Archive for February, 2013

How Do You Reduce Waste at Home?

How Do You Reduce Waste at Home

Junk mail, food scraps, old newspapers, used containers – these are all common types of waste that we see on a regular basis at home. Not only is having trash lying around a huge eyesore, but it also adds clutter to your home.  So, how do you reduce waste inside your house?

Here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Use old shopping bags when you buy groceries and go to the market. Instead of utilizing new plastic bags from the grocery store, recycle old ones. This will reduce the amount of clutter in your kitchen and is also better for the environment.
  • Use cloth towels and rags that you can wash and reuse instead of paper towels. Paper can only be used for cleaning once, whereas rags and towels can be washed and used again. Not only will it reduce the amount of garbage at home, but it will also save you money by not constantly having to buy paper towels.
  • Buy products with reusable containers instead of ones that must be thrown away. Find good use for these containers like storing leftovers or creating a pot for your new plants.
  • Use eStatements instead of paper billing. This way, you can reduce the paper pileup at home, while still remaining informed about your bills.
  • Donate old clothes instead of throwing them away. Many people can still benefit from them. Use the same policy for other things as well.  Other people will find something useful to do with it. Either have a garage sale or donate these items.
  • Go paperless. If you normally write down bills for your monthly budget or create a grocery list, go paperless by listing them on your computer or mobile phone instead. It will help you eliminate the amount of trash you produce.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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How to Make a Kitchen Office Work

How to Make a Kitchen Office Work

Working at home can offer a lot of benefits. You get to spend as much time with your family as possible because you remove commuting time from your day.  You also get to spend less on office clothing because you don’t need it. In addition, you can take care of certain chores like running the dishwasher or cleaning a load of laundry.

That said, many people often find it hard to balance work and home even if they work at home. That is why an effective home office can be a huge help in making sure that work gets done while still having time to attend to the needs of your household.

If you spend most of your time in the kitchen, then a kitchen office could be advantageous, so you don’t have to jump from one room to the other. While you wait for water to boil, for example, you can maximize your efficiency by doing some work simultaneously, while still being able to keep an eye on the stove.

To help you make it possible to have a working kitchen office, here are a few great ideas to follow:

  • Find an easy power source – If there is one thing your office needs, it is a nearby outlet, so you can plug in your computer, scanner, and printer. Search for a small area in the kitchen where there is a nearby outlet that is not commonly used for kitchen appliances. That way, you don’t have to switch those cords every time you use the outlet for other devices.
  • Place it near the window – We often need diversion or inspiration for work. If you place your small home office near a window, you will be able to break for a few minutes to enjoy the outside view and refresh your mind.
  • Use a small unused space – If you are searching for the perfect spot for your small office, make sure that it is somewhere that is not regularly used in the kitchen. You can use a part of the kitchen island or a small corner area of your countertop. Just be sure to keep it away moisture, heat, and the area where you prepare food.
  • Add functional storage – Your office needs to have ample storage for all of your office files. But, make sure that your cabinets or shelves complement your kitchen cabinets, so you achieve a nice transition from your kitchen to your home office.
  • Hide your office devices – Customize your home office table in a way that you can hide your office equipment after using it. That way, the devices will be protected against food, and you will have a clean look in your office area.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Senior Housing Development Approved by Edmond Planners

Senior Housing Development Approved by Edmond Planners

Senior citizens in Edmond will soon have more options when it comes to housing. There are currently no nursing homes or assisted living communities in the city, but Mon Abri, a proposed housing plan, would introduce an 87-unit housing development, including duplexes and offices for rent.

Mon Abri is being proposed by R.W. Development and will be located along Broadway and Covell Road. The plan proposes 87 units of duplexes and triplexes and up to five office building units. About 10.18 acres will be allocated to the housing units, while 1.59 acres will belong to the office buildings.

The Edmond Planning Commission has already approved the preliminary plan for Mon Abri with a vote of 4-1. Chairman Barry Moore disapproved of the plan due to the fencing issue brought about by the residents of Rock Hollow, a neighboring community.

According to R. W. Development, Mon Abri is ideal for seniors age 55 and above, but there will be no restrictions on the age of interested renters. Units up to five bedrooms will be available for rent with prices ranging from $850 – $2,000 per month.

A 18,000-square foot office building is planned for construction in front of the property, and there will be four more built in front of the Boulevard.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Tips on How to Properly Work with Concrete

Tips on How to Properly Work with Concrete

Concrete is a great material to use in your driveway or walkway because it adds a finished beauty to your property and allows you and your family to utilize it easily.  However, concrete can deteriorate after a few years.  So, to maintain the functionality and beauty of a smooth concrete driveway, it is best to pour  new concrete when that starts to occur.

Keep in mind that such a project requires proper precautions and tricks in order to avoid problems while working.  So, here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Order the right kind of concrete. Concrete can be mixed at your project site or delivered pre-mixed via a concrete truck. If you opt for the former, you will need to know how to mix the raw concrete that you receive. If you don’t know how, consider ordering a pre-mixed concrete, so you won’t have to worry about whether or not it has been mixed properly.
  • Work on a day with good weather.  A moderate temperature with minimal humidity is idea for working with concrete.  Even a little bit of rain can cause damage to your concrete, and too much heat can easily dry your concrete before you’re even finished working on it. So, monitor the weather and work accordingly.
  • Seek help. Working on concrete is not a one man job, especially if it is a big project. You need someone else to work with you because it requires quick and careful pouring and smoothing. If you don’t finish the job within a certain amount of time, you won’t achieve a good final outcome.  Wait to tackle the project until you have someone who can help you.
  • Practice safety precaution. Concrete contains elements that can be harmful to the body. Work in working clothes and wear gloves at all times. Certain elements in concrete can cause burns and other skin diseases if they come into contact with your skin. If concrete comes in contact with your eyes, wash them thoroughly and see a doctor immediately.
  • Use your wheelbarrow carefully. You need a strong and reliable wheelbarrow in order to transfer concrete from the mixing point to your driveway. Make sure that your wheelbarrow is durable enough to complete the job without hassle. In addition, avoid overfilling your wheelbarrow.
  • Less water is ideal. You can use water to wet down the soil, but not too much. Water can alter the strength and stability of your concrete and can lead to a weak surface.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Kitchen Lighting Tips: What You Need to Know When Planning

Kitchen Lighting Tips What You Need to Know When Planning

It is pretty universally agreed-upon that the kitchen is one of the most used rooms inside a house. In addition to spending the time in their kitchen cooking and preparing food, many homeowners also utilize their kitchen as a dining area, a home office extension, a place to help the kids with their homework, and a variety of other miscellaneous activities.

That is why lighting inside the kitchen is very important.   Not only does it help you see clearly when engaging in cooking and other activities, but it also offers aesthetic benefits. Who wouldn’t be awed by lovely pendant lighting or the dramatic effect of under-cabinet lighting? Enhanced kitchen lighting does everything from emphasizing intricate décor in your kitchen to adding brightness to the overall design of the room.

In other words, proper kitchen lighting is important and should not be limited to a simple fluorescent bulb. So, how do you enhance your kitchen lighting?

  • Make task lighting a priority – Apart from the aesthetic benefit of kitchen lighting, it needs to address the primary need for lighting. Task lighting offers a main source of light for kitchen tasks such as cooking, washing dishes, and using your appliances. So, you need to focus on these areas in order to create a more functional kitchen. For instance, under-cabinet lights can help brighten your cabinets to make them easier to work on and more conducive to finding things.
  • Add skylights – Some kitchens may not be blessed with an open window, and natural light therefore cannot easily come in and brighten the room. To solve this issue, install a skylight just above your kitchen, so everything will be brighter and more natural during the day.
  • Choose more artistic lighting instead of common designs – If you are looking for a kitchen lighting fixture, choose a more creative style instead of the usual patterns for lighting. Keep in mind that what you choose will be long-term and not just temporary. So, if you choose a more creative fixture, be sure it’s something that is timeless as well.
  • Plan well – Proper kitchen lighting requires effective planning in order to become more functional. Plan where you need lighting the most and where you can install lights that will cover certain areas of the kitchen. This will reduce the need for trial and error and the expenses associated with it.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting – Since you use your kitchen most of the time, the lights are on much longer than they are in other areas of the house. Using LED lighting can help provide the proper lighting for the kitchen without hogging too much energy.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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More Jobs Planned by Oklahoma Chamber Officials

Cuadrilla Shale Fracking Plant

Unemployment is still a major issue facing the country, and it has a significant impact on those without jobs, especially when they have families to feed.  To help reduce unemployment and to provide assistance to job seekers, business leaders in Oklahoma are creating their own job plans. A coalition of chambers of commerce is releasing its own plans to increase the number of jobs available within the state and help strengthen the economy.

Last Wednesday, several organizations within the state submitted an 11-point plan for creating more jobs in Oklahoma. These business organizations included the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber. The job plans that were submitted focused on implementing ways to help boost the state’s economy through job creation.

The jobs plan will be considered during the 2013 legislative sessions. Parts of the plan address changes in the worker’s compensation system, health care benefits for each worker, and fully funding state education programs.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Keeping Your Laundry Room Clean

Keeping Your Laundry Room Clean

Walking into a dirty and messy laundry room can easily discourage you and make you less likely to do the laundry. It is often hard to work in a small space, and it is even more difficult if the place is grimy and unorganized. The best thing to do is to always keep the laundry room clean, so doing the laundry will be a more pleasant experience.

Fortunately, keeping the laundry room clean may not be as hard as you think. All you need to do is keep up with the mess and clean it up as soon as you can, so it won’t accumulate and cause a bigger mess for you. Below are other helpful tips on how you can maintain the cleanliness in your laundry room:

  • Add proper storage. You need to add storage to keep your laundry agents away from your linens, old clothes, and children’s reach. Add storage for your detergents, bleach, and softeners. Make sure that these items are located higher up, so they cannot be easily reached kids. In addition, it will also keep things more organized for you.
  • Create zones inside the laundry room. Oftentimes, we use our laundry room for doing the laundry, ironing clothes, folding clothes, and sometimes even sewing. You can reduce clutter and keep things less messy if everything is placed in its proper zone. Keep things within their area such as your flat iron, your sewing needles and your cleaning agents.
  • Organize your laundry system. Bring in only loads of clothes you can wash for the day. Then, make sure to wash them and dry them the same day, so you can put them in their proper places to be used.
  • Take time each week to clean  the place up. You cannot avoid dust, dirt, and mold in your laundry room. But, if you let them be, these will easily accumulate and cause a bigger problem for you. Take time each week to clean up the entire laundry room, so you can start brand new each time with a spic-and-span laundry area.
  • Wipe as you go. Before you head out of the laundry room, take a few minutes to wipe the countertops and laundry appliances. This will keep everything in tip-top shape.
  • Add a trash can inside your laundry room. If you have a trash can inside your laundry room, you will have more reasons to keep everything clean and fewer reasons to postpone it.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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