The Importance Of Writing A Will
Nobody wants to think about the inevitable. Unfortunately, there will come a time when you have to start thinking about what you will leave behind for your beloved family. Preparing for life after death involves various legalities to protect your wishes and ensure your property and possessions are allocated to the correct parties. While it may initially seem like a complex undertaking, writing a will is one of life’s necessities.
What Is A Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes concerning your money, property and possessions after your death. In the eyes of the law, a voluntarily written will made by a person of sound mind, and signed in the presence of two witnesses, is the only way to lawfully enforce that the proper parties inherit your assets.
Individuals who die without a valid will, are classed as having died intestate, meaning their assets are distributed according to intestacy law. While this is invariably executed as fairly as possible, it may not align with the specific wishes of the deceased.
Reduce Stress For Your Loved Ones
The passing of a beloved relative or friend is never easy for those left behind. Nobody wants their loved ones worrying about legalities and finances when they should be grieving; hence a clear, comprehensive will is required to ensure your family is provided for and safeguarded. For example, intestacy law will not consider stepchildren or foster children as beneficiaries if they are not legally adopted – unless, of course, you name them in your legally binding will.
Who Has A Right To Your Assets?
The distribution of assets following a death in the family is regrettably notorious for being the cause of disputes. Without a will, according to UK law, the estate belonging to the deceased is passed onto their children, provided there is no surviving legal partner. If there are two or more children, the estate is divided equally between them – this applies to money, property, shares, possessions and money owed. However, any individual has the right to make their own decisions regarding who inherits their assets; therefore, a legally binding will is essential to ensure your estate is distributed to the correct beneficiaries according to your wishes. Keep in mind that although your beneficiaries can be minors, they will not be entitled to receive their share until they reach the age of 18. You also have the right to leave charitable donations, the details of which should be specified in your will.
Should You Hire A Solicitor?
While it is not necessary for a legally valid will to be prepared and witnessed by a solicitor, many individuals find the strict legal requirements overwhelming and often difficult to understand. A good solicitor will help you with everything from decoding legal jargon to explaining missing will insurance. Hiring a lawyer specialising in wills and probate can ensure your will is legally watertight and free from errors and loopholes, granting you peace of mind and financial security.
Responsibility Of Minors
It may not be a pleasant topic, but the safety and well-being of your minor children following the unthinkable is something every parent should consider. As well as your financial assets, your will defines arrangements for any children you have under the age of 18. Your will should name the guardians and trustees you and your children trust to care for them and their rightful assets. Failing to do so could result in the custody of your children being appointed to somebody you wouldn’t have necessarily chosen and may not have their best interests in mind.
The details of your funeral may not be something to which you’ve given much thought, but if you have specific requests, you may want to outline them in your will, along with your burial wishes. According to UK law, funeral wishes are not legally binding – your appointed executor(s) have the right to make decisions regarding funeral arrangements. Furthermore, by the time your will has been retrieved, your family may have already begun the planning process. To ensure that your wishes are met, discuss your funeral plans with a trusted relative or close friend. You may also wish to begin a funeral plan in advance, so you can rest assured that costs are covered when the time comes.
Gift Ideas For Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us are racking our brains, attempting to come up with thoughtful and unique gifts for that special someone. Whether you’re after a classic fail-safe option in the form of flowers and chocolates or something with a little more personalisation, here are some excellent ideas for Valentine’s gifts guaranteed to put a smile on your loved one’s face.
What better way to treat your significant other like royalty than to book a day of rest, relaxation and pampering? Many luxury spa resorts and hotels offer romantic packages for couples, including free drinks and treatments such as massages and facials. While many spas can be pricey, you may be able to find a money-saving deal on a coupon website like Groupon.
Luxury Bath Products
If a spa day is a little out of your budget, you could always recreate the experience at home. Purchase some luxury bath products, including bath bombs, face masks, epsom salts and essential oils and arrange them attractively in a basket or hamper. Then all you need to do is light some candles, put on some soothing music and enjoy some relaxing spa-inspired treatments for two.
For those keen on a sentimental gift your loved one can treasure for life, a star map of your first date or marriage date is a wonderfully unique way to commemorate a meaningful occasion. Star maps depict the specific alignment of the stars based on your chosen date, place and time, creating a stunning, personalised diagram of the heavens with precise accuracy and detail.
Valentine’s Day has long been synonymous with delicious delicacies, including artisan chocolates and luxury desserts. While a sweet treat may be a perfectly acceptable gift, you can take things one step further by personalising a cake, giant cookie or patisserie assortment with custom icing, decorations and ingredients. Search for local commercial bakeries and craft bakers who offer fully customisable products, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
While floral offerings may be decidedly cliché, sometimes, the classic options are old but gold. Valentine’s Day flowers depend entirely on your loved one’s preferences. While many stick to the traditional charm of red roses, you could opt for sunflowers representing loyalty and adoration or orchids representing love and thoughtfulness. Alternatively, you could purchase your loved one a potted house plant which they can nurture and cherish.
Perfume is another potential cliché gift, but one that’s guaranteed to be well-received. High-quality perfume has long been considered a thoughtful and emotional gift, particularly if it is a classic scent that never goes out of style, such as Chanel No5 or Marc Jacobs Daisy. That said, scent preferences vary significantly, so instead, you could purchase your loved one a luxury perfume tester set so that they can identify their signature fragrance.
Few things are more romantic than sharing a bottle of fine wine over dinner. You may not be an expert sommelier, but many wine merchants can help you identify the perfect bottle based on straightforward questions regarding taste preferences and lifestyle. You could even attend a wine-tasting event where you can try before you buy whilst enjoying a luxurious sensory experience with world-class wine varieties.
Original artwork is always a wonderful thing to receive. Suppose you have a beloved photo of you and your significant other. In that case, you can commission a local artist to reproduce it in watercolour, oil pastel or whatever their specialist art medium may be. Alternatively, if a couple’s portrait feels a little too on the nose, you could opt for a portrait of your loved one’s pet or even their family home.
Date jars are thoughtful, exciting gifts that transcend Valentine’s Day itself. Simply write down any number of date ideas, such as “the movies” and “dinner at your favourite restaurant”, on small pieces of card or paper, fold them up and pop them into a jar. When the time is right, instruct your loved one to select a piece of paper at random for a unique, spontaneous date night idea.
If you’re thinking of popping the question, Valentine’s Day could be the perfect opportunity, so take this as a sign and go for it! The idea of selecting an engagement ring may fill you with terror, so it’s advisable to enlist help from a mutual friend or trusted family member.
The World’s Most Extravagant Car Modifications
As far as most car modification enthusiasts are concerned, making changes to a vehicle’s appearance and performance is fun and rewarding. There is something highly gratifying about knowing your vehicle is unique. However, there are always individuals who take things to the extreme. While the cost and complexity of car modifications vary, some luxury mods will make your aftermarket coilovers seem like child’s play.
A full engine swap is one of the most invasive mods you can perform on your vehicle. While engine swaps may not be on the higher end of the scale price-wise, ensuring everything is hooked up correctly is difficult, time-consuming and involves a great deal of technical and mechanical skill. That said, swapping your car’s engine for a more powerful alternative could vastly improve its performance and durability.
Whether you want to make your vehicle stand out from the crowd or make scrapes and rust a thing of the past, a complete vehicle respray is a labour-intensive mod that could set you back thousands, although you could opt for wrapping as a slightly cheaper alternative. While the choice between a wrap and a respray is purely down to personal preference and budget, a thorough respray is the better option for getting that pristine look.
A high-quality audio system upgrade is a luxury mod that varies in price considerably. Of course, an exceptional sound system won’t improve your car’s performance or aesthetic. Still, your driving experience will be vastly improved – that is, if you prefer the sound of your favourite tunes over the sound of an open exhaust and intake system. While booming music is a fun way to announce your presence on the streets, many enthusiasts would rather spend their modification money elsewhere.
While many modified car owners consider superchargers overkill, you can boost your vehicle’s performance by increasing the engine’s compression ratio without the inherent lag of turbos, i.e. supercharging. While a supercharger can increase your engine power, there are prerequisites for this modification. For instance, you may require a high-flow catalytic converter so exhaust gases flow at an increased rate and upgraded suspension to make the most of all that power.
While many modification enthusiasts opt for unique interiors to reflect their personality, others enjoy the luxurious feel of high-quality leather and the smart appearance of wood-grain accents. Depending on your choice of materials and overall aesthetic, reupholstering your car’s interior could be a pricey endeavour, even if you choose to attempt the job yourself. However, along with a snappy aftermarket steering wheel and gear shifter, reupholstering is an excellent method of breathing new life into an old vehicle.
Cold Air Intake System
A cold air intake system is a relatively popular car mod, particularly amongst new drivers, and while prices vary, installation can be tricky due to complex routing. Much discussion is to be had regarding whether or not cold air intake systems are worth the money; however, for lovers of that loud, aggressive roar, the answer is simple. Upon installing your cold air intake, you move the air filter outside of the engine compartment so colder, oxygenated air is sucked in for better combustion efficiency.
High-Performance Engine Tuning and ECU Remapping
There are many benefits to high-performance engine tuning, including increased fuel efficiency and boosted acceleration performance. It can also increase your top speed, although, for everyday driving, this is decidedly unnecessary. If your vehicle is regularly serviced and properly maintained, it’s likely your engine will already be running optimally, making high-performance engine tuning a redundant expense.
You can expect to pay anything from £100 to well over £1000 for an expert ECU remap, although, along with fine-tuning your engine, it can vastly improve your car’s performance. Considering ECU remapping is a considerably complicated process, it is advisable to leave this mod to the professionals if increasing power and torque is on your list of priorities.
High-Ratio Steering Rack
A high-ratio steering rack will alter the response of your car’s wheels in relation to steering wheel input – in plain terms, the higher the steering ratio, the easier your car is to turn. While a high-ratio steering system can be found in the majority of track racing cars, for everyday driving, this expensive mod is primarily considered a waste of money.
Winter Workouts To Boost Your Immune System
During the colder months of the year, our immune systems could all do with a boost. Bugs and viruses are rife, and several factors, including lack of household ventilation and less natural vitamin D, make winter a natural hotbed for colds.
There are multiple methods of boosting your immune system in winter, such as taking supplements, getting your flu jab and eating healthily. Another fantastic way to safeguard both your physical and mental well-being is to stay active. While heading out to the gym on a frosty morning may be the last thing you want to do, the positive effects of a moderate winter workout can be extraordinary.
You may not be lucky enough to live near an ice skating arena, winter sports centre or even a suitable lake; however, in the run-up to Christmas, many community spaces, such as malls and markets, open family ice skating rinks. If you’ve never tried it before, ice skating may seem scary at first, but great fun when you get the hang of it. Low impact and excellent for strengthening your leg muscles and core, ice skating is a fantastic activity that all the family can enjoy, so get your skates on and head down to the nearest rink.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Other activities your local winter sports centre might offer include skiing and snowboarding. These activities can be either gentle or intense, depending on your skill level. That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll be attempting to take on Corbet’s Couloir as a beginner. The only way to improve at skiing and snowboarding is to book some lessons and to practise persistently. Not only will you be getting a complete cardiovascular workout, but you’ll be learning a new skill which can be tremendously rewarding.
The idea of plunging into a chilly pool when you’re already shivering from the cold weather is probably not your idea of fun. Nevertheless, winter cold water swimming can be incredibly therapeutic. Cold water helps to boost the body’s white blood cell count and sends electrical impulses to your brain, releasing endorphins – the body’s feel-good hormones. If you want to try cold water swimming, the right gear is essential. Purchase a thermal wetsuit and never swim unaccompanied. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to swim sans the shock of icy water, you could always find a local pool maintained at a comfortable temperature.
Walking and Running
Few forms of exercise benefit the body and mind more than walking. A brisk hike on a clear winter’s day can do wonders for your sense of well-being. Furthermore, walking is a wholesome, low-impact exercise that also acts as an enjoyable social activity. If you’d prefer a more robust cardiovascular workout, simply pick up the pace. Running is high-impact, making it less suitable for those with decreased mobility or joint pain. However, running enthusiasts enjoy a range of health benefits, including increased bone density and muscular strength. During intense sessions, staying hydrated and consuming energy gels for running can increase your endurance and improve your performance.
Once the landscape is coated in thick swathes of glistening snow, it’s time to get the sled out and head to the steepest hill. Sledding is a fantastic family activity that may not seem like an intense workout initially, but trekking up those slopes will surely get your blood pumping. Whether you opt for a rudimentary plastic toboggan or a state-of-the-art sled with steering and brakes, the thrill of zooming downhill at eye-watering speeds is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and send you back to your childhood.
Due to the colder weather, you may experience joint stiffness and muscle tightness. An excellent way to improve your flexibility is with regular gentle yoga. Not only is yoga remarkably beneficial for core strength and joint flexibility, but this ancient practice can also act as a fantastic low-impact cardiovascular activity. Check your local gym or community centre for yoga classes, or alternatively, you could simply purchase a yoga mat and follow along with online tutorials. That said, in-person yoga is arguably the better option for beginners, as you will be under the supervision of an experienced instructor who can correct your postures and ensure you’re practising safely.
Advice on Bank Accounts With Debt
Getting a new bank account can be challenging if you’re in debt or have a poor credit history. Many banks may reject your application or put certain limits on your account. In this article, we take a look at the type of bank account you can get and how to protect your money from being taken by your bank if you have unpaid debts within your account.
Free-basic bank account
A free-basic bank account differs from a current account as it provides you with fewer options. However, it’s a good choice for people that don’t qualify for a standard current account. You might not qualify for a standard current account if you have a poor credit score or haven’t been able to build up any credit history. A free-basic account won’t provide you with any credit facilities such as an overdraft or a chequebook, but it will allow you to pay in money, withdraw money and pay in cheques. You will also be provided with a card which you can use to pay for things in shops or withdraw money from cash machines. This type of account is a great option for people who struggle with money management and those who don’t want overdraft access. It can help prevent issues with overspending and the accumulation of more debt.
Avoid your bank taking money
If you have money in your bank account and have debts with the same banking group, your bank can take your money without asking you and use this money to pay off your debts. This can be troublesome and cause more debt problems or leave you unable to pay for essentials such as food. You might be worried about this situation and want to ensure you have enough money for the essentials. In this case, you can open a free-basic bank account with a bank or building society that’s not associated with your banking group. Your wages and income can be paid into this account, and the bank you have debts with won’t be able to access this money. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore your debt and will no longer have to pay back the money you owe. It simply means you can keep your money from being taken without your consent. If you’re struggling to manage debt, you might want to consider getting debt advice and looking at a debt solution. Many options are available, including IVAs, bankruptcy, debt management plan and debt relief order. The option most suitable to you will depend on your circumstances; a professional can give you IVA advice and advice on all forms of debt management. Facing your debts head-on and tackling them is the best way to get yourself back on track.
Choosing a free-basic bank account
When choosing a free-basic bank account to open, you should look at several options. Each account will have different charges and rules which you should be aware of before opening a new account. You should also check that you can use your local cash points for free and that you can pay in money at a local branch. These things will make it easier and cheaper if they’re local.
Managing your basic account
When you have a free-basic bank account, you’ll still need to take some steps to ensure that you’re managing your money appropriately. Set up direct debits after you’re paid, so you will always have enough money to pay the balance. For example, if you’re paid at the end of the month your direct debits can be set to the first of every month. This way, all of your payments will come out before you have a chance to use the money on non-essential items. You may be charged if you don’t have enough money in your account, or your bank could cancel the direct debit. Regularly check your account balance; you can do this in several ways. If you use online banking, you can sign up for this and access information about your money through the banking app. Alternatively, you can visit a cash point to view your balance if you prefer to avoid internet banking. Alerts can also be helpful; you can set these up, so you receive a text or notification when your balance is below a certain amount.
Tips on Preparing Your Home for Property Viewings
When you’ve listed your property on the market and it’s time to show people around, there are several things you can do to increase the appeal of your home. Viewings are usually short, and you want to leave any potential buyers with a positive impression of your property to increase the likelihood of an offer. Here are some tips when preparing your home for viewings.
A small and relatively inexpensive way to improve the look of your home is to clean the windows professionally on the outside. When a buyer pulls up and sees your property for the first time, they will notice if any windows are dirty. This may give them a negative first impression of your property when you want to do the exact opposite. Cleaning your windows using a professional cleaner can improve your property’s overall appearance and curb appeal.
Buyers like to see how practical space can be and what they can do with each of the rooms. If you have spare spaces in your property that aren’t being used for any particular purpose, it could be a good idea to borrow some furniture to stage the room into a usable space. An empty room could be challenging for potential buyers to imagine the amount of space and how furniture would work in the room.
Before any visitors come over, you should take care of any maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off. If the viewers notice your house or apartment needs some maintenance, no matter how small, they might use it as a way to bargain down the price or as a negative point against your property. Repaint any walls with scratches or marks that you can’t wipe off, sort out any loose door handles and replace any bulbs that are no longer working. To pick up on any maintenance issues that need doing, go around your home with a fresh pair of eyes or ask someone else to point out any problems potential buyers might pick up on.
Garden and outside space
Many Hong Kong homes don’t have large gardens or outside spaces. If you have the luxury of outside space, you should show this off and prepare it for any potential buyers. Clean up and remove any debris from the outdoor space and cut back any plants or grass. Placing seating in your outside area will show potential buyers how they can use the space and the benefits of having an outdoor area. An unkempt garden or balcony is another negative that potential buyers can use as a bargaining tool. It may also put others off making an offer if they see they need to do work on the outside space and manage the ongoing upkeep.
Use inviting scents
Scents are very powerful and can work to evoke various emotions in people. Welcoming pleasant scents are more likely to put potential buyers in a good mood. This is especially important if you have pets in your home. You might not notice the smell of your pets, but your house viewers will pick up on it the moment they walk through your door. Make sure you wash any of your pet’s bedding and give your pet a wash to remove any nasty smells. Some people opt to get a friend, relative or pet sitter to look after their pets. This can help to reduce the stress levels of you and your pet. Some visitors may also be allergic to your dog or cat, so keeping them out of the way will prevent any potential buyers from having allergic reactions.
Clean and tidy
This one goes without saying before you let any potential buyers look around your house, you should clean and tidy everywhere. Reduce and throw away any clutter; a minimalist home will look much bigger, which can be advantageous when you’re showing people around your space. Make sure you do a deep clean regularly and dust all areas you don’t usually get to on a standard clean. Between viewings, you can do a quick clean-up to keep on top of things. Viewers who enter an unclean and cluttered home are less likely to offer the full asking price.
What Is Corporate Training, and Why Is It Important?
If you’re a leader or a business owner, you might be considering implementing a training plan in your business. Corporate training is the process of developing the skills of your employees to help them do their job role more effectively. It could be training soft skills such as leadership and communication or hard skills relevant to their specific job role. This can help to improve your business productivity and employees’ overall job satisfaction. In this article, we look at some examples of corporate training and why it’s so important.
Learn the latest advances in their field
Technology changes rapidly, and in some fields, it’s essential that employees are aware of the latest developments and updates to ensure success. One example is within IT; if IT leaders and employees don’t keep up to date with changes, they could leave their clients vulnerable to cyber threats. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the latest technology will regularly send their employees to corporate training events to keep their skills up to date. Some businesses may expect their employees to do research and stay on top of trends in their spare time; this can be frustrating to employees that are already overworked and struggling to manage a good work-life balance.
Stay ahead of the competition
Employees are a vital part of any business; their skills and expertise can determine whether the business succeeds or fails. A corporate training programme can ensure that employees have the right knowledge and skills to do their job role to the best of their ability. This can also help the business as a whole stay ahead of the competition. Organisations that are stuck in the past and using outdated technology and techniques will soon lose customers to their competitors that have moved on and are offering better solutions. This is applicable in all industries; leaders and managers need to have the right knowledge and skills to transfer to their team members and lead them to success.
Attract high-quality talent
A corporate training programme is a great way to attract and retain high-quality talent. People want to progress in their careers, and the most talented employees will be looking for roles where they can learn new skills and move up in the company into higher positions. A corporate training programme could be the difference between attracting talent and losing them to a competitor’s business.
Quicker and more efficient workforce
Well-trained employees are quicker and more efficient in their job roles. This means they need less supervision, allowing their managers to work on expanding the team and number of clients. This is how businesses can grow and succeed in their field. Corporate training that focuses on practical skills that teach employees how to do their job more efficiently can have a big impact on overall business performance.
Expand the services offered
Businesses that focus on one or two services might be limiting their potential to meet client demands. If a client wants to get several services from one business, they may take their custom elsewhere if the company they currently work with doesn’t provide everything they need. A corporate training programme can be used to teach employees new skills and expand the business’s services. This potentially opens up several new opportunities for the company, which can significantly improve future profits and business growth.
If you have a solid set of employees with well-rounded skills, your business is in a good position for success. However, some employees are bound to have gaps in their knowledge; through training, you can fill these gaps and improve the strength of your whole business team. When employees learn new skills, they can use them in their job role to improve their performance and bring new ideas to the table.
Corporate training has so many benefits for the business and the individual employees. It might seem like a large initial investment, but the benefits can completely change how the business operates. All employees should be given the opportunity to learn and progress in their job roles; this will prevent them from looking elsewhere for better opportunities. When you invest in your employee’s skills, ultimately, you’re investing in your business.
The Different Styles of Mountain Biking
If you’re interested in mountain biking or discovering a new exhilarating sport, this article will be of interest. We take a look at the different styles of mountain biking you can participate in and what each style involves.
Endurance mountain biking
Endurance mountain biking is riding for long periods of time; this could mean 12 or 24-hour races covering more than 50 miles in a single event. Endurance riders like pushing their bodies and mind to the limit, taking on long, physically demanding trails. Becoming an endurance mountain bike rider takes consistent, regular training to build up your levels of fitness and strength to the point where you can take on an endurance event. The best endurance mountain bikes are comfortable to ride for long periods of time. You also need a high-quality bike you can rely on that’s also easy to fix if you experience any issues during your ride. Endurance riding can be dangerous; if you go out on your own, make sure you take the right supplies and inform someone of your planned route.
Freeride mountain biking
Freeride mountain biking is another approach to mountain biking. Instead of focusing on times and speed, freeride is all about style, jumps and tricks. It’s an incredibly exhilarating sport to watch; freeride mountain bike riders push themselves to their limits, performing gravity-defying stunts and tricks. The bikes used in freeride can vary depending on the preferences of the rider. The main thing they all have in common is good suspension to help the riders land jumps properly. Protective armour is also recommended for freeride mountain bikers; the sport can be very dangerous, resulting in injuries if the rider comes off their bike.
Downhill mountain biking (DH)
Downhill mountain biking involves travelling downhill and over jumps, drops and through rough terrain. This type of mountain biking is fast and requires skill, strength and bravery. The aim of DH is to get to the bottom of the track as quickly as possible. To participate in DH, you need to have the right type of mountain bike; standard bikes won’t cope well at high speeds, up to 70mph, on rough, rocky terrains. Downhill mountain bikes are designed to withstand the force that comes with travelling down the track at high speeds and taking on high-speed jumps. They include large amounts of suspension and parts that are designed to be as strong and durable as possible. DH riders need to protect themselves by wearing the best mountain bike knee pads, full-face helmets, elbow pads, protective gloves and back protection. Some riders also choose to wear neck braces when participating in DH events.
Pump track mountain biking
Pump track racing is a very different type of mountain biking; instead of using the pedals to move the bike, riders “pump” the bike using up and down body movements to create momentum that propels the bike forward and around the track. A pump track is a loop which contains bumps, turns and banks. Riders compete to get around the track as quickly as possible without using their pedals. This form of mountain bike riding is enjoyable and fun for riders of all levels. You don’t need any specific type of bike; you can get started with the bike you already ride. It can also help riders to build up skills they can use on a mountain bike track; using momentum and the track to propel themselves forward can be beneficial for achieving higher speeds and perfecting jumps out on a larger trail. Professional pump track riders use mountain bikes with very rigid or little suspension, but beginners can use a variety of bikes to enjoy the pump track experience. If you’re performing tricks, you should wear a full-face helmet, protective knee and elbow pads. This might not be necessary if you’re used to the track and don’t plan on trying any jumps or tricks. In any case, you should wear a bike helmet whenever you ride a bike.
When it comes to finding your mountain bike sport, try out different options, you might be surprised by what you find most enjoyable. Here we’ve talked about four variations of mountain biking; these are some of the popular options which attract spectators and new athletes. Additionally, you can participate in many other types of mountain biking.
How to Get Rid of Bad Smells
We all dream of owning a home that only ever smells of freshly baked bread and scented candles. But not many of us have time (or the skill) to bake beautiful sourdough loaves and leaving candles on for too long is a fire hazard. The truth is, life can be messy. And that mess can cause unpleasant pongs. So, if your house is being dogged by a lingering odour – caused by your kids, pets or a stinky dustbin – there are a few steps you can take to get rid of that bad smell to leave your home smelling fresh.
Step 1: Find the odour
If the bad smell has an obvious culprit, you can skip this step. But if the nasty whiff is somewhat of a mystery, it can be a bit trickier to tackle it. To thoroughly treat the stain and smell, you’ll need to find it. We can’t give better advice than to track the scent with your nose or think back to any particularly bad messes that might need a revisit. It might be as simple as muck on your shoes that needs cleaning or doing the bins. Perhaps your pet had an accident that you thought you dealt with at the time or your toddler dropped food that you simply wiped away. If you can think of anything like that, it’s a good place to start. Even when surfaces look clean, if they’re not treated fully, smells can develop and worsen over time.
Step 2: Remove the cause
Once you’ve found the root cause of the odour, the next thing is to get rid of it. If there are obvious clumps of dirt or faeces, remove and carefully dispose of all the solid matter. Pick it up with gloves or use your hoover to collect debris. When something is creating a particularly nasty smell, don’t chuck the waste into your household bin – put it straight outside. If you’ve spilt a liquid or you’re dealing with urine, soak up the excess with a clean cloth or some paper towel.
Step 3: Gather cleaning products
There are plenty of household remedies for removing odours which you can whip up using everyday products you have in your cupboards. However, as these items aren’t usually designed for tackling stains and smells they can bleach and remove colour from surfaces or damage fabrics. We recommend using an enzyme cleaner to properly degrease and disinfect. Products like Bio oneTM clean naturally, using active enzymes which work in combination with friendly bacteria to digest the bad bacteria which causes the smell. Bio oneTM is 100% organic, vegan and non-toxic so you can use it safely with your furry companions too. You’ll only need one bottle of enzyme cleaner to do the job as they’re more effective than traditional products as well as better for the planet.
Step 4: Disinfect
Now it’s time to clean. Spray the affected area thoroughly with the enzyme cleaner. These cleaners work their magic when surfaces are totally damp so make sure it’s completely covered and soaked with product. Now you need to leave the cleaner to work deep down into the surface for five to ten minutes. After that time has passed, check to see if the stain and smell are lifting. If they are, simply blot up excess with a cloth and leave the area to air dry. If it needs more work, respray and leave for a further five minutes before repeating the previous instruction.
Step 5: Get rid of the smell
Luckily for you, enzyme cleaners don’t just clean. They are an effective odour remover too. That means you don’t need to waste your money on scented sprays that simply mask the bad smells. Aerosol air fresheners are not only bad for the planet, but they can also be harmful to the delicate respiratory systems of both humans and animals. By digesting the bad bacteria, products like Bio oneTM eliminate pesky pongs and have a natural scent to leave surfaces smelling fresh.
Step 6: Let some air in
To help air dry the affected area, try to ventilate the room. Open the windows and doors to let the breeze in. This will also refresh the stale air to banish any leftover bad smells.
Step 7: Keep on top of bad smells
Don’t give bad smells a chance to build up. Regularly disinfect surfaces, using an enzyme cleaner, to remove 99% of bacteria. This will keep your home clean, hygienic and odour-free. Create a cleaning schedule so you can deal with mess quickly, before it becomes a bigger problem. Include things like emptying your bins often, throwing away old food plus cleaning and reorganising the fridge. If you have pets, toilet train them to prevent accidents and refresh cat litter weekly.
The Most Popular Dog Breeds for Families
If you have children and love dogs, the chances are that you will want a dog which is family friendly and will fit into your lifestyle well. There are many things to consider when choosing your family dog, but when you are a family household with children, most parents will want to know that their child will be safe to be around the dog and that the dog and children can be friends and play together when the kids are old enough.
Something to bear in mind is the fact that choosing a calm, gentle dog breed and training them well will only get you so far. You also need to teach your kids how to behave properly around a dog, and how they should respect the dog’s personal space and should be gentle and not annoy them. Most kids can learn this by the age of about five years old, but even then you should never leave a child unattended with a dog because accidents can and do happen. With all of that out of the way, get ready for the puppy parade!
Cavalier King Charles spaniel
One of the smaller family-friendly dogs on this list, the cavalier King Charles spaniel combines the small size of a toy dog with the intelligence, trainability and confidence of a working dog. Full of life and character, the cavalier is the perfect companion for a growing family, and they are just as happy going for an adventure in the outdoors as they are cuddling on the sofa. Friendly with strangers and naturally outgoing, you’ll be in good company with a cavalier.
The humble labrador retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the world, and is the most owned dog breed in many countries. They are on the larger side and are full of energy, but their friendly, loving and gentle disposition makes them the perfect family pet for people who have active lifestyles. It is not uncommon for a lab to become the kids’ best friend as long as they can learn to respect each others’ personal space. Labs take extremely well to training and will love bonding with you and your family, especially if you use accessories like a dog whistle and a dog clicker to aid in communication.
The beagle has a reputation for being a little less bright than other dogs, but this is simply not true. Beagles are charming, friendly and smart companions for a family, even ones with young children. Beagles thrive on human contact and will be friendly with pretty much anyone – great if you’re looking for a family pet, but not so great if you need a guard dog! Just keep in mind that beagles don’t tend to like spending a lot of time alone, so if you know you will need to leave them alone for long portions of the day then they might not be the best fit for your lifestyle. They are also scent hounds at heart, so keep in mind that their nose will be a distraction for them!
Despite their giant size, newfoundlands are some of the most gentle, loveable dogs on the planet. They tend to have a sweet, patient and gentle nature which makes them the ideal companion for families with children. They are active dogs that love to swim and run, and because of their size they are best for family homes that have a reasonably sized garden. Also due to their large size, they may not be suitable for families with very small babies purely because they can be clumsy. This shouldn’t be a problem with the right supervision, however.
If you need a dog that can keep up with the energy levels of young kids, a border collie might be your new best friend. Medium in size, the collie is an active herding dog that has bags of energy, character, and joy in a wiggly package. Perfect for families that love to be outdoors, especially if you have access to a garden or a park very close by, collies are friendly and determined dogs that love to have something to do. Just watch out, they often will try to herd you kids and their friends!
Dog Whistles for Recall – Smore