Working from home has become a “new normal” for many of us who are used to working in a corporate office. Maybe it had a bit of novelty at first, skipping your daily commute and taking your time getting to your desk right as the workday begins. If you haven’t settled into your WFH routine, its novelty is probably beginning to wear off. Check out some of these tips from The Muse on creating a productive home office:
- Think like a mouse
Find the quietest corner of your house, while some people need some background noise to work, others find any noise at all incredibly disturbing.
- Declutter your desk
While sticky notes can be a helpful tool, extra books, piles of paper or cups half-full of lukewarm coffee will strongly detract from your productivity and your concentration. You don’t want your desk to be empty – don’t stow away your pen if you’ll be using it again today – but giving yourself space to work allows you to have space to think as well.
- Declutter the rest of the house too
As much as you want to ignore your messy living room, shutting your office door might not be enough to convince you that your mess has disappeared. Spend a couple minutes each night tidying up so that the next morning you’re ready for business.
- Bring in some green
A desk or a floor plant is a great way to add a breath of fresh air to your workspace and create some visual variety when your eyes need a break from the screen. Try something resilient like a small cactus or succulent, or at least arrange your desk so you can see outside.
- Try a calming scent
Soft, wafting scents can soothe the usual stress of thought blockages and procrastination, resulting in increased focus. Besides having a nice smell, essential oils like lavender and jasmine can actually give you great natural boosts. Try a fresh smelling potted herb or plant, or simply add a scented candle. Aromatherapy could be just the trick you need to get your thoughts back on track.
- Use a small to-do list
Before you begin tackling the day’s tasks, spend 10 minutes creating a detailed checklist. Then, spend another five making an even shorter checklist of tasks you absolutely know will get done in the next couple of hours. If you have too many tasks, there’s no way they’ll all get done. This trick helps you remember and plan for each chore, but also breaks your day down into small, actionable tasks. Plus, once you check off or cross out your finished work, those visible accomplishments will spur your creativity.
- Take meaningful breaks
When it’s time to take a break, you might default to checking Facebook. For a more productive way to recharge your batteries, try reading relevant articles to give you some inspiration, learning about new innovations in your field or even taking a walk around your block. As long as you’re timing your breaks, you’ll be back to work in no time and your brain will feel a bit more refreshed.
Belclaire Homes builds homes that fit your lifestyle, especially when you work where you live! When designing your new home in one of our communities, we will work with you to create the best home office space to spark your productivity and creativity. Our model homes are currently available for viewing by appointment only, get in touch with someone from our team to set something up and get started creating the home of your dreams. You can see our available homes here.
The home is where we spend more time than anywhere else, especially when it’s a Belclaire home built just for you and your family. So, why not do some seasonal cleaning to keep it in tip-top shape for the coming warmer months? Real Simple has some tips and tricks that will help you tackle your cleaning to-do list as quickly and efficiently as possible. We summarized them but you can read the full article here.
- Break cleaning down into 10-minute chunks
Sometimes spring cleaning is like a marathon, but it doesn’t have to be. Break it down into short, highly productive chunks. A few things you can clean in the next 10 minutes:Dust: brush a dust wand over all open surfaces
Clean doors and switch plates: remove fingerprints, smudges and germs from light switch plates with a damp microfiber cloth.
Dust ceiling fans: place a pillowcase over the fan blade and pull it toward you to collect the dust, then use a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water to clean each blade.
Baseboards: use a microfiber mop to clear dust and debris from your baseboards
- Adapt to your cleaning personality
Some people are stress cleaners while others are procrastinators. Identifying your cleaning personality is the first step to coming up with a plan that works for you. For example, if you’re an angry cleaner, let your emotion motivate you to tackle tough cleaning tasks like scrubbing grout.
- Mix up your own all-natural cleanser
Whether you’re trying to use less chemicals or you just want some backup for when you run out of your usual cleanser, it’s good to know how to make your own cleaning solution using ingredients you probably already have. This recipe can be used on quartz, granite and marble counters, plus appliances and sinks:
¾ cup water
¾ cup rubbing alcohol
5-10 drops peppermint, lemon or orange essential oil
1 squirt natural dish soap
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray onto surfaces and wipe clean with a cloth. Voila!
- De-stink your gym clothes
For many people, warmer weather doesn’t just signal us to spring clean, but also to recommit to working out. To deodorize your gym clothes, try soaking them in one part white vinegar to four parts cold water. If that doesn’t work, try switching to cotton blend workout clothes.
- Make your trash smell better
Help your kitchen trash smell a little more pleasant by placing a couple dryer sheets on the bottom of the can – used ones work great!
- Use baking soda to refresh stained coffee mugs
Even the Statue of Liberty was cleaned with baking soda on its centennial. To clean off stained coffee mugs, fill the mug with one part baking soda and two parts water. Let them soak overnight and rub clean with a sponge.
- Clear gunk off your oven door
If the inside of your oven door is caked with splatters and baked-on food, try wetting a pumice stone, scrubbing and wiping clean with a wet microfiber cloth.
- Make shower cleaning second nature
One tip is to keep a squeegee in your shower so it’s easy to remember to wipe down the walls, but some people like to keep a dish wand filled with dish soap and vinegar in the shower so you can scrub while you’re in it!
Your home is a place that reflects you. Learn more about building a Belclaire home to suit your family in Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Emerald Heights in McKinney and Castle Hills in Lewisville. At the moment, our model homes in these communities can be viewed by appointment only, however, you can see some of our available homes here.
Belclaire Homes has opened a new model in the award-winning Castle Hills Community. This model is built on the community’s largest home site available. The model is located at 1201 Dragon Banner Drive and features three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one powder bathroom. The master-planned community is complete with over 20 parks and lakes, hike-and-bike trails, community centers with pools, basketball and tennis courts, fitness rooms, sports fields and an award-winning private golf course. The community also has its own Castle Hills Village Shops & Plaza that brings the community together with seasonal concerts and festivals and offers neighborhood conveniences such as dry cleaning, dining, salon, dental and class office space. Visit the model to learn more about Belclaire Homes in Castle Hills.
Happy Thanksgiving from Belclaire Homes!
We take pride in providing outstanding luxury homes at top-rated communities where residents can enjoy Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. So, it’s safe to say that Belclaire homeowners are what we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving. If you don’t already, find out why you should celebrate holidays in a brand-new Belclaire home! We’re building dream homes in some of North Texas’ most exclusive communities: Castle Hills Northpointe in Lewisville, Emerald Heights in McKinney and Windsong Ranch in Prosper.
As of Friday, Oct. 25, Belclaire Homes occupies its new corporate office at Offices at The Realm in Lewisville. Offices at The Realm is Bright Realty’s latest development in the Castle Hills master-planned community and Phase I of The Realm at Castle Hills. The nine-story, 235,000-square-foot building includes retail, restaurant and office space, as well as a fitness center, café, community lounge and conference center.
The new address for American Legend Homes will be:
4400 State Highway 121, Suite 410
Lewisville, TX 75056
Established in 2010, Belclaire Homes strives to fill the wants and needs of homeowners seeking the best of everything. The company is backed by the tradition and quality of Bright Industries, a Dallas-based organization specializing in real estate development, oil and gas exploration and homebuilding. With Belclaire Homes, homeowners have the unique opportunity to achieve the home of their dreams in some of Dallas’ most exclusive neighborhoods. Through transitioning into Offices at The Realm, Belclaire remains committed to delivering excellence in every aspect of the design and homebuilding experience.
Belclaire Homes is proud to be a part of Castle Hills’ continued development with the addition of Castle Hills Northpointe coming soon! The neighborhood is located in Lewisville, near Parker Road between Josey Lane and Old Denton Road.
The award-winning master-planned community is set within a majestic 2,900 acres with lush, rolling landscape. It features a park within walking distance of every home, a community garden, sports fields, a catch-and-release fishing lake, an extensive trail system and community pools. Specialty dining, services and shopping can be found at, where residents can also attend regularly scheduled family-friendly events!
In Castle Hills Northpointe, Belclaire Homes will build on 80-foot home sites. We will offer a versatile selection of floor plans between 3,200 and 4,500 square feet that include options such as spacious European baths, comfortable outdoor living areas, personal wine cellars, custom libraries and gourmet kitchens.
Call our sales office at 972-410-5701 to learn more about the upcoming neighborhood and the Castle Hills community!