How to Choose the right domestic staff for your home

How to Choose the right domestic staff for your home

Source Running a home can be difficult, especially when the individuals involved have kids and are working-class parents. It is almost impossible to keep the home as tasteful as you would like More »

Christmas Traditions – What Are Your Favourites?

Christmas Traditions – What Are Your Favourites?

Source Do you have a favourite holiday film? What about a holiday tradition? Maybe watching certain films IS your holiday tradition, alongside a couple of cups of eggnog and your favourite naughty More »

Christmas At The Office – The Benefit To Decorating Your Work Space

Christmas At The Office – The Benefit To Decorating Your Work Space

Source With Christmas almost literally around the corner now, people all over the world are beginning to bust out those dusty boxes filled with old Christmas decorations to decorate the office and More »

How to Successfully Move Large Furniture Into Your New Home

How to Successfully Move Large Furniture Into Your New Home

When it comes to moving home there is so much to consider, packing up, labelling, organizing, moving and unpacking, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. One of the biggest challenges More »

5 Benefits of Using Ring Light for Better Video

5 Benefits of Using Ring Light for Better Video

You might have seen beautiful and soft videos in Youtube or anywhere in other sites, like those make up tutorials or interviews. Usually if we are to use our mobile phones for More »

 

Feng Shui Your Home for a Faster Sale

Now before you boo hoo the idea of Feng Shui, which is the ancient Chinese practice of making energetic and physical adjustments to a space in order to create balance and flow, as superstitious mumbo jumbo, let’s open our minds and think about why you landed on this article.

If you’ve found yourself here it might mean you’re trying to sell your home and it’s been taking much longer than expected, or you’re anticipating selling your home and you’re feeling fearful about some aspect of the process. It also might surprise you that using Feng Shui in real estate sales is not as outlandish as one might think.

First things first, don’t be fearful, having negative energy or feelings about the sale is setting you up for bad Feng Shui, which you’ll learn more about in a bit.

But if you’re feeling a tad skeptical, know that Feng Shui has been around since 4000 B.C., so it’s definitely working for people.

Image Credit: CanvasPrintersOnline

Here are some Feng Shui principles you can apply now that can help you sell your home:

Focus on the Front

You’ve probably given some thought to your home’s curb appeal as you’ve been prepping to sell, but there could be a few things right at the very front of your home creating bad energy.

For example, is there a mirror that’s directly facing the front door of your home? While mirrors can be used to bring in good feng shui in many areas of your home, a mirror at the front is essentially reflecting any good energy right back out the door and not welcoming it in.

Feng shui also breaks your home in to zones, and when your intent is to sell it’s smart to focus on the zones of wealth, career, fame and helpful people. The career zone happens to be right at the front door, and good feng shui for your career zone includes water energy and the color yellow. You could incorporate these things by installing a small tabletop water feature, or an art print depicting water, and a vase of yellow flowers

Image Credit : About.com

Mindfully Redecorate

When it comes to the other three zones of your home, you can make some good feng shui decor changes there as well.

The wealth zone of your home, which is back left from the front door, responds well to wind and the color green, so you may want to consider placing wind chimes near that area on the exterior of your home and incorporate some plants.

The helpful people zone, which is to the right of the front door, favors modern lines and metallic hues. Placing metallic decor details like a wine rack or a black and white photograph will allow good energy to flow in to this area of your home. The fame zone is connected to the element of fire, so lighting some candles here can bring in that element if you don’t have a fireplace.

Balance Your Energy Flow

Some areas in your home might be susceptible for bad energy flow and some areas might not have energy flowing at all.

Bad energy flow could be due to hefty pieces of furniture blocking entry points throughout the room, such as windows, or you could have sharp angles of a table pointing to an entryway, which is bad Feng shui.

Other rooms in your home that you may not enter every day, like a guest bedroom, could be feeling stagnant and pull down the overall energy of your home. Try breathing life back in to this room by making a point to enter that room every day and consider bringing in a plant as well.

So now that you’ve got some relatively simple changes you can make to move along the sale of your home, let’s put them in to action.

Then your next step is to start packing because you’ll be moving before you know it!

How to Choose the right domestic staff for your home

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Running a home can be difficult, especially when the individuals involved have kids and are working-class parents. It is almost impossible to keep the home as tasteful as you would like alongside your busy schedules. At this point, a domestic staff is your best bet. But how do you ensure you get someone that fits just what you want. For a lot of people, this can be a huge challenge as it is not as simple as just finding the right personality match. Ensuring that the person is honest, trustworthy and above all, they are who they say they are is critical. More so, a private or domestic staff should be flexible, possess excellent interpersonal skills and a strong knowledge of caring for a home.

Often times, it is advisable to use the services of a private staff hiring firm as they know what to look out for in an individual, they help you do all the vetting and background check of the individual before hiring and sending them over to your home based on your needs and specific requirements. Over the years, we have worked with several domestic staff and from our experience, here are a few tips on what you should do when hiring a staff in other to protect your home and family:

Conduct Interviews

Arrange for an interview with the candidate, conduct this interview with someone else you trust. This is good as it ensures that you are getting a “second judgment” on the candidate’s personality. People interpret things differently, this way, you get a reliable second opinion, and like the saying goes “two heads are better than one.” Ask all the necessary questions. The candidate’s responses would determine further questions to ask if necessary. Watch their body language and how they respond to your questions.

Cross Check their references and previous work experiences

When you decide on a particular candidate, cross check their references. Verify that they exist, their relationship with the candidate, how long they have known them and any other concerns you may have. Check their previous work experience if any and verify the dates, how long they worked with the person, how they conducted themselves during the work period, why the person left and if they would recommend the person. In cases where the person may have worked for a high net worth individuals or high profile individuals, it is most likely that some form of discretion would be observed. In such situations, demand for a letter headed reference or verification from their personal assistants. Be careful of candidates who cannot provide references.

Do an additional background check

Doing an additional background check on your prospective candidate to check if the person has any criminal records of any form will give you greater peace of mind. Being thorough cannot be overemphasized as this person would be working in your home. Taking the extra steps is just you doing your due diligence to protect your home and family.

Getting it right from the onset will – in the long term save you heartaches and can possibly go on to be a good and long term relationship with the candidate.

Top Ways To Make A Home Elderly-Friendly

If you’re like most people these days, you probably have an ageing relative that might need care that you’re struggling to provide on your own. Or maybe they’re just living in a home that’s beginning to provide more of a hindrance to their safety than anything else. Moving elderly relatives to care homes can be upsetting, not just for them, but for you as well, and it’s not just expensive but can be sometimes soul destroying. Helping elderly relatives live in their own homes longer is the key to keeping them happy, healthy and worry free, but how do you go about fixing up their homes to keep them safe? Here are some easy ways you can start fixing up their home to make it elderly-friendly.

Stairlifts

To help the elderly live in their own homes for longer, the ability to access every part of their house remains vital. This is why the idea to get a stairlift fitted is one of the best ways to help them access all parts of the home, sleep in their own bed and still retain independence within their space. The moment they lose the ability to move around their home freely, the frustration with their limited mobility can begin to affect their moods and mental health. You can help keep these issues at bay by providing real solutions to mobility issues, like with the installation of a stairlift.

Rugs And Carpets

Rugs and carpets can provide trip and slip hazards which can prove to be deadly to elderly people. Corners of carpets that flip up or rugs with no grips underneath can be dangerous to those with mobility issues or to elderly people who shuffle their feet while walking. Remove these hazards or have them replaced or repaired to ensure there’s no problematic accidents. Consider putting rubber fittings under rugs in the likes of the kitchen, or even putting yoga mats under rugs to provide no slip grips.

Cupboards

Changing cupboards in kitchens, bathrooms and garages will help provide elderly residents the ease of access to everyday items like pots, pans and cooking utensils which will help eliminate frustration with getting access to these items. If your relative enjoys cooking, be sure to change their cupboards with their help so they can get to their favourite dishes, cooking pots and more. Perhaps consider labelling cupboards for them until they get used to the new locations or move the items with their help so they can actively choose the locations for their frequently used cooking pots. This will help keep them happy and independent in their home with the ability to provide themselves with freshly cooked, healthy meals.

A Helping Hand

For those tricky bathrooms and stairwells, it can be beneficial to have additional supports installed. If you aren’t sure about having them professionally installed, consider buying place and click supports with suctions that can provide assistance in getting up from the toilet, getting out of the shower and the like. These can help your relative still retain their independence and privacy when using the bathroom for its intended purposes such as showering or bathing so they don’t need to call on you or a caregiver to assist them.

So if you’ve been looking for a great way to help your loved one retain their independence, bolster their happiness and provide longevity in staying in their home, consider some of the ways we mention above. Keeping elderly people happy, healthy and safe is key to providing them the best care and the best chances at a longer and happier life.

Top Reasons To Hire Domestic Staff

When it comes to taking care of your house and home, it can sometimes be a daunting task. Between cooking meals, cleaning and taking care of children it can be a full time job – a concept that can be tiring and draining, especially when you work full time yourself. If this sounds like you, you may be looking for an answer that solves most of these issues without skimping on proper meals, a clean home and good, high level care for the children. If you’ve never thought to use a domestic staff agency before, there’s never been a better time to look into it. Here are just some of the perks you can enjoy by employing someone to take care of the home when you can’t.

Save Time

When it comes to hiring someone to help around the house, be it helping with cooking, cleaning or child care, hiring domestic staff can help immensely. Working a full day can be a huge task, especially in certain roles that have extensive hours or unexpected delays so knowing that you have someone on hand to collect the children from school, cook dinner and do the cleaning will not only save you stress, but also time, leaving you able to spend your evenings connecting with your family or doing the things that you actually want to do, instead of being hidden away in the kitchen making sure the dinner is just so.

Expertise

When you hire domestic staff, especially through a staffing agency, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best of the best. With high end, quality vetting in place to ensure that all candidates are not just qualified, but also cleared to work within your home you can rest easy knowing that you have staff on hand that will ensure all your family’s needs are met so that you can take a load off and stop stressing about how to keep your home together while working a full time job as well. Whether you need someone for just afternoons to watch the kids after school, someone only at weekends, to cook and clean or a full time live in nanny for the babies, you can find these types of domestic staff and more to help you when it matters most.

Specifically Designed

Domestic staffing comes in all shapes and sizes, budgets and for almost every necessity in the home. If you need someone to travel with you and your family to care for your children while you’re on holiday, someone only to come in on Christmas or Boxing Day, or someone to live in the home and provide round the clock service, it’s possible with domestic staffing. Each client is looked at individually with their own specific set of needs and wants considered and the appropriate candidates put forward for the roles so there’s no guesswork and no time wasted in finding the perfect fit for you and your family.

So whether you need occasional help or round the clock assistance with your various needs, a domestic staffing agency can help massively to provide you with service, skill and stress free living, whatever your needs.

Ways To Redo Your Flooring That Won’t Break The Bank

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When it comes to home renovations, it can be a stressful time especially if you aren’t sure whether or not to undertake the work yourself or to hire professionals, especially when it comes to a seemingly large job like redoing your flooring. The good news is that when it comes to flooring it doesn’t have to be a huge job, especially if you’re willing to get some friends to help or change things up a bit. Here are a couple of great ways you can make a flooring job easier for you, just in time for the weather to change so you have a new space to enjoy all winter long.

Get Friends To Help

This is probably one of the best, if not most fun ways to get your floors sorted out. What better way to spend some time with the friends than working on a cool DIY project together? Start the day right with coffees and pastries from your favourite shops and then help one another out by removing the old flooring, carpet or tile and working as a team to put it all back together with the new stuff. Celebrate a job well done with pizzas and beer after the new flooring is in place, with an all around great bonding moment for you and all your favourite friends. After all, what are friends for?

Hire A Pro

The most straightforward option for anyone wanting to replace flooring in the house, hiring a professional will  ensure the job doesn’t just get done right, but also that someone else does all the clean up. Using a professional will mean there’s no second guessing on tile sizes, measurements or placement and you can rest easy and take a load off knowing that your flooring is in the best hands possible. The only downside to hiring a professional is the cost affiliated with the work, but if money is no object or you really don’t know the first thing about flooring, this is the best option.

Click In Place

The great thing about click in place flooring is that almost literally anyone can do it themselves. Similar to putting a puzzle together, click in place flooring can be easily cut to fit specific corners, edges and tight areas and is easy to place, easy to clean and all around a great, cheaper alternative if you want something potentially expensive like engineered oak wood floors or some types of stone or tile. Lifestyleflooring.co.uk has a whole host of different types of this kind of click in place flooring. If plain looking hardwood isn’t your thing, why not give your floors a distressed look with some beautiful Van Gogh vinyl tiling for an old farmhouse feel.

So if you’re looking at redoing your floors this year to make a splash over the winter with all those great parties coming up over the Christmas and holiday season, consider redoing your floors. Now is a great time before the weather gets too cold or wet, so start today!

 

Independence In The Home – Renos That Give Your Home Life Staying Power

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If you or a family member are beginning to find certain things a struggle to do in your own home, it might be time to consider a couple of easy home upgrades that will help you to retain independence as you get into more and more elderly age. Even if you aren’t ageing quite yet you may find that you have mobility issues that could benefit from these same upgrades, or perhaps you’re having an elderly parent come to live with you. Whatever your reason for wanting to make your home more age friendly, these are some great suggestions you can do anytime to make your home safer for yourself or elderly visitors and residents.

Bathroom Upgrades

The bathroom is one of the rooms where many potential problems reside what with slippery floors and showers with no handles or ways to help stabilise you when the floor is wet. Even just walking across the tiling in socks or slippers can pose a hazard, and so installing hand rails along the walls can be a great way to help everyday stabilisation issues. You can get a nice walk in shower enclosure installed that actually will help create a modern and beautiful bathroom, with the added benefit of a stylish shower seat so you don’t need to worry about it looking like it belongs in an elderly persons residence if you’re concerned about that kind of thing. With shower enclosures it has the added benefit of being able to walk into it, so you don’t need to traverse a bathtub in order to get into the shower either, which will help those with mobility issues or the elderly as well.

Living Space Changes

Various living space changes can be made to help the elderly live in their own homes longer. Things like moving commonly used items into lower cabinets in both the sitting room and kitchen can help avoid unnecessary climbs onto ladders that could result in falls. As we age, climbing to retrieve things is no longer something that seems as easy as it did when we were children, so taking steps to avoid this is a great idea. Other living space changes can involve changing the flooring to incorporate carpeting which can help limit the possibility of slips and trips that linoleum/hardwood and rugs can cause. Be sure to get a reputable carpet installation company to install the carpeting properly to avoid any possible loose corners that can be trip hazards as well.

Stair Lifts

Stairlifts are a great option for elderly people and those with reduced mobility who live in a home with multiple levels. The nice thing about stairlifts is the fact that they can be custom built to fit even staircases with five to seven stairs and not just those full staircases up to the first storey of the home where bedrooms commonly are. This is a perfect way to help an ageing relative or friend retain home independence and stay sleeping in their own bed – the perfect comfort as we age.

So if you or someone you know is ageing or experiencing problems with their mobility, consider one of the above ways you can start helping them stay happy in their own homes for longer. With so many options these days, you will surely be able to ensure that you come to a successful conclusion and the house can be enjoyed for years to come.

Why You Should Use Professionals For Home Renovation

If you are planning on having any renovation work done on your home then you may well have considered which aspects of it you would be able to carry out yourself. Many people go through this, either to keep costs down or to simply flex their creative muscles, but the smart move would be to enlist the support of a professional. There are some things around the house which should always be handled by pros such as plumbing and gas related issues, but you should also look to call in a handy man or painter and decorator, for a number of other tasks in the home.  If you are not sure whether you should call in a professional or tackle a problem on your own, here are the benefits which you can count on when using an expert.

Quality of the Job

Unless you have been trained, it is more likely than not that calling in a professional will contribute towards the job being finished to a much higher standard. Even something as simple as painting in the home, this is a task which we are all able to carry out, but the finish which a professional painter and decorator will give, is of a far higher quality than any of us could achieve. It is important to remember that these men and women carry out this job each and every day, so they know the best way to get it done.

Guarantee

Most professionals will guarantee their work which means that should anything go wrong in the first few months, you can simply call them back in to come and address the issue. Many people try and fail at DIY tasks, and then when things go wrong they call in a professional, save yourself time and trouble and call them from the outset.

Cost Effective

One reason why many people will have a go at some DIY in the home is to try and keep costs down, but doing so can actually be more expensive. When you hire a professional, you won’t need to buy any tools or equipment, something which you will need to do if you are trying to complete the task on your own. Furthermore many people make mistakes, which costs money to repair, when hiring an expert this will not be the case. All told, it probably works out cheaper to get the right person for the job first time around.

Time

Not only will a professional complete this job in far less time than most of us could, it also saves you time which you can contribute to better things. In many painting and decorating cases for example, you could leave for work and return to a completed job, rather than waiting for Saturday so that you have time to carry it out.

The decision between doing it yourself and calling in a pro is really a no-brainer, save time, effort and money, and get the experts in.

Best Bedroom Decor Styles Trending This Summer

With summers knocking our doors, all those who wish to experiment with their home accessories can get an opportunity to bring changes in their bedroom interior. Summertime demands something lively as well as bright.

Those who wish to decorate your bedrooms for summer may have a look at the below-mentioned ideas. These ideas might help you to welcome summertime with open arms.

English Gardens

This theme is perhaps the most suitable one for summer nature. If you want to add simplicity and subtlety then English garden theme is perfect for your bedroom. Now, you will ask, what is this English Garden? Well, it is filled with floral patterns which will give you the feeling of staying amidst English garden. In case you choose this theme, make sure that the colours of the bed sheets or curtains should be in light colour. For inculcating the airy feel in your bedroom, you can choose light wooden furniture. Suppose you want to decorate your bedroom then just put some sweet smelling flowers in the vase.

Minimalist

Which is the first thing that comes up in your mind when someone asks you about summer? Possibly, it is free. If so, then the minimalist style can be the best for you. To enjoy the freedom, first get rid of unwanted items for your home accessories. You can do this by clearing bedside tables or you can even change the colour theme of your bedroom. Choosing a good colour can allow you to greet summer.

Coastal

Most of us love to spend time on a beach site; however, it is not always possible to visit a beach. Wouldn’t it be great, if you get an opportunity to bring the coastal vibes into your bedroom? You can do this by opting for white and navy blue colour combination in pillows or curtains.

You can keep the colour of the canvas in white and decorate your room with wooden furniture. Don’t forget to adorn your room with wooden flooring. For adding more to the coastal theme, you can join shell items.

Tropical

If boldness is the only thing that comes to the fore then tropical theme can serve your purpose. The tropical theme can be achieved by mashing up loud prints in bold colours. In order to create wonder with your interior, you can select tropical patterned show pieces like pineapples, flamingos etc. Your bedroom will make you groove with fun if it is furnished with attractive colours. For eg: keep the armchair in pink or you can also choose a mirror that has a bright frame.

Luxe

It is always good to give glamorous look to your bedroom. One can create this look by playing with metallic colours like silver or gold. These colours will allow you to feel all the warmth. Apart from this, you can add a velvet curtain and choose a mirror with silver frames. In fact you can even use some glass decorations.

Hopefully, you have decided that which theme you want to choose for your bedroom decor. The choice of theme should completely be based on your requirements and personal choice.

How to Refurbish a Bathroom

When you’re working on your home, some projects are tougher than others, but they repay that difficulty not just with a better experience and an easier life when it’s done, but by actually making your home more valuable.

Repainting your spare room, clearing it out and turning it into an office might be an occasionally onerous task, but it requires no specialist equipment, nothing but dedication, commitment and paintbrushes. If you make a mistake you can clean up the mess and try again. And when it’s done? You have the study you wanted but it’s not fundamentally altered your house and doesn’t affect the value.

On the other hand, going to work on your bathroom does need specialist help and tools if you’re doing anything more than simply touching up the paintwork. The consequences for a mistake are rather more serious: damaging a water pipe could at best leave you without a shower and at worst flood the house! Getting it all right, though means not just a better bathing experience, it could actually add value to your house! Even if you’re not considering moving, that’s a useful investment to make.

The first vital thing you have to take into account is budget. Start by working out how much you can afford to spend, and if you do have an eye on the eventual effect on your house’s value, talk to an estate agent to find out how much it’s likely to be and ensure you keep your budget beneath this.

You should then talk to a builder of a plumber: they can tell you how much you can move things around in your bathroom, and how much it would cost. One way to keep costs down is to keep the layout untouched: moving pipework is expensive and disruptive so it’s to be avoided if at all possible. On the other hand, if one of the things you want to achieve is creating space by changing your layout it’s a necessary evil.

It’s also worth finding a single supplier when you’re refurbishing. If you can find someone like Czech & Speake who ca supply everything from bath taps and panelling to razor blade holders, along with spare parts in case of breakages it makes your life much easier!

With all this preparation in place you can decide on a look for your bathroom, whether that’s classical elegance or stark, up to the minute functionality, and then focus on making it come true!

Why it’s Important to Have an Energy Audit

The reason why an energy audit is such an important thing is due to the fact that it plays a vital role in your budget’s health. Poor insulation, outdated equipment and similar structural and infrastructural issues can be a reason why you’re spending twice the amount of energy, thus increasing your monthly utility bill and boosting your home’s carbon footprint. In other words, performing an energy audit is a frugal, smart, pragmatic and eco-friendly decision. So, here are several other reasons why having an energy audit is a smart choice for every single homeowner and business owner.

1. Wall and attic insulation

The first thing that needs to be visited during an energy audit is the insulation of the building in question. Namely, the ability of your home to maintain the desired heat level is a key factor in your energy spending during extreme heats and blizzards alike. In the summer, a properly insulated building is easier and cheaper to cool down and keep at that target level. In the winter, this same building is cheaper to heat, which is a massive factor on your utility bill.

A lot of people miss out on checking an attic while handling the insulation of their homes, thus, coming short of optimal efficiency. Remember that some countries and states provide insulation grants, seeing how going through with this particular home remodeling project works to everyone’s benefit.

2. Quality of windows

The next thing you should address is the quality of windows. Properly installed, quality, double-glazing PVC windows can reduce the energy loss of your home’s interior by as much as forty percent. Sure, the project of getting them installed isn’t necessarily frugal; yet, it’s a price definitely worth paying. On the other hand, you can’t merely observe your windows as just another feature or fixture on the shelf. Their orientation is pivotal to their overall efficiency, which is why you should always have someone who knows their job to take a look at them.

3. Checking your installations

Inspecting your safety grid should definitely be at the very top of your priority list for several reasons. First, it’s vital to the safety of your household, second, it puts your appliances at risk, thus, causing some potentially expensive property damage. For both of these reasons, it would be wise to have a phone number of a local emergency electrician, even if your grid seems to be doing just fine at the moment. Apart from being a safety hazard, bad energy grid situation also makes all of your appliances less efficient.

4. Finding leaks

The reason why mere home inspection can never beat the efficiency of the energy audit is due to the fact that the auditor uses a wide array of specialized tools that guarantee efficiency at every step. They might start by depressurizing your home and proceed to use a thermal imaging camera to see cold areas. In this way, you’ll easily reveal any leaks or blind spots that a casual inspection wouldn’t have done. Apart from this, they might also use an infrared thermal imager in order to notice something you might have missed during the insulation process.

5. Getting a detailed report

Let’s be honest, the chance that replacing a single window, replacing one appliance or plugging a single leak in your insulation will solve everything are quite unrealistic. It’s far more likely that you’ll be facing a set of problems, not all of which will be of the same gravity. This, on the other hand, also means that they’re not of the same priority. With that in mind, if you lack the budget to tackle all of them at once, you can start by focusing on the most pressing issues leaving all minor flaws for later on. The extensive report that an auditor you hire will provide can serve as an unofficial to-do list.

6. Recognizing an impostor

The greatest problem with this particular process lies in the fact that you might hire someone not qualified, experienced or equipped for this job. The first raised red flag should be their outreach method. A professional and reputable auditor will never offer their services with a door-to-door method. Second, make sure to ask for necessary certification. People who get offended by such a simple and common background check usually have something to hide. Finally, make sure to inquire about the nature of their process.

Lastly, you need to figure out if the auditor you’ve hired has an agenda. For instance, it wouldn’t be that hard to imagine that an auditor working for a windows installation company might suggest that your windows are at fault. While they might be 100 percent right, it’s hard to trust them when you’re aware that there’s a conflict of interests involved. Therefore, your safest course of action would be to look for independent auditors to do this task.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, living in an energy inefficient home is something that has to be resolved as soon as possible, seeing as how every day you postpone it puts you more and more behind (financially). On the other hand, as soon as you diagnose your problems and start fixing them, you will get some immediate results, further reinforcing the idea that you’re on the right path.