Archive for June, 2013

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Ten Ways for Work-at-Home Moms to Get Moving

Categories: Working? Living?

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About a month ago, I experienced an annoying pain in my left calf as I settled myself down to bed for the night. The pain felt like a Charlie horse, except it was located in one very specific small spot, and it lasted about an hour. Fortunately, it went away and I was able to get to sleep, but it worried me for a few days. There is a history of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) blood clots in my family and so I am familiar with the symptoms, which include a Charlie horse-like sudden pain in the calf.

People who live a sedentary lifestyle or sit for long periods of time are more likely to suffer from blood clots (“On the Alert for Deep-Vein Blood Clots”—Harvard Health Publications). I do consider myself to be an active person; I’m always running around doing errands, gardening, cleaning the house, or using the elliptical machine in our basement. However, I do spend a lot of time during the day sitting at a desk.

When I worked full-time in “cubicle land” I would find all kinds of excuses to get up from my desk and take a little walk around the floor where I worked. I’d grab a coffee, go to the bathroom, or find someone I needed to talk to…anything to get me out of that cubicle. Sometimes I forget that even though I work from home now, I should still get up from my desk every now and then to get moving and stay active.

News from Harvard Health confirms that,

“You can take simple steps to prevent DVT and PE. Moving your legs is the best medicine:
• If you have to sit for several hours—on a plane, in a train or car, or at work—try to get up and move around as often as you can.”

In no particular order, I’ve come up with a list of ten of the activities I most like to do when I need to get up and away from my home office desk in an effort to prevent health problems such as DVT. Each task takes 15 minutes or less and gets my legs moving!


Image source: Participaction

1. Head down to the porch to deadhead and water my flowers.
2. Take a walk to the mailbox around the corner to retrieve the mail.
3. Take the neighbour’s dog for a walk around the block.
4. Collect the laundry from around the house and throw on a load. Better yet, take the clothes from the washer and hang them out on the clothesline.
5. Empty and/or load the dishwasher.
6. Run up and down the stairs a few times.
7. Vacuum one level of the house.
8. Jump rope.
9. Take a photo walk around the neighbourhood.
10. Pull weeds until one bucket is full.

If you work from home, what do you do to get yourself away from your desk every once in awhile?

Five Must-haves for a Functional and Beautiful Home Office

Categories: The Juggle

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My home office is not something I would ever consider beautiful. I guess that’s why I love to imagine a beautiful and organized place for me to work in at home. I do hope to remedy this situation soon, giving my home office a bit of a face lift this summer.

Because we only have one child, our three-bedroom home has a room that is devoted to work. Unfortunately, that room is also devoted to piles of…stuff. As I write, there is a pile of books on the floor that is destined for either donation or the trash. There is a box of newly-delivered business supplies in the other corner, and my recycling bin is overflowing. The vacuum cleaner has also mysteriously appeared against one wall.

I do make efforts to keep the home office organized. I have a filing cabinet, a book case, and a pair of shelves on the wall above my desk with bins and baskets for pens, post-it notes and other office supplies, but the arrangement of them is far from pretty.

Office Cat

Not exactly the look and feel of a dream home office around here…

Like recipes, I also collect photographs of beautiful home offices. And like all social media junkies, the place I turn to for inspiration is Pinterest. I have a board on Pinterest called Home Office Inspiration where I’ve gathered photos of some prettily organized home office spaces from which to draw inspiration for fixing up my home office space.

I looked at my Home Office Inspiration collection to figure out what I like best about these home offices and what needs to be done to bring mine up to snuff.

1. Natural light. My office does have a big window that faces northeast. The light in the morning is particularly lovely. All I need to do to fix up the window in the home office is to put up some curtains or another pretty window dressing.

2. Open shelving for office supplies, books and files. I do have open shelving already so they just need to be fixed up and more efficiently organized.

3. Decorative accessories and artwork. This is an area I am lacking in. My home office is functional but not stylish.

4. A soothing color on the walls. Yikes. The walls in this room are a shade of yellow called “corn muffin” or something similar. It is not a soothing color. So it seems like my first step in fixing up the home office should be to paint.

5. A simple desk surface on which to work. I’ve got a large, simple surface to work on…we picked up this IKEA desk years ago and it has worked really well ever since. I don’t need to buy any new furniture.

Is your home office setup working well for you? Is it a place you enjoy working in?

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