January is National Get Organized Month

It is easy to think about getting organized in the New Year, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, January is National Get Organized Month, and homeowners, businesses, and individuals across the nation are looking for ways to improve their organization skills. These tips can help you stay in control and prepared every day!

Leave your keys and phone in the same spot.
Leave your keys, cell phone, iPad, etc. in the same place every single time you walk through the door of your home. Have a spot in your entryway for these items so you are never running around late for work, wondering where you left them.

Utilize a task list.
There is a lot to be said for to-do lists. These lists help to keep us on track with our daily goals, as well as remind us to do the things we would have otherwise forgotten. Even if you are not a big list-maker and only jot down the big projects, look at it every day and cross off what you have completed.

Carry a small notepad.
Use this to write down items for your shopping list, errands, to-dos, and thoughts that pop into your mind that you will forget later on. This notepad can serve you well – it is endlessly portable, user-friendly, and never needs charging!

Prep your meals.
Write down a list of meals that you will eat for the week, and find time at the end or beginning of the week to prepare. Not only will this save you hours every evening, but it can save you money in the long run, as you will know exactly what you have in your kitchen cupboards.

Follow a routine.
Have a plan of what you need to get done and when you are going to check those action items off your to-do list. Sticking to a routine helps to automate tasks that need to get done, whether you dread them or not! Establishing a routine can help you to become more organized and even get more sleep by knowing that you have created good habits.

Feel confident that you have the right insurance policies. Visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable coverage in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

What to Know About End-of-Life Medical Care

A living will, despite its name, is not at all like the wills that people use to leave property at their death. A living will is a document that lets people state their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in case they are unable to communicate their decisions. This document is important to consider when estate planning. It can give invaluable guidance to family members and healthcare professionals if a person cannot express his or her wishes.  Without it, family members and doctors are left to guess what a seriously ill person would prefer in terms of treatment.

There are three very important reasons why an individual should have a living will composed.

The hospital needs instructions on what to do. The living will informs the medical staff of the type of care to be given in the event of a medical emergency or death. Without it, the hospital staff will have no choice but to leave the life support systems on indefinitely. Even if you were covered by a health insurance policy, the costs would continue to grow. The family is then left to deal with this.

A final decision needs to be made. There are regrettably instances where a patient is unable to make or communicate decisions, and the life support systems cannot be turned off. Medical power of attorney is a group legal services benefit that is ordinarily drafted along with a living will. It assigns a given individual the authority to make the final decision in the event where it is unlikely that the patient will ever regain consciousness.

The family needs closure. The family can be left in a state of emotional limbo following a severe medical emergency with the possibility of death. This is a circumstance no family wants to have to endure. The living will can bring about necessary closure, so that the family can grieve and move on.

The long-term benefit of a living will is peace of mind in knowing that you will be taken care of according to your wishes. Ensure that you leave your family with the right support by securing reliable life insurance. Contact the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Improve Business Health and Culture

These days, almost every business implements a workplace wellness program. Smart business owners know that it is all about the employees, from product quality to customer relations. Their talents collectively influence how others experience and perceive your brand. In short, they make your business unique. This is why their health and wellness matter. Fostering a healthy work environment can improve employee productivity, reduce employer healthcare costs, and boost morale in the workplace.

Hold Walking Meetings – Get your employees on their feet for the next group meeting. Outside or inside, a couple of laps around the block or office help to get your employees moving, and may even spark some new creative ideas.

Fresh Fruit Fridays – A gesture as small as providing fresh fruit once a week is a simple but effective way to show employees that their health is important to the company.

Provide Water Stations – The health benefits of water are plenty – but are you providing any water? Promote this valuable resource by providing fresh, clean water, along with reusable cups in the staff room.

Hold Team Challenges – Find new ways to get your team active! Divide them into groups and ask each employee to track their steps for the week. Whichever team has the most combined steps receives a prize.

Order Healthy Catered Meals – Instead of opting for pizza or Chinese takeout once a month with the team, opt for a healthy lunch. Bring in fruit and vegetable platters, sandwiches, or healthy fare from a local catering company.

Offer Flexible Scheduling – Offer working hour flexibility to allow employees to pursue physical activity opportunities. This could be one of the more important steps your business takes to preventing employee burnout.

Be a Leader in Wellness – Take advantage of the fresh fruit and walking competition yourself! Without saying a word, you can promote wellness in your office – simply lead by example!

You can maintain a happy and healthy office with these tips – the kind of workplace that attracts top talent. For the protection your business needs, contact Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley.

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

A water heater is one of those appliances that we do not realize how much we rely on it until it is no longer working. They are generally ignored until there is a leak, or until you run out of hot water. Whether yours is gas or electric, they are generally very dependable and quiet. You can extend the life of your water heater by following these three easy steps.

Check the Temperature
Check your water heater thermostat setting. Turn the thermostat as low as it will go. This lowered setting will help to protect the tank from working too hard. In addition, it will draw in less energy to heat the water, helping you to save a few dollars!

Operate the Safety Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve is critical to safety, as it prevents your water heater from becoming a bomb in your home. This simple yet important device should be inspected annually. Test it by lifting up on the lever, then let go and allow it to snap back. You should hear a rush of water as the valve allows some water to be released into the discharge piping. If you do not hear the water, contact your local plumber to change the valve.

Partially Flush It
Sediment and debris can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, wearing on the hot water heater’s efficiency. A partial flush works well, although a full heater tank draining and power flush is best. Talk to your plumber about completing this safely and correctly.

Skip the search of finding the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Safeguard your property while you are out of town.

Are you heading to a warmer climate this winter? Whether you are heading to the beach house for the end of the year or hitting the slopes, there are a few precautions to take to protect your home while you are away.

Clean the Fridge
Even if you are heading out of town for a week, take the time to eat/donate/throw away perishable food from your fridge. If you are leaving for a month or longer, consider turning off your fridge and emptying it entirely. Remember to give it a good clean so nothing can grow while you are away.

Drain the Pipes
Winter weather can wreak havoc on home pipes. Once they freeze, the water expands, causing the whole pipe to burst. Not only does this cause a destructive flood, but a costly one, too. If you live in an area that gets cold enough for pipes to freeze, ensure that you insulate them well. If possible, turn off the water supply, open all faucets, and drain the pipes of water.

Enlist the Help of a Friend
Ask a friend or trusted neighbor to check in on the house now and again. He or she can collect the mail, feed pets, water plants, and ensure all is well with the house. Do not chance leaving a key for them underneath the doormat. Give the key directly to him or her so that your home stays safe.

Turn Down the Heat
When no one is in the house, a setting of around 50 degrees is sufficient to keep the pipes running regularly to prevent them from freezing. If you are leaving pets or sensitive plants behind, adjust the temperature accordingly.

Unplug Appliances
Apart from the major appliances (oven, fridge, etc.), you should unplug all appliances and devices. Not only does this help to prevent a fire from occurring, but it can save you money, too!

Review Your Insurance
You might be on vacation, but criminals rarely take a season off. Ensure that your homeowners insurance policy has adequate coverage for theft and disasters so that you can enjoy the season away with peace of mind that you are protected.

Skip the search of finding the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs, visit the team at Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota to get started on your tailored coverage today.

Is your vehicle ready for winter roads?

Winter is full of excitement and festivities, from picking out the perfect tree to hosting family gatherings. What is not so great about the season is the cold, rain, and ice that can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Regardless of the season, it is important to keep your car in road-ready condition. In winter, it is absolutely essential.

The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to ensure your vehicle is ready for unpredictable winter conditions.

Replace Worn Tires
Your tires are the only point of contact your vehicle has with the road, allowing movement and traction. It is important that your tires maintain good traction and tread throughout the season. Replacing worn tires can give your vehicle a better chance of sticking to the road in slippery and wet conditions.

Check Your Windshield Wipers
When it drizzles, do your wipers smear the droplets across the windshield? Worse still, do they rarely work? Now is the time to ensure that your wipers are in good condition. They are one of the few things that can improve your visibility when driving, so get them checked out (and replaced, if necessary) before the rain comes in.

Top Up Your Antifreeze
Remember to top up your car with antifreeze, which prevents the liquid in your radiator from freezing when the temperature dips below zero. Trust us, you do not want to forget this step – otherwise you may get stuck in the cold with a dead engine.

Test the Engine
Make sure that your battery is up for the cold weather challenge by making sure the terminals are clean and tightened. Keep in mind that you should replace the battery every three to four years. If you do not suspect your battery will survive the season, have a trained technician check it out.

Book Your Car for a Service
The best way to get your vehicle ready for the winter is to hand it off to the pros. Your local mechanic can top up the fluids, change the oil, inspect the brakes, tires, and battery, and advise you on necessary repairs before facing adverse winter weather.

Seasonal breakdowns and costly repairs can put a damper on the season of good cheer. Take the time now to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top condition and consider adding breakdown recovery onto your insurance policy. Visit the team at Mayer Insurance to get started on securing reliable auto insurance in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Take action to prepare for disasters this season.

In many areas, winter storms are a scary reality for small businesses. Most business owners will not be singing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” but hoping that severe weather stays well away from their business. Rightly so, since the threat of wind storms, blizzards, and ice storms can be a terrifying situation for all small businesses.

Preparing for a storm can save your business money by helping prevent structural damage, loss of revenue from unnecessary closures during repairs, and costly liability suits from preventable accidents. To make sure your small business is ready to take on the worst winter storms, read on.

Prepare your office building. Extreme weather storms can cause structural damage to your building. Typically, frozen pipes are the culprits, which then burst and allow water to seep indoors. Check your building carefully for drafts, leaks, and cracks, especially around the windows and doors. If possible, drain all exterior pipes so that the remaining liquid does not freeze and break the pipes. Additionally, add insulation to exposed pipes to help prevent the chill.

Establish and practice safety drills. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends running emergency drills before the bad weather hits. From evacuation routes, communications with employees, and running a business without phones, be sure that you know how to handle each situation.

Secure a generator. Keeping a reliable power source on hand is a safety precaution and a wise business move. If the power goes out, your office can rely on the generator to keep your business running – and turning a profit.

Keep everyone informed. Pay close attention to storm warnings, alerts, and updates. Have a plan to keep employees informed of office closures and further information. Now is the time to update and review your emergency plan, too.

Prepare for the worst. The fallout from winter storms can last for days and weeks. Because most small businesses cannot afford to be idling for that long, a business continuity plan is key. Ensure that this spells out how long you can keep your business afloat in the event of a disaster, how to communicate with vendors and clients, and how to set up temporary offices. You will also want to ensure that you know how to file insurance claims if your business has been badly hit.

A small investment in winter storm preparation for your small business can pay huge dividends when a blizzard hits. For the protection your business needs, contact Mayer Insurance in Apple Valley.

It is the season for giving, and there are so many ways to do it.

The holidays are not all about getting your hands on the latest iPhone. It is a time of giving, not just to those we love, but also to those less fortunate. A small gesture, token, or some time volunteered can make a huge difference. Whether you can spare a few dollars or a couple of hours, consider doing so during the festive season. If no charity or event comes to mind, here are some ways you can give back during the holidays.

Donate clutter to a charity shop.
Do you have old books, children’s clothes or toys lying around, unused? Take these down to your local charity shop so that they can be sold to keep funding the charity’s efforts.

Make cards for hospitalized kids.
Get your children involved and craft cards for kids who are in the hospital. This simple act of kindness takes almost no time at all, and it is sure to brighten up a child’s day. Make sure to write sweet messages inside and decorate them in glitter, stickers, and stamps. Drop them off at your local hospital to give children instant cheer.

Donate a Christmas tree to the troops.
Trees for Troops allows Americans to donate Christmas trees to a group of U.S. troops who are overseas during the holidays. Many tree lots participate in this program, so you can pick out the tree that you want to send to our country’s heroes. This gift also lets our troops know that they are not forgotten about during the holidays.

Donate food/toys/blankets to a pet rescue.
Do not let our animal friends be forgotten this season. Pick up a couple of extra food tins for pets while you are at the grocery store and drop them off at your local pet shelter. Toys, blankets, and leashes are often appreciated, too.

Donate to a cause instead of gifting.
Are you stuck on what to get the tricky person who has everything and does not want anything? Consider giving a donation in their name to a charity close to their heart instead of a present this year.

How will you give back during the holidays? The team at Mayer Insurance wishes you a happy holidays and time well spent giving. For all of your insurance needs, contact us today.