Archive | March, 2013

Creating More Space in a Crowded House

28 Mar

Creating More Space in a Crowded House

Having a lot of family members living under one roof can quickly make a home feel crowded, especially if it is already on the small end in the first place.  Space can feel limited by the time you combine people with furniture, and the house can end up looking too crowded even if there is technically enough space for everyone to live comfortably. It is always a challenge to make your home look pleasant and inviting when it is a busy space with a lot going on.

Fortunately, there are design tricks that can help you create more space inside your home. You can use these techniques to ensure there is enough space for everyone to live comfortably and walk around without worrying about bumping into each other or something else. Here are a few tricks:

  • Use multi-functional furniture. Big furniture is one of the things that takes up a lot of space inside a house. If you have a huge dining table, a big cabinet, and a bulky TV stand, then you will end up with small spaces left for you to walk around. However, if you use multi-functional furniture that reduces the number of pieces you need, you will still have everything you need, but with much more extra space to spare.
  • Opt for bunk beds for your children or guests. Bunk beds help create floor space because you maximize your vertical space instead. In addition, bunk beds can add fun style to your kids’ room because they can each customize the theme of their area.
  • Bring in more natural light. If the place looks bright, then it creates the impression of a bigger space. Install bigger windows or open your curtains during the day to let natural light filter in. This will also help you save energy by leaving your lights off and using less electricity If increasing your natural light isn’t possible, using energy-saving lighting fixtures instead.
  • Use mirrors. Strategically place mirrors around the house to create the impression of a wider space. You can place a large mirror above the top of your couch instead of a big piece of art to make your living room look wider.
  • Add storage. Clutter can add to the crowded feeling of your house. If you have a lot of furniture, a lot of people, and a lot of clutter, then things will definitely feel chaotic.  It is better to get into the habit of utilizing proper storage, so you can create a more organized, clutter-free environment.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


Edmond Fire Department Creates Five-Year Plan to Better Serve

26 Mar

Edmond Fire Department Creates Five-Year Plan to Better Serve

Fires injure thousands of people and homes each year, and for that reason, it is crucial that fire departments be equipped with the right tools, strategies, and people on the job to provide a high quality of service, especially during a fire.

That is why the Edmond Fire Department is creating a strategic plan for the next five years. The five-year plan will help improve the department’s overall system, including their tools and equipment and response procedures.  The plan has been passing through the reviewing and approval processes, and a printed copy will be available in the next three weeks.

According to Fire Chief Jake Rhoades, the five-year plan will focus on becoming more effective and efficient by making the right decisions. They will not focus on just the lowest price when it comes to equipment, but rather on what is cost worthy and beneficial.

The creation of the department’s five-year plan is being cooperated with the members of the community as well as members of the Fire Department. Participants were given the chance to provide feedback and comments about the department and other specific details such as emergency medical services, fire prevention, and basic rescue and technical responses to disasters. Members of the department have gathered for three days to discuss the feedback of members from the community and revise their goals. They, in turn, send their revisions to a focus group.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

How to Handle Flood Damage at Home

25 Mar

flood in Seattle area, usa, Washington

When heavy storms and rains come, flooding can sometimes occur.  Flooding can cause huge damage not only your things, but also to the structure of your home.  If your house is damaged by flooding, here are a few ways you can effectively handle it:

  • Switch the main electricity off. This is the first thing that you need to do, so you don’t trigger further damage to your house. Open electrical wires may be running inside your house, and they could easily cause electrocution if nnot turned off.
  • Save what you can. If there are items at home that were not damaged by the flood, save them immediately. Store your things in boxes or sealed containers and put them inside your car, so these will not be contaminated by further flooding or mold.
  • Vacate your home. Nobody wants to live inside a flooded house, even if only for a short while. If you have somewhere to temporarily live while you clean the house, go there. However, if only a small part of the house is flooded, assess the situation to determine if you can still live in it while you resolve the situation.
  • Contact your insurance company. Inform them of your current situation, so they can process financial assistance as soon as possible. You may want to retain the things that were already damaged by the flood, so your insurance company can count them in the total damage. Otherwise, take a photo or video of them.
  • Call a professional. After your insurance company settles the claim with you, you can call a professional to clean and fix your home. Mold and mildew may start to grow, and some parts of your house may have received severe water damage, so it’s important to have a trained eye inspect the situation.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

How to Clean Your Bedroom Faster and Easier

21 Mar

How to Clean Your Bedroom Faster and Easier

Being inside a room filled with clutter everywhere is not very conducive to a relaxing night. While you may want to enjoy your soft bed and the privacy of your room after a long day’s work, you end up feeling more stress due to the pile of garbage in one corner, used clothes on the floor, and stack of papers on your desk.

Cleaning the bedroom can be easy, but many people think they don’t have time to do it. If you want to clean your bedroom, but have little time to spare, here are a few steps you can take to clean your room faster and easier:

  • Bring in your cleaning supplies. A garbage bag, a vacuum cleaner, an air freshener, and some clean rags will be very helpful and will make it easier to shift from one cleaning task to another.
  • Clean your bed. Pick up the piles on top of your bed like used clothes or things you may have placed there during the morning. Then, take the sheets off and put them in the laundry basket. Put on some fresh sheets and smooth your bed.
  • Clear your desk or table. If you have a small office desk in your room, it’s time to clear out the pile. Take the pieces of papers on top and organize them inside your drawers. Then, put your pens, staplers and other office supplies in their proper places. Clean the top of your desk with a clean rag.
  • Go for the closet. Grab all your dirty clothes first and put them in your laundry basket. That way, it will be easier to refold and hang the rest of your clothes. Check out the floor of your closet and arrange your shoes as well. Make sure to put everything in its proper place.
  • Pick up the rest of the clutter. Check the floor and pick up the things lying around. Throw any garbage away.
  • Wipe off counters and tables. Use a clean rag to easily wipe off dust from counters, tables, and shelves.
  • Clean the floor. Sweep or vacuum the floor so it will look clean and free from dirt.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Salary Increase for Special Ed Teachers Approved by Oklahoma House

18 Mar

Salary Increase for Special Ed Teachers Approved by Oklahoma House

For children who have severe disabilities or special needs, it is important for them to receive a proper education in order to attain a relatively normal way of life as they age. Through learning new things, special need children are able to appreciate life by diverting their attention away from their disabilities and toward knowledge.

There are more than two thousand certified teachers for special education in Oklahoma. Because there are special ed teachers spread throughout the public school system, more kids with special needs are able to go to school each day.

In light of that, the Oklahoma House just gave their approval of a new bill concerning teachers who specialize in working with children with severe disabilities and autism. The new bill will grant a 10-percent pay hike to special ed teachers. It aims to reduce the significant shortage in the number of existing special ed teachers by encouraging more teachers to continue working as special education educators and to attract new ones to the field.

The bill for the pay hike was sponsored by Lawton Republican Representative Ann Coody. Rep. Coody proposed the 10-percent salary increase, with an additional 5-percent increase for those who have been working in the district for 5 years or longer.  Once implemented, the bill will cost the state about $4.3 million.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Kitchen Cleaning Tips for Your Home

18 Mar

Kitchen Cleaning Tips for Your Home

The kitchen is not only a place for preparing and cooking delicious meals – it is a multi-purpose space. Sometimes it is used as a gathering or entertaining area; other times, it serves as a place to do work from home or to help your kids with their homework.  With all the things that go on inside the kitchen, it is no wonder that there are grime, dirt, and unseen bacteria lurking in some areas.

Below are some useful tips for cleaning your kitchen, so you can continue enjoying the space safely:

  • Clean for ten minutes before leaving the kitchen. Before shutting the lights off in your kitchen, take a few minutes to clean up the messes you made, so you don’t have a huge chore waiting for you the next day. Even if the task is large, at least try to clear the counter and put the kitchen utensils and appliances in their proper places before you go to bed.
  • Clean as you go. After using each of your utensils or pots and pans, clean them and put them back in their proper places. For instance, after using the mixer, clean it and put it back in the cabinet. That way, you have already handled a lot of the cleanup before you’ve even finished cooking.
  • Space out cleaning your kitchen appliances.  Divide your kitchen appliances into groups and clean the different groups on different days.  That will make it less overwhelming and will also give you a schedule to follow, so everything is cleaned regularly.
  • Use dish rags instead of sponges or paper towels. Dish rags are more effective and safe because they can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Sponges are normally a breeding ground for germs, so they have to be replaced often. Paper towels are simply expensive to use.
  • Keep your tools handy. Make sure your kitchen is equipped with dish rags, garbage bags, and cleaners, so you always have everything you need to regularly clean your kitchen.
  • Don’t forget to clean the floor. There are likely occasional spills or food ingredients falling on the floor. Keeping the floor clean will prevent slipping, as well as an accumulation of bacteria and dirt.
  • Take some time to clean out the cabinets and pantry. Don’t forget that dust can easily accumulate in these areas too, so take some time each month to clear our everything and wipe the inside of your cabinets.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

How to De-clutter Your Home Library

14 Mar

How to De-clutter Your Home Library

Adding a few books to your bookshelf once in a while can create a great reason to set up a cozy home library. Having a library is wonderful when you simply want to stay in and rest at home because you can easily pull a book off the shelf and read for a few hours.

However, for home libraries located in a small space, fighting clutter can be a challenge, especially if your book collection grows regularly. Instead of relaxing in a comfortable book nook, you end up feeling less excited after seeing the disorganized place.

To maintain the vibrancy and neatness of a home library, you to spend a few hours de-cluttering the place. Here are a few tips:

  • Sort your books. You may have a lot of books in your home library, but if you don’t sort them and eliminate those you don’t need, you will end up having an overflow of books on your shelf. Try to sort out the books that you want to keep and those that can be donated or given to others.
  • Is it a duplicate book? If you have two copies of your favorite novel, it’s time to share that joy of reading with others. Give the second copy to a friend as a gift.
  • Does the book have sentimental value? If a book was given to you by a dear friend, you can either keep it or choose to hand it over to another close friend. Create a new tradition.
  • Would you re-read that book again? If you don’t plan to read the book again, then let others have the chance to read that same book.
  • Does it add value to the place or does it add to the clutter? If your answer is the latter, then by all means, put it in the box for donation.
  • Identify the books that are less significant for you and search for a digital copy. The beauty of technology today is that you can enjoy reading different kinds of books without having to worry on the pile at home. If you simply want to read the story and don’t feel that it’s necessary to have it in your collection, choose a digital copy instead.
  • Organize your books. Properly organizing all of your books will reduce the cluttered look of your library. Sort your books based on height, genre, or even the cover color. Then make sure that each compartment of your bookshelf has a few books on it. Use a book end if one compartment is not full.

So, what can you do with the unwanted books? You can either choose to donate them to charity or schools or have a garage sale and earn a few bucks during the process.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent