning Checklist to keep you on track.