How to Keep Your Blood Sugar Levels Under Control

 

Those suffering from type 2 diabetes know very well how important it is to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Most of them have also experienced the unpleasant moments when those levels start racing up and down. Such swings are horrific and cause justified panic. Therefore, it’s vital to control blood sugar levels if you wish to lead a normal life.

How difficult is this challenge? Well, it depends on how disciplined you are. In theory, it’s not that hard, but we all know that some people have great problems adjusting their lifestyle and changing their habits. Let’s take a look at some tips that should help you gain control of not only your blood sugar levels but your life as well.

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What happens when blood sugar is not under control?

Type 2 diabetes lowers the production of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. If the insulin level is low, sugar builds up in the blood and eventually harms nerves and blood vessels, which in turn puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke. If the problem is not solved, hyperglycemia may lead to further problems, such as kidney failure and blindness.

The symptoms of high blood sugar include fatigue, increased thirst, blurry vision and frequent urination. However, the biggest problem is that you may feel fine without realizing your blood sugar is high. That’s why you need to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.

On the other hand, when your sugar level is too low, hypoglycemia is manifested by dizziness, irritability, sweating, and lack of coordination. This is equally dangerous and can lead to a number of serious problems.

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Adjustments to your diet

Your diet is one of the crucial elements that should be considered when it comes to controlling blood sugar. It’s vital that you follow your doctor’s advice to the letter if you wish to keep your situation under control. The recommendation you receive will likely include nuts, whole grains and non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cucumber and carrots, which help prevent surges in blood sugar levels while providing you with all the essential nutrients.

It’s also very important not to skip meals if you wish to reverse insulin resistance. You need to spread out your food intake evenly and never skip breakfast. Next, you shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach, since alcohol will make your blood sugar drop up to 24 hours later. So, you have to eat before or while you drink.

Exercising

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To be able to manage your blood sugar level over time, you need to introduce regular exercising. The type of exercise you choose will depend on many factors, such as your overall health, age and time you have available. What is absolutely crucial is that you don’t design your own exercise programme, but rely on your doctor’s recommendations. Losing weight is also important for those who are overweight or obese. It’s much easier to control your blood sugar if your weight is optimal.

Therapy

It may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but it’s still worth reminding everyone that you need regular therapy, and strictly following your doctor’s advice is a must. Therapy alone can’t successfully regulate your blood sugar levels, but medications are necessary. It may take some time before the best therapy is found, but in order for your doctor to be able to be spot on with it, you need to be a good patient and do what is required from you.

Basically, the process of keeping your blood sugar levels optimal is complex, since it consists of several factors. If you neglect just one of them, you’ll find it impossible to achieve your goals. Also, it’s important that you understand the problem well and realize why all the steps are necessary. Still, if you’re disciplined enough, you’ll realize that you can lead a long and healthy life even with diabetes.

Outdoor Wedding – Pros and Cons

Planning a wedding is a beautiful but stressful period with so many aspects to it that it’s practically impossible for one person to do it alone. That’s okay – it’s why there are usually two people doing it. But with so many things going on, it’s easy to direct your focus on the napkins or the flowers when you still haven’t taken care of the venue choice. And a big decision to be made will always be: indoor or outdoor? There are many downsides to an outdoor wedding, but do the positive ones outweigh it?

Pro: Longer guest list

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Very often, having an outdoor wedding means that it’s easier for people to have a longer guest list and invite more people because there’s no strict restriction on how many people the space can fit. And even if you invite the same number of people that you would in a closed space – it feels roomier. When you are out in the open, everyone feels free and like they have more space.

Con: Weather

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Let’s address the obvious one. If it was always a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze, very few people would actually have their wedding indoors. But the weather is unpredictable, and you might find yourself running under the nearest shelter to escape a sudden downpour. It’s important to pick the right date and to look at the weather forecast often, but most importantly – you need to have a backup plan. Whether it’s a nearby indoor venue or a large tent that your guests can hide under, you have to take it into consideration. There’s also the danger of some food ingredients melting or the drinks getting too warm if the weather is too hot.

Pro: It’s beautiful

There really isn’t any venue that can compare to a stunning beach wedding or a fairy tale forest getaway. Unless, of course, it’s a beautiful outdoor wedding venue location. It’s good to have the logistics support of a closed object nearby, but everything from the ceremony to the photos will look better if you’re outdoors. Nature is beautiful, and if you allow it to be your wedding décor, you will have the most breathtaking wedding day.

Con: Fighting with nature

As beautiful as nature is, it also has some downsides. When the night falls, it can rapidly get colder, and your guests might not come prepared, so have some cardigans and blankets around. Mosquitoes will come biting, so lighting up special candles to keep them away is a good strategy to use. Lastly, you can never know if one of your guests will be allergic to a plant that is abundant nearby. You can ask them in the invitations, or you can go out with an expert to the location to check if there are any plants that are known allergens or that can cause a negative reaction when touched.

Pro: Family-friendly

Two things can happen to kids at an indoor wedding: they will get bored because they have to sit down inside, or they will get irritated by the crowded space and the music that is too loud. But outside, kids can be free to be kids without interrupting any important parts of the ceremony. You can even set up a small play area where they can have fun and be loud without bothering anyone. Extra points if you hire a babysitter to watch them while the adults are attending the ceremony.

Outdoor weddings have so many amazing advantages, and the cons can most often be easily avoided with the right preparation. So, when you’re looking at venues, don’t be scared to look towards the outdoors. Enjoy your wedding with all of your guests under the sun and the stars and breathe the fresh new air of marriage.

6 Tips for Buying Your First Family Home

The American real estate market is bouncing back into shape. Homebuyers are eagerly snatching up new properties. If you’re not experienced with the process, it can be anxiety-inducing. The process is particularly fraught with emotion for new parents. They’re buying the house that they’ll raise their children in, the house where their family will shape itself.

Fortunately, people have been working on perfecting real estate transactions for a long time. You’re not exactly journeying into uncharted waters. There’s a lot of good advice around if you’re willing to look for it.

Are you a first-time homebuyer? Here are some tips to make the experience go smoother.

  1. Get Pre-Approved

Don’t waste your time chasing after homes that your family can’t afford. Get pre-approved for your home loan and you’ll know exactly how much you have to work with. If you have a realtor, getting pre-approved shows that you’re serious. It could give you an advantage with sellers as well.

Another benefit of dealing with the bank early in the process is that it gives you time to look around for the best deal. Carefully read the loan terms and be on the lookout for any hidden fees.

  1. Study the Neighborhood

Your quality of life is going to be affected by your neighbors, especially if you have a young family. Living next door to the party couple that blasts music all night long might be fun for some people but it can make it difficult to keep your little ones in bed or to get a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Spend time in your new neighborhood before you buy your house. Drive around at night and see what the atmosphere is like, check if there are there any commercial real estate developments. Try speaking with your neighbors. The more you stalk the neighborhood, the less likely it is that you’ll be blindsided by unpleasant surprises upon moving in.

  1. Hire an Inspector

It doesn’t matter if your house was constructed in 1910 or in 2018, you need to hire a home inspector. An out of the blue structural problem is the last thing that you want to deal with when you move in. If there are problems with the property, and there might be, it’s better if you learn about them early.

A professional home inspection isn’t free but it might be your only chance to spot problems with the construction before it’s too late. Negotiating with the builder is a lot harder once you’ve already moved into the property.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

Sellers can price their home however they want. Don’t assume that the price is fair or that the seller won’t budge. People expect to negotiate costs in real estate.

Take a look at how much similar homes in the area have sold for to get an idea of a reasonable price. If the neighborhood is particularly desirable, you might end up having to pay more than the seller originally asked for.

  1. Don’t Fall in Love

Obviously, you want to love your new home, but you don’t want to become blind. Purchasing real estate is a serious transaction, you need to act rationally or your finances will suffer. You might be charmed by the breakfast nook and the spacious backyard, but if the home is out of your price range, there’s nothing that you can do.

You should also save your raptures until after your home inspection. A professional might be able to spot problems that you were blind to.

  1. Keep Your Money in Place

If you’re planning to take out a home loan, you should avoid making lavish purchases for at least a few months. Banks want to see that you’re a steady, reliable spender. Spending huge amounts before buying a house can look reckless. Opening credit cards or amassing more debt will make it harder to get approved.

Start Your Search

Your family is growing; purchasing a new home is the natural next step in life. Choosing where you live is an important decision. The neighborhood that you settle on will decide what type of school your children attend. Your neighbors will be the people who shape your day-to-day environment. You’ll see them at the grocery store, at the park. It’s critical that you pick a home that you and your family feel comfortable in.

The best advice for first-time homebuyers is to take your time. You want to be absolutely certain that you’re making the right choice before you agree to sign any contract. Your home is your castle, you want it to be as close to perfect as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Artisan Crafts And Food Sites Across America


Artisan crafts and food across America is a booming business. From local sales to national shipping, artisans from every state are leveraging the Internet to build and grow passions into businesses.

If you think that the artisan retail niche is small, think again. And consumers want more artisan stores at their fingertips. Why? They serve up a personalized experience, which 56 percent of consumers crave.

Do you love artisan crafts and food as a consumer? Are you thinking of starting your own craft and food retail store and need some great ideas? The following 10 sites across America can serve as your artisan playbook.

 

  1. Texas Treats: Georgetown, Texas

Texas Treats serves up delicious Texas food gifts and artisan crafts to locals in the Georgetown, Texas, as well as 48 states via shipping. Texas Treats is everything Texas, bringing together artisans who make food and crafts from every corner of the Lone Star State. From wedding favors to gourmet food, you can bring the taste of Texas home.

 

  1. Urban Timberworks: Portland, Oregon

Urban Timberworks is an artisan furniture company located in the Pacific Northwest city of Portland, Oregon. Naturally, this artisan furniture company crafts handmade chair sets, tables, coffee tables, and more from salvaged urban trees.

 

  1. Sage Inspiration Artisan Jewelry: Tucson, Arizona

Sage Inspiration Artisan Jewelry is a brick and mortar store in Tucson, Arizona with an online presence. They have lots of handmade jewelry necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings and other artisan jewelry available to locals and those just passing through.

 

  1. Beth Miller Jewelry: Marquette, Michigan

Beth Miller Jewelry is an artisan jewelry company that incorporates rich colors, metalworking, and nature in each handcrafted design. Located in Marquette, Michigan, Beth Miller crafts unique wedding rings, earrings, pendants, and everything else you need to compliment your style.

 

  1. Vermont Soap: Middlebury, VT

Vermont Soap is headquartered in Middlebury, VT and boasts being, “Soap for the People.” This artisan soap company is USDA certified and meets organic standards by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). They ship in the U.S. and they even say their soap is available in Japan. From lemongrass to lavender, you can shop for your artisan soap by scent with Vermont Soap.

 

  1. Farm To People: New York, New York

You wouldn’t normally associate farm fresh food with New York, but Farm To People aims to change that thinking. They are bringing farms and small food producers in the U.S. together with the people. They serve up products that are GMO free, small-batch, non-artificial, and humanly raised animals. Ready to spice up your culinary skills?

 

  1. Bird Trouble: Chicago, Illinois

Bird Trouble is an artisanal leather handbags company located in Chicago, Illinois. They typically craft 5 to 10 handbags at one time with production of one bag taking up to a month. The designer and artist behind Bird Trouble is Alexz Sandoval, an artisan that has been handcrafting products behind her sewing machine since High School.

 

  1. Market Hall Foods: Oakland, California

Looking for artisanal food from Europe? Market Hall Foods in Oakland, California delivers. Their mission is to source the best food from around the world to the Bay Area community and the rest of the U.S., and they have been doing it for 30 years. From product collections to Market Hall Foods recipes, they connect artisanal food to those enthusiastic about exploring culture in the kitchen.

 

  1. Michael Perez Pop Artist: Miami, Florida

Michael Perez is a modern pop artist that has a gallery in Miami, Florida. Perez, however, began his pop art in New York, and continues to create art that is modernly aesthetic, as well as rich in meaning. He has appeared on NBC’s “Weekend Today Show” and been featured in The New York Times. Perez also uses his art to help various charities and support causes he feels passionate about.

 

  1. Becky Grismer Art: Spearfish, South Dakota

Becky Grismer Art encompasses nature in many of her pieces using tree bark to craft her sculptures and other art pieces. Grismer currently works as a sculptor in Spearfish, South Dakota, and she also creates ceramic sculptures that are unique and conversational. Truly an artisan with a new perspective that is a welcomed change to the art manufactured to sell at retail stores.

Wrapping Up . . .

There are a lot of artisanal crafts and food available across America. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, you can find just about any artwork or delicious treat for your home and kitchen. Add a little Americana, and even a bit of other cultures to your home today.

When Divorce is Imminent

None of us enters a marriage thinking that there would ever be a reason for divorce. It is usually something that happens to someone else but not to you and your partner. However, in life nothing is certain and some relationships are not built to last, and if you come face to face with the possibility of divorce, don’t panic, you are not the only one. In most developed countries divorce rates are actually increasing and they are reaching a 50% divorce rate. There are several things you can do to make the process less stressful for both you and your partner, and this is especially important if there are kids involved.

You can never be prepared for what is coming

You can think you are. You went over everything, agreed this is the only solution and began the whole process. That is the part of rational thinking, however, emotions are a whole other thing. You start talking about what’s next, from living arrangements to finances and assets splitting. In an ideal world, this would go perfectly, but we are emotional beings and so more often than not even the perfect agreements about all of the above-mentioned issues go down the drain. Now in order to avoid the messy part of the whole process, professionals like family law experts in Sydney, can help settle disputes and mediate the whole proceeding. That way you can have someone to rely on to help you go through this uncomfortable process.

It is OK to mourn

You need to give yourself time to deal with what is happening. You have invested time and emotions into this relationship, there are a lot of memories that bind you, some beautiful some maybe not as much, but still, you have shared your life with this person and it is not an easy thing to get over. So it is important that you give yourself time to be sad about what has happened and in a sense mourn your marriage. Going forward without dealing with all the emotions is definitely not the best options, because sooner or later you need to deal with them, and sooner is always better. And if you feel overwhelmed turning to a professional is always advisable, as a therapist might be able to help you understand the situation better and provide you with the right emotional tools to deal with the whole thing.

Don’t let others define you

Most people feel ashamed when they have to admit they are going through a divorce. They feel like failures even though they know all too well that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. They have done their best to save the marriage and it simply wasn’t meant to be. So now it is time to deal with the questions and the silent judgement. Well, first of all, you are not in any obligation to explain your situation to anyone. It is no one’s business but yours and your partner’s. So simply politely decline to answer all the why’s and how’s. You will feel a lot better, that is a given. Next, don’t put a label on yourself, your relationship status shouldn’t be divorced, it should be single. You don’t have to advertise, just tell it to people if you want to. Going through something as traumatic as a divorce should be a personal journey and you don’t have the obligation to share it with anyone you don’t want to. Remember that. People sometimes feel like they have the right to demand answers from you, but they don’t.

Don’t play the blame game

When something monumental happens in our life and divorce is as monumental as it can get, make no mistake, we tend to look for someone and something to blame or thank for it. So even an amicable divorce can turn ugly if you start putting the blame for things on one another. And you are going to get asked about it a lot, people always assume one person is to blame more than the other in situations like this. But as always it takes two to make or break something. So instead of looking for someone to blame try to develop a good relationship with your ex. After all, they are bound to have some characteristics you love, otherwise, you wouldn’t have married them. So focus on that, be cordial and move on. Stooping down to a blame game can be damaging for both of you.

Don’t expect divorce to be easy, even under the best circumstances. When we get married we feel like we are binding our life to another’s, and it is a really big deal. So now having to detach from that, and sand alone once again can be quite scary, but at the same time, if that is what you feel is the best for both of you then embrace it and find your way back to yourself and your independence.

How 3D Printing Technology Can Help Schools

Before the 1980’s, 3D printing would have been thought of as something fresh out of a Sci Fi film. Now this futuristic technology has become mainstream. And by ‘mainstream’, we mean the sky is the limit to it’s potential. Even NASA is using 3D printers to produce spare parts for the International Space Station (ISS).

It may come as a surprise, but the next major avenue for 3D technology advocates is education. 3D printers are already being introduced to our kids’ classrooms and are proving a roaring success. So what’s it all about?

How It Works

One of the most common questions is what can you actually make with a 3D printer. The answer? Virtually anything you like from toys to delicious cakes. First you create your 3D design using computer software. Then the machine will build it, layer by layer. The process is so advanced that 3D printers can even create “objects within objects”, or products that have moving parts such as wheels and hinges. The best 3D printer reviews are a fascinating read, and describe the vast array of creations that these machines can achieve. It’s all pretty mind-blowing stuff.

Why Use 3D Printers In Schools?

Since 3D printing has become affordable, this has given schools the opportunity to trial and engage with state of the art technology. It offers our kids the chance to learn about engineering in real-time. Each child will be able to design, build and road test their products in the same way as if they had come off the manufacturing line. Products can even be designed using smartphone apps and tablets, which makes it easier and more convenient.

That’s not all. 3D products and processes are an ideal way of explaining complex concepts in a simplified way. By being able to see and touch an object, children are more likely to be engaged, facilitating their learning.

More than anything, 3D printers are likely to play an integral role in giving our children invaluable skills from a young age, and even inspiring future careers. This doesn’t just mean technological aptitude. Learning through trial & error, confidence building, and cooperating in design and manufacturing are key social skills that make for a successful future.

Three dimensional printing machine

Having said that, there remains a lot of curiosity about 3D printing, and some concern. Many schools still do not have the full administrative capacity to embrace the technology, which means that it is still not widely available. Other barriers include costs of materials, control in the classroom and a lack of vision in how to integrate the technology into the curriculum.

The good news is that with proper planning and vision, all of these challenges can be easily overcome. As studies continue to endorse the benefit of 3D printing technology to society, the time is right for all of us to learn how to make the most of it. By using it wisely, we can help our children become independent, imaginative and social citizens of the world. 

This article was published in cooperation with www.thegadgetnerds.com

Technology That Makes Life Easier for Parents of Today

Photo by Laurent Peignault on Unsplash

There are some people who like to say that technology today is taking it “too far”; that we are using it for things we were able to do before without it and that we are just getting lazy. Well, we also used to send letters to communicate, but I think texting is just a touch more practical. And when it comes to parenting, there’s still a stigma around using technology and apps to help raise your child. But in a time when we use technology to improve every part of our lives, why shouldn’t we use it for parenting as well? Let’s start the conversation, break the stigma and see how tech can help you bring up your child.

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Family organization

When your kids start getting older, it can be hard to keep track of all of their activities. Teach them early on that they should always tell you what their plans are, and to be careful not to clash with anyone else’s plans. Having a shared calendar makes this so easy. Apps like TimeTree calendar allow you to merge your calendars with other people so that the whole family can see when they have activities together or if they can carpool somewhere together. Take it one step further with Cozi, which not only lets you sync up your schedules, but is specifically made for families and features a ton of different helpful tools to simplify family life.

Photo by Guillermo Sánchez on Unsplash

Social life

As a parent – and especially a new parent – you will get a lot of advice, most of which you never asked for. This means that you’ll also want to seek out your own truths and tips. And apps like kiindred are perfect for an eager new parent, especially one with their first child. The app will not only let you connect with other parents but also help you track your baby’s routines and offer helpful tips and advice for surviving their childhood. As an added bonus, you will get special offers on some baby products through the app.

Schedule

When you have your baby, you won’t know where your head is. But there is a way to keep track of feeding, diaper changes and sleep even when you’re sleep deprived. The app to go to is called BabyTime and it helps you keep track of your baby’s routines as they develop. This gives you an easy way to convey to doctors how your baby is doing and help transfer information to babysitters.

Gadgets

Shower time

Life is easier with gadgets. When it comes to bathing time, it can be a real mess, but there are helpful gadgets to make it all a bit easier. You can get a bath organizer which helps you store all of your baby’s bathing supplies, and also unfolds into a floor mat so that you can comfortably sit next to the tub while you’re bathing them. When they get a bit older, funny shower heads that will keep their attention will help them look forward to bath time.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Going out

It’s not easy going out with a baby, but bringing a few of your own gadgets will make it all a bit more bearable. When going to a restaurant, bring a baby seat converter, which will turn any ordinary chair into a baby chair, so that you don’t have to worry about whether the place has special baby seats. Have a good stroller organizer to put everything in, and strap all of the baby’s toys to it, so that they can’t throw them on the floor. But if they do, a self-closing pacifier will always stay clean so there’s no crying when it gets dropped.

Raising your kids with tech isn’t “cheating with parenting” nor is it the wrong way to raise kids. You have the right to raise your kids however you want, with or without technology, but make sure you don’t turn your nose up and dismiss all tech before you see what it really does.

About the author:

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about mental health, well-being, and healthy lifestyle at ripped.me. Claire on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Ways to Make Your House Presentable to Prospective Buyers When You Have Young Children

Selling your home can be a daunting task, especially when you have children. It is not easy to make sure your home is ready at all times for potential buyers. Here are a few suggestions to make it easier on yourself and your children.

Make it a Family Affair

Moving can be difficult for children. They might not want to leave their friends and can be anxious about getting used to a new school.

Talk to them about the move and help them work through their fears and concerns. Enlist their help in preparing for the move, including keeping the house neat and clean. They will find some comfort when you make them feel like they are part of a family decision and planning for a significant event like moving.

How much understanding and help much you can expect from your children will depend upon their age. If your children are very young, you are going to have to deal with the messes they create such as:

  • Crayons or paint on the walls
  • Dirt and mud from their shoes on your floors and carpeting
  • Chocolate and other food stains on counters, furniture, and walls

If you explain to them the importance of trying to keep the house as clean as possible, you might have less cleaning up to do on a daily basis.

Get Rid of Clutter

Nothing makes a house look worse than clutter. This mean all the extra stuff you have hanging around your home. The last thing you want to do is drag your junk from one house to another. If it is broken, you don’t use it, or you don’t need it, get rid of it.

When you have children, you are going to have a lot more stuff lying around the house including their toys, bicycles, and other play things.

Your children’s fun things are the last items you want to store away because you don’t want them to feel like they are being deprived. However, it is perfectly reasonable to put away or store things they might not be using.

If your house is on the market during the winter, their bikes, pails, shovels, and baby pools won’t be missed until the weather gets warm again. They also won’t miss their sleds and ice skates during the summer if that is when you are selling your house.

Out of season items are not just for your children. Think about all those bulky winter clothes, boots, holiday decorations, skis, snowboards, skates, hockey gear, and snow tires that are taking up space in your closets, basement, and garage.

A helpful option is to rent a full-service storage unit where you can store some of these things. As this full storage provider, an alternative to the typical self-storage, operating out of Seattle says:

If winter is your favorite season and storing away all these items is a sad move for you, don’t worry, they will only be away till the next year! For now, they are getting in the way of your clutter-free living”.

By storing these winter items in a safe place and out of the home you are trying to sell, you will be amazed at how much neater and less cluttered your home will look and feel to potential buyers.

Restrict Visiting Hours

Most realtors will tell you that you have to be available any time a potential buyer wants to view your home. For the most part, this is a true statement.

However, some people have found that it is much less stressful to ask for 24 hours-notice before a showing. They have also found that it is less disruptive to their children’s lives and schedules if they have a cut-off time such as when it is time for their children to go to sleep.

This is a decision you will have to make with your realtor or on your own if you are not using a realtor. It might extend the length of time your house is on the market if you limit when you will show your home. Look at the pros and cons and make the best decision for your specific situation.

Hire a Professional Cleaner

No matter how you try to keep your house clean, it will benefit you to hire a professional to do a deep cleaning.

There will always be dust build-up in hard to reach places and corners you might not be getting to on a regular basis. Even though it costs more money to hire someone to do the cleaning than if you were to do it yourself, it is a wise decision when you have children.

You will be giving yourself less stress and more quality time to spend with your children instead of wasting your valuable time cleaning and picking up after them.

There is no getting away from the fact that selling your home will be stressful. You can only do your best to make it easier by following some of the above suggestions. Remember that your children’s well-being is more important than a few toys or a little dirt on the floor.

Try not to get stressed over the little things and enjoy your children while they are young. You and your children will be better for it when you finally do move into your new home.