Eliminating Business Hassles

Tips To Make Managing An Apartment Complex Easier

Posted by on 3:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Make Managing An Apartment Complex Easier

As an apartment manager, it probably seems like you have an endless amount of jobs to complete each day. With everything from fielding tenant complaints to leasing apartments on your plate, you probably don’t have a minute to spare during the day. in fact, without proper organization and time management skills, your job can probably become very stressful quickly. It’s important that you do whatever you can to streamline your work process. Check out these tips to learn how to make your job easier. Complaint Protocol It’s important that your residents’ complaints are addressed quickly. After all, the complaints you get are complaints about people’s homes. Unfortunately, if you answered your own phone, there’s a good chance you’d spend the majority of the day putting out small fires all over your apartment community. Because you can’t always drop everything that you’re doing to tend to the problems of your residents, you should consider hiring an answering service. This way, when your residents have complaints, they can call the phone number that goes to your answering service. Your answering service can take a message for you, and then, you can check the messages several times per day. By handling resident complaints during specific blocks of time instead of handling them as they come in, you don’t have constant work interruptions and you’ll end up getting more work completed. Maintenance Plan The fact is, things are going to break and it’s your responsibility to make sure repairs are made. In order to do this efficiently, you need to have a maintenance plan in place. Your plan should include a specific process for your tenants to follow when they need to have something in their apartment repaired, as well as outline what type of repairs your on-site maintenance crew will handle and what type of repairs you’ll be outsourcing. Consider hiring an answering service to field maintenance calls. The employees from the answering service can also prioritize maintenance calls for you if you create a list the indicates which type of calls maintenance calls should be handled immediately. Make sure you advise your answering service on what to do if a tenant calls for emergency maintenance service, such as their heat not working or a leaking pipe. Know what your maintenance staff is capable of doing. You might have a great maintenance crew, but it isn’t likely that your staff knows how to handle every single problem that could occur. You should utilize your on-site maintenance staff as much as you possibly can, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t outsource any jobs. Create an outsourcing list that includes the type of jobs that you want to outsource, as well as the name and contact information of the vendor that your apartment community will be using. Teach your maintenance supervisor how to prioritize maintenance tasks. The fact is, the more you can delegate small jobs, the less work you have to handle on your own. So, teach your maintenance supervisor how to prioritize maintenance requests like you would. Then, have your maintenance supervisor create a daily to-do list each day, and keep a copy in your office so that it’s easy for you to follow up on the maintenance tasks throughout the day. Ultimately, as an apartment manager, you have a lot of...

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Tips For Dealing With A Different Body After A Complete Mastectomy

Posted by on 2:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Dealing With A Different Body After A Complete Mastectomy

As if fighting for your life against breast cancer is not enough of a blow, dealing with your new body after surgery for breast cancer can be just as tough and challenging. For some women, the change in how they look can be a tremendous stress, causing anxiety and low self-esteem that can lead to depression. Find out how you can help to improve your look with a mastectomy bra and prosthesis after a complete mastectomy for breast cancer. What Is A Breast Prosthesis? You may be surprised to know that many women wear special mastectomy bras ideal for supporting breast prosthetic forms. A breast prosthesis is a man-made form that is used to replace a missing breast or even parts of a breast after radical surgery for breast cancer. Breast prosthetic forms are made out of materials that allow the movement and feel of natural breast tissue, so you never have to worry about them appearing fake. Many women that have survived breast cancer find that wearing a mastectomy bra with prosthetic forms gives them the look they lost to cancer. Your physician can write you a prescription for breast prosthetic forms made just for you. Taking Time To Heal Is Important Before you can be fitted for a mastectomy bra and breast prosthetic, you will need to take the time to heal completely from your surgery. Visiting a specially trained fitter is always best for ensuring you get the bra and prosthetic that will conform to your body. Specially trained fitters also have the training necessary to assess whether you are ready for a mastectomy bra and artificial breast form. However, it is always best to discuss your time for fitting and your personal readiness for one with your doctor. Remember To Speak Up When you are being fitted for a mastectomy bra and artificial form, you will have the opportunity to decide if the ones you try on are to your satisfaction. If you are not happy with the results, be sure to tell your fitter and you can try something else. If you do not let the fitter know you are not happy, you will end up taking home the bra and prosthetic you do not like that much. Keep in mind the primary goal of you wearing a mastectomy bra and prosthetic is to increase your self-esteem and happiness with your new look. Your mastectomy bra does not have to be one that is boring and just white. Some manufacturers make mastectomy bras that are gorgeous with colorful lace and satin material. If you are recovering from breast surgery, know that you can get back to life and can do so looking great despite a mastectomy procedure. Contact a company like Dianne’s Mastectomy for more information....

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3 Carpet Cleaning Tips

Posted by on 11:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Carpet Cleaning Tips

The look and cleanliness of your carpets rests primarily on you, the homeowner. Although you should be getting your carpets professionally cleaned regularly, you cannot get professionals to come to your house every time you have a spill on the carpet. Here are some things that you need to know about caring for your carpet when there is a stain or spill. 1. The Temperature Of The Water Plays An Important Role The temperature of water that you should use on the stain will depend on the nature of the stain. If you use the wrong temperature you could make the stain worse. For this reason, you should be clear about what temperature to use before you start. For example, if you have spilled milk you should use warm or hot water. This will help the milk soften enough to come off of the carpet. Conversely, if you have a bloodstain, warm or hot water will only make the stain worse. The heat will make the blood spread farther into the carpet. This is why you should only use cold water for bloodstains. Before you clean a stain, make sure you consult a professional about the temperature. 2. Always Blot A Stain With A Clean Towel Another important feature is blotting the stain instead of rubbing it. You should take a clean towel and use one part of the towel to push down on the stain for a couple seconds. Then pull the towel up and use a new side to do it again. It may take a few attempts at blotting to get the stain pulled up. Although you might think that it works better and faster to scrub the stain out, you could risk setting the stain farther into the carpet. This will cause the stain to get in the roots of the carpet and to spread. This is why you never scrub; always blot. 3. Use Upholstery Cleaner, Not Laundry Detergent Many people think that they can use laundry detergent to clean their carpet. The problem is that the material used for carpet and the materials used for clothing are very different. Using laundry detergent can stain the carpet, make it shrink, or cause a series of other problems. This is why you should avoid using laundry detergent and instead only use something that has been specifically designed for carpet or upholstery. By understanding how to care for your carpet you can keep it looking nice and clean. Contact a professional like Kelly Carpet Cleaning Ltd for more...

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Tips to Help Your Elderly Parents Downsize Their Home

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Are you helping your elderly parents to downsize to a smaller house or apartment? Are they having a tough time getting rid of all the precious belongings that they’ve collected over the years? While you may no longer feel any attachment to the piece of macaroni art that you did in kindergarten and your parents may have had it in their attic for years, it can be difficult for your parents to accept that this is something that can be thrown away. If this feels like a losing battle, here are some tips on how to successfully help your parents move into a smaller place: Start with just two groupings: Help your parents to sort things into things that should be given away, whether to charity or to other family members, and things that won’t be given away. By eliminating the pressure of finding things that have to be thrown away, you’ll help your parents overcome some of their stress. While they may rationally know that they don’t actually need four egg beaters, they may have a hard time simply throwing three of them away. By giving them to their favorite thrift shop instead, they’ll know that those extra eggbeaters will either go to someone in need or will be sold to provide funds for someone in need. Rent a mini storage unit: Once you’ve given away as much as possible, you may find that your parents still have too much stuff. While their new home may not have a place for their favorite Christmas decorations, they may not want to throw them away or give them to anyone else either. A mini storage unit can be a great place to keep items that are only used for part of the year. Find a company near your parents’ home like Guardian Storage Ltd Storage Solutions to get a unit that meets their needs. Sort into two more groups: After giving things away, throwing away the trash, and putting seasonal items into their mini storage, your parents may still have entirely too much stuff. Help your parents sort these remaining items into things that are absolutely necessary and things they think they might need in the future. Have your parents agree to put the things that they might need into their mini storage unit, but have everyone agree to put a time limit on these items. You may decide that if nobody uses the items in a year, they should be given away or sold. Avoid giving irreplaceable heirlooms, like family photos or military records, a time limit even if they are rarely looked...

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Doing Business In China? Make Sure Your Colors Translate

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Translating business documents can be a very tricky business, especially when you add words and phrases about colors into the mix. Not only does every language have different words for each color, each language has a unique relationship each color. The cultural meanings of colors can vary greatly. If you are working with a Chinese based business, make sure the colors you choose translate verbally as well as culturally by using this cultural color guide.  Red In Canada, red has multiple cultural meanings that vary depending on the context. Red is used to convey energy and excitement. It is also used to convey passion and love, as can be seen by its association with Valentine’s Day and Christmas. However, red can also be used to convey anger. Finally, red on signs is a signal to stop.  In China, the color red is also used in many ceremonies and festive occasions, but for a different reason than it is in Canada. Red is the color of prosperity and luck in China. It is associated with happiness, celebration, vitality and a long life. It does not have the duel negative associations, such as anger, that it does in Canada.  Yellow In Canada, yellow, like red, can be taken in two very different ways. Yellow is often used to convey happiness, joy, sunshine and hope. However, yellow is also often used to caution people and warn of hazards.  In China, yellow is a sacred color that is associated with honor and masculinity. It is also the color that is associated with royalty.  Green Green is one color where some of the cultural meanings overlap. In both Canada and China, green is associated with spring, new life, hope and fertility.  Green also has similar negative meanings in both cultures. In Canada, green is associated with greed and jealousy. In China, it is also often associated with disgrace.  Blue In Canada, shades of blue are used to convey many different things, such as:  Peace Calmness Sadness Masculinity In China, up until very recent times, there was not even a word for the color blue. Blue was generally grouped together with green. However, there is now a word for the color blue. Blue, in China, still represents some of the same things that green does – new life and vitality. Blue has also come to be associated with femininity, the exact opposite of its association in the Canada. Orange Orange has a similar meaning in both the Canada and China. It is associated with transformation in both cultures. In the United States, this is generally associated with the seasonal transformation from fall to winter. In China, it is associated with the interaction between fire and light, red and yellow, which produces the color orange. If your business is working closely with the Chinese market or with Chinese businesses, make sure that the colors you use do not get lost in translation. In order to convey the same color messages with your marketing and your products, you will need to produce different products for both markets. In your writing, be aware of the ways in which you use color words and phrases, and how those can be interpreted differently. If you are having a difficult time trying to make your business materials more applicable to other...

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The Importance Of Reviewing Your Tax Withholdings

Posted by on 3:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance Of Reviewing Your Tax Withholdings

When most people get hired, they are asked to fill out a W-4 form. While you probably only spent about 5 minutes looking over it and filling it out, this document is crucial to your standings with the IRS. The W-4 form dictates to your employer how much money should be taken out of your paycheck for taxes. If you choose to have too little come out, you could be forced to pay a lot at the end of the year to the IRS. If you pay too much, you could get a refund back that is essentially your own money. Trying to figure out how much to withhold can be difficult if you have kids or your situation is likely to change through the year. Fortunately, you can adjust your withholding if your situation changes. Here are some reasons why you would do that.  New Baby Whether you have a baby or adopt a child, this could mean a big change in your taxes. There are several credits that you are eligible for when you bring a new dependent into the house. This could mean big savings to you at the end of the year. You may want to increase the amount of dependents on your W-4 to ensure you get the full amount on your paycheck. You’re going to need that money with a new family member in the home.  Marriage and Divorce If you are getting married or divorced, the number should be changed on your W-4 form. If you are getting a divorce, you may no longer qualify for the same tax benefits as you would if you were married. If you are getting married, you can increase the number of tax credits you are eligible. This can make a big difference on your paychecks and when you go to file your taxes.  Second Job Many people find that one job just won’t pay the bills. If you have recently got a second job, you need to account for the increase in income. You can do this by increasing your tax withholding so you don’t have to pay back a bunch of money when you file at the end of the year.  Unemployed If anytime during the year, you were unemployed, you want to make sure you are not paying taxes for that time. You can decrease your withholding to account for this downtime. Be careful not to decrease it too much or you could end up paying the IRS. For specific questions, see professionals such as a Padgett Business Services...

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Changing Your Own Car Battery

Posted by on 6:58 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you suspect that your battery is wearing out, replace it before you get stuck out on the road somewhere, unable to start your car. You can replace the battery yourself with a few simple tools. Here is what you need to know to put a new battery in your car and get you back out on the road. Buying the Right Battery The best way to make sure you have the right battery is to head to the auto parts store and give the clerk your car’s make, model, year and engine size (V4, V6, or V8). They will look up the correct battery in their inventory. The replacement battery must be powerful enough to turn over your engine and it must fit in the physical compartment made for the battery in the engine area. Removing the Old Battery The tools you’ll need for this project are: screwdriver small socket wrench set a couple of old rags The engine must be off to do this work. Lift the engine hood and find the battery. It’s normally toward the front of the car, off to one side of the engine. Remove any plastic covers over the battery or battery posts. Identify the negative battery cable. It will be the black cable and will be connected to the battery post marked with a negative sign. Using the screwdriver or socket set, loosen the screw or bolt holding the negative cable clamp to the battery post. Pull up on the cable while twisting it slightly from side to side to remove the clamp and cable. Remove the positive battery cable (the red cable) the same way. Move both cables out of the way so you can remove the battery. Remove the strap holding the battery in the engine compartment. There will be a screw or nut securing the strap on one end. Before removing the battery, make note of where the positive and negative battery posts are located. With both hands, pull the battery straight up and out of the engine compartment. Place it on the ground, out of your way. Preparing for the New Battery Use your rags to wipe out the battery compartment. If there is any corrosion in the area, mix a little baking soda with water and scrub out the area. Clean the strap that holds the battery in place. Check the battery clamps for any corrosion. Clean it off with the baking soda mixture. With the area cleaned of dirt, grease and corrosive material, you’re ready to put in the new battery.  Installing the New Battery With both hands, lift the new battery up and lower it into the battery compartment. Place the battery in so the positive and negative battery posts match the location they were in with the old battery. Bring the holding strap over the battery and screw the loose end down. Remove any plastic caps covering the battery posts. Wipe the battery posts off with rag. Place the positive cable clamp onto the positive battery post and press down while moving the clamp from side to side until it is down as far as it  will go. Tighten the screw or nut until the clamp is secure and can’t be moved. Connect the negative battery clamp to the negative post the same...

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Gain Strength In Numbers By Joining A Union

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If you feel you’re underpaid at your job, or you have a complaint about hazardous working conditions, it’s likely that your only option is to meet with your boss and ask for the change you desire. It’s possible that your employer is a marvelous human being who’ll give you what you want. However, since you have very little bargaining power, it’s much more likely that your request will be refused. After all, your only real leverage is to threaten to quit, in which case your employer must only replace one person. Now imagine every employee in your workplace marching into the employer’s office with the same demand. Your bargaining power would be much stronger, and your chances for success highly improved. That’s what it means to join a union. Additionally, joining an established union gives you access to experts in labour-management relations and in labour relations law, to counter the attorneys and other experts your company retains. Joining a Union Canadian labour laws can vary a bit between provinces, but in general, most workers in Canada have the right to join a union for specific purposes, such as collective bargaining of wages, benefits and working conditions. If you wish to join a union, the first step is typically to meet with an organizer for the union you wish to join, who can help coordinate the effort at your workplace. You’ll then start gathering support by having like-minded workers sign union membership cards. The cards don’t make you a part of the union yet, but they demonstrate your interest in joining the union. If at least 40 percent of your co-workers sign union cards, the union will file a certification petition with the provincial labour board. The board will then set an election to determine whether your workplace can join the union. If you gain more than 50 percent of the vote during the election, the labour board will certify your bargaining unit and you’ll join the union officially. Employer Opposition Once your organizing campaign begins, your employer may remain neutral and let you and your fellow workers decide for yourselves. Frequently, however, employers will oppose your efforts in some way, to try to maintain full control of the workplace. Keep in mind that, once you’ve filed a petition with your labour board, certain forms of conduct are prohibited by law. In general, your employer can’t change your wages and working conditions after your petition is filed, and cannot threaten or attempt to intimidate any worker – with excessive discipline, for example. Report any suspected illegal actions to your union organizer, who can file an unfair labour practice complaint with the labour board, on your behalf. Any interference from your employer with your legally protected free choice should only reaffirm your decision to join a union, so you and your co-workers can enjoy a voice in your workplace. After the Election If you win the election and join the union, some members of the bargaining unit, along with union representatives, will meet with your employer to negotiate your first contract. While all your co-workers won’t literally be in the room, you’ll enjoy the negotiating power of your entire workforce as you strive to improve your wages, benefits, working conditions and job security. Additionally, as long as you’re part of the union, you’ll...

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What’s In The Water? Basic Purification Tips For Emergencies

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Most every source of drinking water is likely to be contaminated to some degree, though that doesn’t mean that every drinking water source is unsafe. In fact, a certain level of contamination with some bacteria is safe for your body. The most common contaminants, and the leading causes of waterborne illness, include bacteria and viruses. Additionally, you’ll find various organic chemicals like vinyl chloride and inorganic chemicals such as barium and arsenic. With so many health treats lurking in the water, here’s a look at some tried-and-true water purification methods for emergencies. Boiling for General Purification Boiling water is one of the most basic methods for eliminating bacteria. Most organisms won’t survive beyond water’s boiling temperature. To do this properly, put your water into a large kettle or pot, then bring it to a complete boil. Once you notice steady bubbling from the water, let it boil for at least a minute. Don’t leave it boiling for too long, though, because you’re going to lose some of your water supply to evaporation. Once it’s boiled for at least a minute, take it off the heat and let it cool to a temperature that’s safe to drink. Before you drink it, though, you might find that it tastes better if you add oxygen back to the water by pouring it back and forth between two containers. Just make sure that the containers you use are clean so that you don’t reintroduce bacteria to the mix. Bleach for Quick Treatment Bleach treatments are quick and easy and require very little effort on your part. Simply add between eight and sixteen drops of bleach to each gallon of water. The more concerned you are about the safety of the water source, the more bleach drops you should add. Opt for a bleach that’s unscented and invest in small bottles, because once it’s opened, bleach can start to lose potency. Once you’ve added the bleach drops to the water, let it sit for a while so that the bleach can do its job before you drink it. Distillation For When You Need Heavy Duty Purification You might remember water distillation from your high school science lab, but it’s actually a highly effective method of purifying water when you need it. Distilling removes any microorganisms that might have survived the assault from the boiling, bleach or other treatments and it also eliminates any trace metals, salt or other chemicals from the water. The fundamentals of distillation involve bringing water to its boiling point and collecting the vapor as it’s released. Direct the vapor to a holding container that’s been thoroughly cleaned and allow it to cool so that it condenses back into water. You can do this with a tubing system that uses gravity to direct the condensed water back to a container. The contaminants are left behind in the boiling container, leaving you with clean, purified water. Ultraviolet Light Offers a Final Punch Against Microbes Ultraviolet lights have been used in large-scale water treatment centers for many years because of their effective pathogen elimination. As the marketplace started to see an increased demand in consumer control of water purification, smaller ultraviolet lights became available for home use. Put the UV light bottle into a container of water and turn on the light. Leave...

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Staying Secure While Avoiding Lock Malfunction: Tips For Lock Maintenance

Posted by on 1:50 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Finding yourself in a situation where you’re unable to open a locked door with a key that should be working can be a source of great frustration. Generally speaking, when you need to call in the services of a locksmith, like those at Aegis Locksmiths A Division Of Aegis Lockworks Ltd, because of lock malfunction, you can find yourself wondering what you could’ve done to prevent it. Below, you’ll find a guide to some steps you can take to maintain the locks in your home or office. By following these suggestions, you can guarantee that your locks provide you the protection you desire while also ensuring the easy access that will keep you content. Lubrication One of the most common sources of lock trouble is the mechanical components jamming from a lack of proper lubrication. If your lock isn’t lubricated, the internal pins may not slide smoothly, creating a situation where you can have the key inserted and properly turned without getting any response from the locking mechanism. To prevent this, you should purchase lock oil and apply a few drops into the keyhole on a regular basis. Not only will this guarantee your lock turns smoothly, it also has the added benefit of preventing exterior locks from freezing, as the oil will have a very high freezing temperature. Adjustments If your lock is misaligned, the bolt may improperly strike the door frame, causing the bolt to bend, the frame to crack, or a litany of other potential issues. This can cause your door to jam and be extremely difficult to open even with the services of a professional locksmith. You should be sure to constantly monitor the alignment of both your hinges and your door handle. Loose screws and wobbly connection points can cause your door to sit off of its proper alignment, leading to problems with the lock that can impede your access and cause great frustration. Weather Sealing Exterior locks can be particularly difficult to maintain, as they’re exposed to the elements and frequently at risk from freezing or debris. While lubricating oil goes a long way in preventing locks from freezing, it may be insufficient in more extreme temperature. Instead, you should consult your locksmith or local hardware store about a wide variety of anti-freezing products that are available. Making sure to regularly apply these products will allow your lock to function smoothly and prevent you from being shut out in the...

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