Secrets to a Tidy and Organized Home – A Cleaning Checklist


A clean and spotless home is a dream that many homeowners have. It creates a relaxing and pleasant environment that offers safety and security for the entire family. However, achieving it may be a bit challenging, as it requires a significant amount of time and effort.

Whether you live alone or with your family, cleaning the house has never been a task that a lot of people consider to be easy to do. In order to make sure that things are spotless and in their proper places, you have to commit many hours, sweat, and, even money. Below are some basic steps on how to effectively clean your house:

Dust the cabinets, coffee table, and other furniture.

Dust is everywhere. It can sneak into your home through the windows, doors, or even the tiniest gaps and cracks on the walls. Even if you just dusted everything less than 24 hours ago, you may notice specks already accumulating on the coffee table or the window sill. Therefore, you need to dust daily. Use a feather duster or a microfiber cloth to get rid of buildups. A dust-free home helps prevent various health problems, including allergies and respiratory issues.

Clean the kitchen after every use.

Preparing food can be tiring, but you should not delay cleaning up in the kitchen. The meat juices, fruit and vegetable scraps, and other wastes can attract cockroaches and other pests that you surely do not want to live in your home. Over time, these things can also grow bacteria and mold. So, for sanitary reasons, wipe down the cabinets, counter tops, and stove tops; wash used pans, pots, and dishes; and sweep the floor as soon as possible.

Do your laundry before the dirty clothes pile up.

You have to check your laundry basket to see if dirty sheets, shirts, and trousers are already overflowing from it, and go wash everything right away. Keeping them piled there, unclean and smelly, will only stink up your home. You should have a laundry day at least once a week to ensure that nothing soiled or filthy is left around.

Vacuum the floor regularly.

Your shoes, clothes, and bags can carry dust and dirt from the outdoors into your home. To ensure that these particles do not scatter and accumulate in your living room and bedrooms, vacuum on a regular basis. Find a good quality vacuum cleaner with the help of By vacuuming a few times a week, you are keeping the air indoors free of allergens and other impurities, as well as minimizing the chances of bacteria and mold growth that can endanger your health.

Clean the bathroom at least once a week.

Bath tubs, shower cubicles, sinks, and toilets need to be cleaned to prevent mineral and stain buildups caused by elements found in your water supply, soap, shampoo, and other hygiene products. Have enough supply of bathroom cleaners to keep everything squeaky clean.

Preparing for a military career


Joining the military is something that most youngsters will consider at least once as they grow up. Some will be drawn towards a military career thanks to the prevalence of Hollywood action movies, depicting stories of heroism, bravery and excitement. Others will be attracted primarily by the perceived prestige that is attached to the uniform, medals and so on (there are, of course, plenty of grown adults who walk around in military garb, despite never having served, hoping to improve their image in the eyes of others). Older kids might see a military career as being the most practical choice for them – they get paid to learn new skills, meet new friends, travel the world. They might even be able to get a college degree without having to pay for it.

Of course, there is a chance of having to fight. For some, the idea of hunting down the enemy door-to-door, with an M4 carbine, or jumping out of a helicopter to board a pirate vessel, is exactly why they choose to join up in the first place. However, over 80% of enlisted jobs are actually non-combat roles. You will be trained to fight, should it ever be necessary, but you’re more likely to spend your time interpreting images on a computer screen, fixing engines, cooking or any of the hundreds of other roles available.

Before you join up, it’s important to learn as much as you can about your options and the different roles available to you. The more developed your skills are, the more options you will have. Being able to demonstrate strong math and problem solving skills, command of a foreign language, scientific and engineering knowledge, along with solid examples of leadership and teamwork, perseverance and self-discipline will make you attractive to all branches of the military and for a wide variety of roles. Of course, fitness is an essential aspect of military service. Elite combat roles require the fittest individuals. If you are out of shape, don’t panic – you will need to get into shape to a point where you can be accepted as a recruit or a cadet. After that, the military will take charge of your training. The best advice regarding this is just to be as physically prepared as possible – such candidates get the most out of basic training and are more likely to be fast-tracked. This is because they are used to the physical and mental toll that exercise takes, and are therefore able to pay more attention to learning protocol, drill, combat techniques and other aspects of training.

Good physical and mental health are essential for officers, soldiers and sailors. Certain conditions will outright bar you from service and it is important to find out what the requirements are for the branch and job that you are interested in. Careers offices can often help out with this. Before you are accepted into the military, you will need to undergo a rigorous medical examination. Don’t try to hide any conditions you may have – even if the condition does not preclude you from service, the fact that you tried to hide it most certainly will.

Be sure to take care of your eyesight and hearing. Don’t stay up at night staring at your smartphone in the dark. If you are going to listen to music through headphones, be sure to choose ones that you know are safe, such as the ones here at Dextro Audio.

Get used to doing pushups, running while carrying weights, running in boots (this is a big one) and swimming. Work on your upper body strength. Get involved in team activities and get used to showing leadership and taking the initiative. Encourage others as much as possible.

At home, offer to take on as many chores as you can handle – cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, ironing and folding clothes, carrying heavy tools etc. These are the things that you’ll be expected to do every day in the junior ranks, including junior officers. Don’t be complacent – push yourself and be disciplined. Take the same attitudes with your studies and your physical training. If you’ve previously been a bit of a tearaway, channel your energy into your training. Many kids, who looked like they would become troublemakers, have joined up and gone on to become highly respected and decorated veterans.

What to do with a big home

do with a big home

Many people dream of living in a huge mansion, set back miles from the road, with a gate, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a huge lawn, a gigantic dining room and more bedrooms than they’ll ever need. They want everyone to know what a ridiculously huge price tag it had on it and to admire them for having achieved the dream – to live in a bigger house than anyone else they know.

Well, that’s all good fun until you’ve been in your huge house for a few months and you’re starting to discover all the annoyances of living in a big property. If you’ve bought your house on a mortgage, you’d better make sure that you keep brown nosing the right people at work – you don’t want to be job hunting ever again, because if you are, you’ll likely be house hunting again, too – but for something much smaller. And you’ll probably have to sell your mansion for way less than what it’s valued at. The pool of buyers is obviously much smaller when you hit the top end of the market – not everyone can afford to live in a big home and many of those who can, simply don’t want to.

Firstly, you’ve got the costs of keeping the house warm, or perhaps cool and well lit, maintaining a good security system, keeping the pool clean and, in some cases, heated, and you’ve got a good amount of money steadily leaving your hands every month just for the pleasure of keeping your home in a decent condition.

If you are trying to hold down a job to make those mortgage payments, then there is no way that you’re going to be able to maintain it, keep it clean and tidy and do the same with the garden. You’ll have to employ people to do all that for you, which means you’ll have to work even harder to pay their wages on top of what you already pay – which, in turn, means you’re likely to be at home less, and so you won’t even notice whether they’re doing a good job of keeping your home spick and span or not. If you bought your big home because you thought you’d have more privacy, what with being so spacious and far away from anything else – you’ve just lost it, because now you have housekeepers, cleaners, gardeners, security guards and God knows who else roaming about the place all the time.

Even if money and time aren’t issues for you – perhaps you live off the royalties of your best-selling books or CDs – there are other problems associated with living in big homes. Communication is one of them. Intercoms are often useless if you don’t know which room a person is in. You could use your mobile phone, but that’s no good if there’s no signal, or if either one of you are using it for another purpose, or if you need to communicate with multiple people. You can try to get around this by setting up Bluetooth speakers in every room ( which you can then connect to individual microphones which feed back – kind of like conference calling. Anyone who speaks anywhere in the house will be able to be heard in all other parts of the house. This is great for carrying on conversations when you are in different rooms, or sitting at opposite ends of your huge dining table, but it can be extremely inconvenient if you forget to turn it off when you’re trying to have privacy and intimacy.

If you bought your house with the intention of hosting lots of guests and big parties, you’d better pray that your house is sufficiently far away from the neighbors. The police are well aware that, when they receive complaints about noise in affluent areas, they’ll most likely be rolling up outside a mansion. You could end up having a problem with your neighbors and the police if you don’t control the noise. On the other hand, if you start trying to throw silent parties, the novelty will last about ten minutes, and after that, you’ll start getting known as the one who throws lame parties in their big house.

Household items you might need to get before it’s too late!

Household items

When you move to a new home, you have a list of items to buy and jobs to do, that it seems like you might be moving out and into a retirement home before you get through them all. And even if you did get through them all, there would still be more to do as there would have been things missing from the list, and in any case, work begets work, as all good list-makers know.

Regardless of this slightly defeatist attitude, there are a number of items which, if omitted from the list, will cause you a major headache sooner than you would like. They’re often along the lines of things like remembering to fill the swimming pool with water before you throw a pool party, or sweeping the chimney before you light the fire, although perhaps not quite as obvious.

The weather contributes to many of these oversights. As most houses are sold in summer, it may not be surprising to see many people ensuring that the air conditioning units are suitable and clean before they move in. They’ll also likely check that there is adequate ventilation and that the humidifier or dehumidifier (as the case may be) is doing what is expected of it.

However, in many – if not most – areas, there is more than one season. And so summer turns into fall, which turns into winter. And the temperatures plummet accordingly, and the landscape turns into a bleak, white wilderness. Suddenly, ventilation isn’t at the top of the list of things you should have remembered any longer.

Insulation is very important, both for keeping warm and saving money on heating. It’s important to remember that good insulation isn’t just about sealing your property as tightly as possible though. Insulation which severely restricts the flow of air can result in your household air being up to five times as polluted as the air outside. When people openly wonder why there are so many colds and viruses spreading in wintertime, you can bet that poorly ventilated buildings bear the brunt of the responsibility.

Other preparations for winter you might want to consider, are sealed covers for your windows and roofing, and more exposure of your piping to your home’s internal heat. You might need to stock up on sand and salt to prevent being snowed in, or frozen in. In many areas, a snowblower seems like an extravagant purchase when the weather is fine, but comes as a godsend when it snows non-stop for days on end.It’s also the kind of thing which will help you build a closer connection with your neighbors – you can make up for all those summer nights you kept them awake with your noisy pool parties by lending them your snowblower when they’re snowed in. Take a look at some of the better ones to choose from SnowShifts.

We looked at summer already, but that doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels and do absolutely nothing in preparation. In some areas, the summer heat can be life-threatening if not mitigated correctly. You should make sure you regularly change your air filters, and also change your refrigerator filter, as you’ll probably be drinking more water during the hot months.

Outdoor furniture is something people often forget about. While they’ve had their barbecue in storage for months and have planned the most extravagant barbecue party in their heads, they often forget that people need chairs to sit on and tables to eat from and to rest their glasses on.

Summer is also a great time to finish off the spring cleaning that you didn’t get round to. Clean your carpets and rugs thoroughly. If you want to do this really well, you can lift them up, one by one, clean them and then dry them outdoors. Exposure to sunlight is good as it will kill off many bugs living in the carpet, but you should ideally have already killed them off in the cleaning process and then air the carpet in the shade so as not to have the sunlight affect the shades and colors of your carpet.

Cleaning windows, the garage, roof 0work and all other outdoor tasks can be done in the warmer months much more comfortably. If you’re working indoors or renovating, it’s also a great time as you can ventilate your house better by leaving windows and doors open to prevent the build-up of toxic chemicals from paint etc.

Too many kids, too little time!

Too many kids, too little time!

Before we were married, my husband used to joke with me that we were going to raise a football team – eleven babies. Little did I know that, while we wouldn’t quite make the numbers for a football team, we’d have no problem fielding our own hockey team – with three sets of twins, we suddenly had our hands very full!

Having a large family with kids at various stages in their development presents all kinds of challenges that are difficult to relate to for most people from smaller families. If you struggle getting one or two kids ready and off to school in the morning, how would you cope with six?

One of the first things that you need to do is to enlist the kids’ help with any task that they can safely do with little supervision. This means things like teaching them to wash and get dressed as early as possible. I have been amazed to see kids as old as eight who are still being dressed by their parents. There’s no way that could happen in our house. In fact, these days the kids will get themselves up on time, shower, get dressed, make and eat their own breakfasts, clean their teeth and get themselves off to school all by themselves. There are various ways to motivate them to do this, but the most effective that we have found is by using collective responsibility. As we need to encourage the older ones to be role models for the younger ones and to get them all to help each other out when necessary we’ll reward the whole group for the good behaviour of one child and also punish the whole group for the misdemeanour of one. This way the children police their own behaviour and only egg each other on to do things they know will bring rewards. Whereas a parent will usually have to break up a squabble between two children in most houses, in our house they are broken up quickly by their siblings.

Nevertheless, there are still very many household jobs which children can’t and shouldn’t do. As I mentioned earlier, they can make their own breakfast – usually cereal and fruit but occasionally a toasted waffle and a warm drink. They’re not quite old enough to be dealing with the oven or pan of boiling oil yet, however. In fact, I myself only tend to use the oven and the hobs on a Sunday when I cook up a traditional family dinner. During the week I save time by chopping vegetables and preparing meat and seasonings which will cook throughout the day in the slow cooker. Once your ingredients are in and you’ve switched it on – that’s pretty much dinner sorted. It’s still healthy and delicious, tender food, just prepared in a few minutes and cooked by itself throughout the day.

When it comes to washing, the children sort their own washing into two baskets – one for lights and one for coloureds. When the baskets are full I’ll put the washer on overnight (that’s when our water rates are cheaper). Of course, there is too much for just one load so the washer is usually on three or four nights a week. The kids will get a reward for hanging out the washing if they get to it before I do. Ironing takes quite some time but I don’t think my children are quite ready to do it for themselves, although this is definitely a skill I will teach them when they are ready. More rewards are available if the kids fold their own clothes and put them away.

I suppose when it comes to hobbies and extra-curricular activities, we are quite lucky that we have three sets of twins. It means that there are always at least two of our children taking part in any one activity, thus reducing any transport or conflicting schedule issues. Organisations like the cub scouts and brownies are great as they not only have their usual meetings and activities but they have their own sports teams and trips with transport covered. Our two oldest are looking forward to joining the Sea Cadets next year which will hopefully be great for building their skill sets, resilience, maturity and self-discipline.

Things like homework are done as a group at a set time. Invariably, the older two have more to do and find it more difficult. Things like this, plus the other responsibilities they have to shoulder make it important to that you show your appreciation for their efforts. This can be done with rewards but I think the best way is to reward responsibility with a degree of independence. For example, our eldest have more freedom than their siblings when it comes to choosing what they do with their free time.

It takes a lot of discipline at first but you really have to think of your parental responsibilities also including being a general manager of the household and the team. Look to responsibly delegate what you can in order to maximise the effective use of your available time. Your reward will be a close-knit and loving, large family.

Taste Tests

Taste Tests

There is no doubt that nowadays food and drinks have a lot of hidden sugar in them. If they don’t have sugar in them, they have to put something else in to take its place.

A lot of people do not know this and the lower calorie, lower fat variations of food and drink could be as bad for you as the higher sugar, additive laden versions.  Education is the key to knowing exactly what you should be ingesting and how to keep your body at maximum efficiency and optimum health.

The best way to ensure what is going into your drinks and food is to make your own.  A juicer is a great place to start and there is an amazing website called: will help you to get started.

My Job

My official title is a taste tester but I do not taste the food myself. I go out and test certain food and drink on the public.

How I usually do it is going into a town or city centre and give away free samples.  The food and drink is not marked up in anyway, I give the samples away to members of the public in return for some feedback in the way of carefully constructed questions. 

The Public

Getting the public to try the samples, no matter what they are, is really not a hard sell. We all love receiving something for nothing and we are always inundated with people wanting to try out our samples.

The samples can be anything, soft drinks and juices, candy, any type of food and it doesn’t stop there, I have tasted deodorants, toothpastes, it really could be anything.

The Challenge 

The challenge for this particular test was, can you tell the difference between low sugar and high sugar juices and soda and low fat and high fat puddings. Can you really tell the difference?  Testing the public without telling them the specifics was a perfect way to get real results.

The Testing 

The fun bit is the tests themselves.  I always really enjoy going out and speaking to the public and asking them to taste things when they don’t really know what it is is always fun.  A bit of humor and charm is always the way to go. 

The Results

The results are used in a variety of ways and extrapolated by experts. The findings can be used for marketing, helping companies to work out what consumers want.  The medical world, doctors and nutritionists usually use our findings for research papers ie: studies have shown that…and sometimes they the results are used to improve and enhance.  We do not judge, the company I work for is independent, we just carry out the tests.  What they are used for is up to our clients.


Over the course of the 10 years I have worked for the company on average, 70% of people cannot tell the difference between full fat and low fat and high sugar and low sugar.  I guess over the years our taste buds have become uneducated and sadly, this gives way to manufacturers trading on that ignorance and giving us things that taste good, but are not necessarily good for us.


It has never been my intention to vilify manufacturers because the ignorance is our own and it is our responsibility to educate ourselves.  We are so used to things tasting artificial products that we now cannot tell the difference between the real flavour of say, an orange and the manufactured flavour of orange. Manufacturers are there to sell a product, so the more educated they are about what we know, what we like etc. the better they can tailor those products to us and ultimately, the more they sell. I collect the findings, collate them and hand them to my boss who then reports up the chain.

I like meeting the public and I enjoy my job and I use the knowledge to educate my friends and family and in some small way help to change their worlds for the better.

Helping to Maintain Grandpa’s Farm

Helping to Maintain Grandpa’s Farm

There were thousands of things that had to be done each and every day after school. Many of these things were written down on a list and attached to the refrigerator with a magnet. I was one of the only grand kids that liked visiting our grandparents and I did so every day after school. I would get off the bus and go straight to their house, as they lived right next door to us in our old neighborhood.

Some days I would walk in the door to find that no one was in the house. Instead they were somewhere on the farm doing something that needed to be done. My grandmother would write up a list and have it pinned to the fridge for me to begin. It mainly consisted of things such as cleaning out an animal pen, or bringing in the eggs from the hen house. There were times where I had to do something challenging such as chop down tall grass by the rabbit pen or go into the woods to dump debris after a storm.

Maintaining the Outdoors

As I became older, I started doing things that were a little more difficult for someone who was only eleven or twelve. I began to drive the tractor around the farm and help feed and water the animals in all locations. My grandparents were very worried when I would go out of site or not be where they expected me to be. Because the farm was very large, they were worried that I would get lost or end up in the woods.

My grandmother would love for me to help in her flower beds because that was the only thing that we seemed to share or have in common. I loved the animals and anything that had to do with outside. She loved her pretty flowers and her house, which was always spotless. The yard looked just as good as the inside of the house and she made sure of that. She loved to decorate with lawn ornaments, especially butterfly related. She had a few gnomes and a small villa type place for dwarf statues that she had purchased at a recent yard sale.

They had the best lawn mower for cutting their grass. It was a zero turn and would cover the entire yard in less than a few hours, including the backyard which was about two acres. Of course I was not allowed to use that until I was much older. At fifteen I was still pushing around an old gas hog of a lawn mower. I was allowed to use the weed eater, only because it was a cheap one and my grandfather had two or three others that he could use in case I was to mess one up. As a child, I would mess up a lot of things because I didn’t know exactly how it worked and was too proud to ask someone.

What I Learned

My grandparents taught me a lot, even if they said very little. They taught me how to care for the farm and for myself. They also taught me how to turn over a profit with selling at the local flea market, which they had done for nineteen years. I learned a lot from my parents, but the knowledge that I learned from my grandparents was to survive with a farm and to learn how to grow vegetables and other foods. This is valuable information and can come in handy in the future.

I am grown now with children, or little helpers, of my own. There are several things that I learned that I would love to pass down to my children, even if it’s just a small garden in the back yard. Teaching the kids how to farm and how to properly manage animals, especially those that produce eggs and milk, is very important. I feel confident that I can pass on the information that was shared with me to my children. Unfortunately my grandfather has passed before they could truly meet and get to know him, but my grandmother is still the sweet lady that I knew her to be years ago to the child version of me and she adores my children.

Everyday tips for living in a high-crime neighborhood

high-crime neighborhood

Nobody wants to live in a crime-ridden area. People often live there out of necessity – for ease of getting to work, low rent, proximity to family and so on. Some people live in neighborhoods that begin to go through tough times; perhaps a major factory closes and suddenly crime starts to increase. Others move into the area, perhaps hoping to get in at the start of gentrification, or simply because they can’t go anywhere else. Whatever the reasons, living in a high-crime area can be a stressful and risky experience and there are definitely things you need to take into consideration that you wouldn’t otherwise need to do elsewhere.

The first thing is to realize that the crime is being perpetrated by a minority of people. Most of your neighbors are just like you, law abiding individuals who are looking out for themselves and each other. That’s why it’s important to get to know your neighbors. They’ll want to know who is living next door to them. These are the guys who can clue you up on the neighborhood – people and areas to avoid, safety tips, what to look out for and how to act. Good neighbors look out for one another, watch each other’s property and so on. If you live on a particularly tough street, you might want to buddy up with your neighbor when walking around. Whatever you do, don’t walk around intoxicated.

High crime areas are usually poor areas and showing off any wealth you might have is asking to be targeted. You should carry a phone with its battery charged, but it should be out of sight. Dress down and wear baggy clothes that can conceal anything of value you might have in hidden pockets. By sticking to well-lit areas and avoiding gang hotspots, especially at night, you reduce the risk of walking into trouble. When driving, never drive with the window down and always leave a car-length gap either side of your car to avoid opportunistic carjackings. Be especially wary at red lights. If your area is associated with a particular gang, find out who their rivals are and don’t be seen wearing anything with that rival’s colors. Plenty of people have been shot for simply wearing the wrong color t-shirt or baseball cap.

If you like to exercise, do it at the gym or drive to a safer area if you like running in parks or at the beach. Running in a dangerous neighborhood can cause all kinds of confusion. Get yourself a good quality treadmill, something like this: It will help you keep fit and the comfort and quality of the machine will make up for the lack of fresh air.

At home, get a dog if possible. The more ferocious it sounds, the better. Dogs can be a nightmare for intruders, so 99% will move on and try to find an easier place to break into. Put up blinds so that nobody can see into your home and make sure the exterior is well-lit. Hoodlums don’t congregate in well-lit areas. If you own a gun, don’t advertise the fact. Some home invasions take place with the specific intention of stealing a firearm. As with anywhere, don’t reach for your gun unless you fully intend to use it. You may think you’re just sending a warning message, but another person will think you intend to fire and you could end up getting shot.

Secure your windows and doors. Deadbolts are the way to go as other types of locks are easy to kick in. A peephole is a good idea, a chain isn’t. Even better is a security camera with an intercom and an internal monitor to show you who is at the door.Doors and windows that are hidden from your neighbor’s view and the street are going to be the most likely places an intruder will try to enter. Block them off entirely if it’s feasible, but don’t compromise your emergency exit.

If you have a mail box or a bell, don’t put your name on it. If you must put your name on it, for whatever reason, try to get away with a slight alteration, a nickname, a spelling mistake or even a blatant lie (such as putting “Sgt.” before a civilian’s name).

Don’t allow yourself to be pushed around. If you have to, stick up for yourself. People pick up on weakness. If you get singled out as weak, you become a target for all the lowlifes in your area.

How to be popular (with real answers)

How to be popular (with real answers)

This is something that all but the most confident or most misanthropic people ask themselves (and occasionally others) at least once in their lives. It’s possibly what students in middle school and high school worry about more than anything else. Yet, when they pluck up the courage to ask a trusted adult for help, they are usually fobbed off with non-answers such as ‘just be yourself’ or ‘there’s a lot more to this life than being popular’. The fact is that the people giving these answers don’t know how to be popular. While it is true that there is so much more to life than being popular, there is no doubt that popularity is something we should strive for. The reason? Once people like you, you have contacts and a network of people who will do things for you, teach you, listen to you and get things done. This could mean the difference between meeting Mr or Mrs right or not, that elusive six-figure job offer, that lawyer who’ll take on your case ‘for old time’s sake’.

Before we look at what makes certain people popular, let’s just be clear about one thing: being popular and being feared are two completely different things. If you terrorize those around you, you may well have a following of people who seem to like you. However, as soon as you show weakness, they will do their best to shut you down so they don’t have to continue living in fear of you. This would never happen to a truly popular person, as their friends would be there to support them in their time of need.

So, let’s get down to it. In order to be popular, people have to see in you what they want to be themselves. If you’re a math genius and a wizard hacker, you’re likely to be popular with the nerds, if you’re someone who isn’t afraid to stand up to bullies, you’ll be popular with those who have been bullied. If you’re a fashion queen, you’ll attract like-minded people. There are qualities, however, which unite all popular people:

Truly popular people are confident but not cocky. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and accept them. They also appreciate those of other people. Confident people are willing to take control and show leadership, but they are not dictators. Popular people listen to others and empathize with them. Outwardly they speak clearly and with authority. They take care of themselves physically. You don’t need to be an athlete for this, even using the treadmill every day (check out will have the effect of improving your body and releasing the endorphins which make you seem happier and more attractive to others.

Being good-looking is a massive bonus, but it won’t make you popular on its own. All you really need to do is to keep yourself and your clothes clean and fresh. Nobody has ever become popular by smelling bad and appearing unwashed. If you are concerned about your appearance, ask someone you trust for honest advice (and don’t let them tell you ‘you look perfect the way you are’). Teenagers, especially, could use guidance on everything from how to deal with acne, when to shave off your first mustache and what type of bra to wear.

People are also drawn towards kind people. If it’s no skin off your nose, do what you can to help those around you. Do something to help in the community and consider it paying for a favour you haven’t yet received. Another big one is honesty and trust. Although it is by no means the easiest path to take, people will respect you for it. Learn this early as an untrustworthy and dishonest person can quickly become very unpopular once their thread of lies and deceit unravels around them.

The last thing we should mention is determination. People are not attracted to quitters. If you throw a tantrum or sulk every time you don’t get what you want, people are going to learn to avoid you. Learn to be resilient, patient and focused and you will probably find yourself with disciples who look at you in awe.

How to survive at home alone with a leg injury

How to survive at home alone with a leg injury

Leg injuries can be far more incapacitating than most people imagine. Not only do you become slower and move more clumsily but tasks such as sitting down can become a logistical nightmare. You lose the use of at least one hand by having to use a crutch or to stabilise yourself. Add on top of that the very real danger of sustaining further serious injuries when negotiating stairs, slippery surfaces and taking a shower and you see that your leg injury is much more hazardous than you initially anticipated.

A hot tip for many who are ‘freshly injured’ is to enlist some help in avoiding use of the stairs. If you can survive without using them, this might be a good idea at first. Convert the sofa into a bed, move clothes and other items downstairs. It might be more convenient to wash standing up by the sink, than trying to climb into the shower.

If use of the stairs is unavoidable, try fitting hand grips in the stairwell by means of which you can push yourself up the steps and use them to support yourself on the way down whilst moving your leg as little as possible. Make sure you always have a mobile phone within arm’s reach. Carry it with you whenever possible in case you need help.

Your toilet arrangements will depend on how bad your injury is. If you’re using a bedpan, you’ll definitely need assistance. If you’re mobile to some extent but can’t bend your knee, support yourself by placing your hands on the wall or a secure fixture and allow yourself to fall onto the toilet seat. You can use the same technique to sit yourself down on a plastic seat in a shower cubicle, but remember to always be extremely careful when doing so.

Consume calcium-rich foods to promote bone healing when you are on your way to recovery. Don’t allow your nutritional intake to suffer. If you can’t get to the shops, see if you can use an online delivery service. If you can’t support yourself in the kitchen, don’t cook. Order something to be delivered until you can be confident using dangerous kitchen appliances.

Studies have shown that consumption of red meat actually encourages loss of calcium, so replace this with fish or fatty white meats. The same applies to coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Just have a frothy hot milk instead.

If you are promoted to use of a wheelchair, there are of course many home alterations you can have carried out in order to accommodate its use. If you expect to be wheelchair-bound for a long time, you might want to look into these. Even if you’re only expecting to have to use the wheelchair for a month or so, you would benefit from the use of a gripping tool – basically a long stick with a grip at one end which opens and closes, allowing the users to pick items up without risking falling out of the wheelchair. Be careful if you use this to take heavy items from high-up cupboards.

Once you are able to walk again, avoid strenuous exercise, especially running on hard surfaces. You’ll need time and exercise to help you rebuild the strength in your leg. Listen to your doctor’s advice. Many people benefit from the use of an elliptical trainer like this one at Indoor Ellipticals, which allows them to perform low-impact exercise to build up the strength and resistance in their legs. The circular exercising motion is much easier on the joints than a treadmill or many exercise bikes.

Once you are able to leave the house, be particularly careful to avoid slipping on kerbs or surface irregularities. Avoid running and if you feel any discomfort, stop immediately and find another way. If you are using crutches, be aware that there are many ignorant people who will expect you to make way for them. Don’t put yourself in danger as a result. If a dispute arises, most people and law enforcement will support an injured or disabled person’s right of way over an able bodied person.

Just as others will be patient with you, be patient with yourself and you will come back from your injury even stronger.