Working from home already gives me cabin fever on a weekly basis. Add two daughters to the mix and my home is quickly becoming my entire world. Thank goodness for piano recitals and errands or else I'm afraid I'd be stuck in my home 24/7! I'm a self-diagnosed, independently confirmed workaholic, and once I dig into a project, it's difficult to break away. So, for me, one of the best investments I can make is in my home.
1. We Spend A Ton of Time At Home!
Like I mentioned, I work from home and raise a family, so my home is my own little world in and of itself. But I'm not alone. According to the BBC, more than 13% of the labor force in the UK complete all or some of their work at home. Combine this with the growing trend towards spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens, primarily TV screens, and it's clear that Americans are spending more and more time at home.
For me, my time in the house is divided between work in my home office, relaxation in my master bedroom, barbecues and pool time in the backyard, preparing food in the kitchen, and chilling in front of the TV in our living room. I'm thankful to have the variety of settings within my home, as it breaks up the time spent inside my home between different environments, which helps me remain sane (most of the time).
2. Catching A Quick Workout without the Traffic and Fighting for Equipment at the Gym
I'm no gym rat. In fact, you're more likely to see me on a Little Debbie's commercial than any sort of fitness center billboard. Hey, a Hostess cake every now and then is okay!
But I do value my health and understand how regular exercise affects my mental and physical well being. When work begins to pile up and I need to relieve some stress, a 10 minute jog on the treadmill in our garage is heaven. It helps me to kill some stress and refocus my energy. Plus, for the couple of hours after a workout, my metabolism is firing on all cylinders, which means I'm mentally locked and loaded to knock out my to-do list.
When we added the treadmill, I was skeptical; would it get as little use as my gym membership each month? But I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it is to catch some cardio when you don't have to worry about fighting traffic and showing up before the gym opens or closes. Having the gym just 30 feet away makes it a lot more difficult to come up with excuses. And the mental benefits of a brief exercise a few times a day literally pays me to workout.
Stress-relief, more money in my pocket from wrapping up tasks for work, and I'll be around longer with my family? That's a win no matter how you slice it!
3. Ductless Independent Smart Climate Control
Our home has always suffered from different temperatures in different parts of the home. We considered upgrading to a split A/C system, but the economics just didn't make sense. I was getting tired of constantly feeling warm in my office (where I have a desktop that blows a lot of heat out the back of the PC case), while other parts of their home were on the verge of being too cool.
So, to provide the best level of comfort to my entire family in every part of the house, we had a set of independent, ductless climate control zone systems installed. Virtually every room where we spend significant time in our home has an independent temperature zone. This means everyone is comfortable 24/7. No more Battle Royale over the thermostat!
Comfort equals peace of mind and the ability to focus on work, family or relaxing without dressing in layers.
4. Food Preparation on Autopilot
We all have to eat. Lord knows someone in my family is hungry at almost any point in the day or night. So anything that makes preparing food for my family a little bit easier is a big win.
I'll admit that I enjoy technology, and once the Internet of Things (IoT) began to make its way into my favorite kitchen appliances, I became intrigued. Have we entered to age of the Jetsons where food is prepared automatically by a robot and delivered to the table? Unfortunately, not quite.
But according to Go Assist,"... more than 6.4 billion connected devices will be part of the Internet of Things by the end of 2016." That means some serious automation. I forayed into the IoT with my new oven from GE. There's an app on my iPhone that lets me pre-heat the oven from virtually anywhere, as well as monitor the current temperature and kitchen timer. The alarm on my phone alerting me that food is done cooking helps ensure our family never suffers a repeat of Burnt-Turkey-Mageddon (otherwise known as Christmas Dinner 2014).
5. Great ROI, Easier Food Preparation, Healthier Lifestyle and Comfortable Heating / Cooling
Nothing is more important to me than the time I get to spend with my family. Having my sanity enables me to enjoy my time with them, without feeling frustrated or distracted by outside factors. If you're feeling uncomfortable in your own home, aggressively attack the sources of your frustration and enjoy the incredible return on investment an upgrade to your home can provide.