Creating an Effective Workspace at Home

nice-home-office-designs-with-artistic-white-table-coupled-with-classic-gray-chair-also-equipped-with-innovative-wall-shelving-and-black-office-cabinet-025

Whether you’re retired or you work from home, it’s always nice to have a space to do work, engage in a hobby, make phone calls, or store important documents. Here are some tips and design recommendations to create an efficient and luxurious workspace at home.

It’s important to first come up with a plan on how you’re going to make your work space more functional so you can accomplish more with fewer interruptions. Staying focused and motivated is essential in making a home office work, so start by organizing your frequently used items and purchasing time- and space-saving equipment, software and storage products, says the Houston Chronicle.

Make Wise Use of Storage
Most home offices are no larger than a small bedroom or craft room. That means space is at a premium, yet you have a lot of stuff to store and display. While you may be tempted to hang photos, diplomas, and awards of distinction on your walls, they take up valuable space for storage. You’re going to need that wall space for bins, bookcases and shelving. Double up wherever you can. For instance, an ottoman with a removable top pulls double duty as a storage bin for papers, spare blankets and craft items. If it has a solid top on the underside, flip it over and pull triple duty as a coffee table.

Get Organized
If you’re like most homeowners, you have a lot of files. If you don’t have extensive filing cabinet systems, you’re going to have to get creative. The main point is to set something up where you can easily and quickly access the file you need. Best bet is to purchase software where you scan important documents, then store them electronically. But if you’re still an old school fan of paper version, use tabs, separators and different-colored folders to group similar paperwork. Place in filing cabinets if you have them, with more relevant files to the front and older ones to the back or in a closet.

Integrate your Electronics
Keep all your electronics necessary to do daily work all within reach of your chair if possible. Create a workstation that encompasses your deck, a chair, phone, and printer/fax/copier in one. If you splurge on any one thing in your office, let it be your office chair. Get an ergonomic one, especially if you’ll be using it for a good portion of the day. An L-shaped work station works best for most people, allowing you to stay seated and swivel as needed. You may want to invest in a clear plastic mat under the chair for ease of use.

It’s best to have an office space that’s all your own. If you’re sharing the space with a kids’ playroom, home gym or craft room, the distractions could keep you from being productive.

The 38th Annual Wheels Of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree!

wheels-of-time-2014jpg-a9f7e85b28149086

Henry-Winkler-as-The-Fonz“Happy days” are here again at the 38th Annual Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree!
The event takes place this Friday through Sunday at Macungie Memorial Park. Check out over 1,500 street rods and custom cars, meet actor Henry Winkler, “The Fonz” from “Happy Days”, and listen to live performances of classic rock ‘n’ roll hits!

The event features the Emmaus Car Cruise Friday evening, carnival
rides, games, basket auctions, bingo, kids crafts, food court, flea market and craft fair with more than 250 vendors.There will also be a military display with veterans telling their stories and a combat helicopter and other machinery.The Fonz will make appearances from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and until 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Visit the website to visit full schedule of events: https://wheelsoftime.org/jamboree

When: Friday, August 26 – Sunday, August 28, 2016

Where: Macungie Memorial Park, 50 Poplar St, Macungie, PA 180

Admission Cost: Adults $8
Under 16 (with adult) Free
(Receive $2 off admission with a nonperishable food item)

Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service

df93363af39e2815cfa8b5be5cd5776a

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service! On August 25 join the celebration by exploring one of the Philadelphia area’s beautiful and historic national parks!

Tour the monuments and battlefields while learning about the revolutionary war at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The park has 26 miles of trails to walk, run, or even horseback ride!

Independence National Historical Park will be hosting a special, family-friendly birthday party, featuring Junior Ranger activities, a time capsule that will be sealed for 100 years and the unveiling a plaque dedicated to the first director of the NPS.

Don’t worry if you cannot make it to the park on the exact birthday! The NPS is celebrating the centennial all year long with special events at parks around the country: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/index.htm

5 Best Places to Donate Your Stuff

Clothes for DonationSummer is the perfect time to declutter your home, getting rid of everything that’s been in your way for years. You could go the yard sale route but who has the time to display, price and sell all that stuff? Not you. Why not just donate those unwanted items to a charity? You can still get a tax write-off and feel good about helping others at the same time.

Here are five places where you can donate your stuff.

1. Goodwill (goodwill.org): If you have large or multiple items that you just can’t transport to a center yourself, Goodwill is a great place to try. If you make an appointment with them, they will stop by your home and pick up your stuff. Alternatively, there are many Goodwill drop-off centers across the country. Check the website for locations. When you gather stuff for Goodwill, make sure the items are in fair condition, with working parts, no recalls, and no stains or rips.

2. The Salvation Army (https://satruck.org/Donate/choose): Got clothing, electronics, or furniture you need to haul away? You can schedule a pickup with the Salvation Army near you just by inputting your zip code. If you have a local surplus store, you can bring your items there directly and receive an itemized receipt for tax purposes. When you donate to the Salvation Army, you’re helping this organization provide disaster relief for those in emergency situations.

3. Computers 4 Kids (c4k.org): This organization will take your old computer and associated hardware, refurbish it, and give it to economically disadvantaged youths nationally and globally. Computers 4 Kids has helped more than 50,000 minority children with a socio-economic status below the poverty line. The goal is to empower children with the knowledge necessary for a successful introduction into the work force.

4. The International Book Project (http://www.intlbookproject.org/): We all have books piled up in our bookcases – far more than we could ever read. If your books are taking over your life, consider donating some of them. This non-profit organization promotes literacy in under-served areas of the world by collecting, sorting and shipping donated books to children and adults who can’t afford them.

5. Donate Stuff (https://donatestuff.com/): This is a nationwide organization dedicated to making a connection between people with good-quality items they don’t use anymore with charities that can benefit from such items. Not only are you making a tax deductible donation, you’re also reducing junk in the landfills. Did you know that Americans throw away about 68 pounds of clothing per year?

There are many other ways to donate, of course. Just look for donation bins around your town. Be careful, though, to read the fine print. Not all of what you throw in there goes to non-profit organizations; some go to for-profits. You can also donate items to your local schools, libraries, fire departments, and even theater groups.

Once you’ve de-cluttered your home, call Judd Builders to start a new phase of your home improvement journey!

Nockamixon State Park

Lake-Nockamixon-State-Park-Lake-Canoes-Boats-900VP-587x0

Offering more than 1,450 acres and four public launching areas, Lake Nockamixon is a popular spot for boating of all kinds, including catamarans and windsurfers. Anglers also enjoy this warm, expansive water lake, which is stocked with a variety of species.

You can rent small paddle boats here, and there’s a pool for swimming. The 10 overnight cabins available for use are modern and comfortable, and a series of trails wind through the relatively flat landscape about the lake.

Park visitors may enjoy a variety of activities throughout the year. Most park areas are open sunrise to sunset. Fishing and boating is permitted 24 hours a day in designated areas. Some park areas are closed in the winter, but there are some picnicking areas, fishing areas, trails and cabins open year-round.

Read more: http://www.visitphilly.com/outdoor-activities/philadelphia/nockamixon-state-park/#sm.0001v9dwmdkvmcv4y9m23ci3f7lsv

5 Creative Themes for Kids’ Rooms

On Safari

For the animal-lover who can’t get enough of the Discovery channel and the local zoo, this room provides an adventurous escape (happily in the safety of your home).

Ready, Set, Hike! Take the Wissahickon Valley Park All Trails Challenge!

park

This fall you are invited to take the All Trails Challenge (ATC) at the beautiful Wissahickon  Valley Park located just a short drive from The Reserve at Creekside. This exciting event lets you to explore the Wissahickon by hiking, walking, running, horseback riding, or biking all 50 miles of its scenic trails while simultaneously raising money for its continued preservation! Your friends and family can join you in your fundraising efforts by sponsoring you.

FOWWebFriendlyLogoThis event kicks off on August 20, 2016 with a party at the Valley Green Inn, and ends on November 29, 2016. Throughout the four months, there will be mileage and fundraising incentives, tons of giveaways, and scheduled hikes and a chance for the top mileage and fundraising participants to win fabulous prizes, including iPads and vacations!

Register for the 2016 All Trails Challenge here on August 20. (All ATC participants who have registered with a minimum of $50 raised or contributed are eligible to compete for prizes based on miles completed.)

Learn more and register by going to: http://www.fow.org/alltrailschallenge/

How to Best Arrange Your Living Room Furniture

Beautiful Living RoomWhether you’re short on space or you have too much of it, you may be wondering how you can optimize the space you have with the furniture you have. No need to make major renovations. Just try these tips on how to maximize your living room through furniture placement and design.

Determine a Focal Point

Before you can position your furniture, you need to decide what the focal point of the room is. That could be an architectural feature, such as a fireplace, or it could be a flat screen television on the wall, says Better Homes and Gardens. Once you do this, you can orient your seating around it. When done right, the furniture will gravitate towards that feature naturally.

Arrange for Comfort and Flexibility

Furniture is an important design feature, to be sure, but don’t forget that its first purpose is to make people feel comfortable and at ease. Position your couches, chairs and tables far enough apart that no one bumps into corners as they try to navigate the room. Place drink rests close by so no one has to reach for their snacks and drinks.

Basic Configuration

Most people use their focal point as the spot to which all pieces of furniture face. For example, if it’s the TV, place a couch in front of it and angle all other chairs toward it as well. This simple configuration works for a variety of room shapes. When guests come over, it’s easy to add more seating facing those sofas and chairs with ottomans, puffy pillows and even bean bags for a circular grouping that encourages conversation.

Open up the Space with Sectionals

If you have a large V-shaped sectional, you may feel like your only option is to push it right against the wall. However, anyone who sits in the deepest part of the couch may feel lost and claustrophobic – not to mention its placement up against the wall can feel very far from the focal point. If you’re aimed at a TV, for instance, it may be hard to see detail. Let air flow around the sectional by pulling it away from the wall and place some floor lamps behind it with a console table to open it up.

Encourage Conversation and Hobbies

Of course, not every living room has to have one focal point in which all furniture faces. If you prefer to encourage the flow of conversation, you can face sofas and chairs towards each other over a coffee table. You can still have a focal point, but it’s off to the side. This arrangement is best in rooms where the television isn’t your main event, but rather a side show, freeing you up to engage in other pursuits like reading, entertaining, playing games, working on your laptop, or listening to music.

Judd Builders’ professionals can help you create the living room of your dreams – one that’s functional and beautiful at the same time.

Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service

valley-forge-park-cannon-900vp

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service! On August 25 join the celebration by exploring one of the Philadelphia area’s beautiful and historic national parks!

Tour the monuments and battlefields while learning about the revolutionary war at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The park has 26 miles of trails to walk, run, or even horseback ride!

Independence National Historical Park will be hosting a special, family-friendly birthday party, featuring Junior Ranger activities, a time capsule that will be sealed for 100 years and the unveiling a plaque dedicated to the first director of the NPS.

Don’t worry if you cannot make it to the park on the exact birthday! The NPS is celebrating the centennial all year long with special events at parks around the country: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/index.htm

Chestnut Hill Community Association Presents Movies Under the Stars

movie-graphic

Every Friday night in August, The Chestnut Hill Community Association hosts an outdoor movie night. Bring your lawnchairs and blankets and watch films under the stars on the lawn of the Water Tower Recreation Center! CHCA members receive free bag of popcorn and a drink. There will also be a different Philadelphia food truck each week selling food and beverages. The fun starts at 7 PM and the movie begins at 8 PM.

Enjoy the show!

August 12
Film: Creed
The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Food Truck: Nick’s Roast Beef

August 19
Film: Zootopia
In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

Food Truck: Prime Stache

August 26
Film: Star Wars The Force Awakens
Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

Food Truck: The Flying Deutschman

Visit the Chestnut Hill Community Association website for more information: http://www.chestnuthill.org/2016/friday-night-movies-under-the-stars-2/