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Oak Park Business Profile

These days everyone is busy, and it can be easy to let simple household tasks pile up until they seem insurmountable. Instead of working to catch up, plan ahead so there is more of a schedule for these items throughout the week, month or year. In the long run, it will provide more free time overall, once things are part of an organized plan. 



Time-consuming and tiring, regular cleaning is a task that can be simplified by dividing tasks by the number of people living in the house. Having children take out garbage or pitch in with the laundry can make a huge difference in minimizing the workload once they are used to the pattern. Trading off duties with a spouse or roommate is also a good way to cut down on the amount of time spent on these “chores.” Establishing a regular schedule and posting it somewhere in the house can be a great way to help keep everyone on top of things.
Another option is to consider hiring a professional cleaning service—either for a one-time deep clean to kick-start things a bit, or for a more regular engagement. Doris Ayala is the founder of Sweeping Dimensions in Oak Park, and she says, “Customers are always telling us they wish they knew about our services and hired us a long time ago.”  Although many people believe they can’t afford this type of luxury, Ayala stresses that they work with customers as individuals, providing an estimate on services while working within their established budget.
Lawn care and snow shoveling services are other things to consider looking into, depending on the amount of time that can be devoted to these outdoor tasks. Although some people enjoy doing this type of work, some prefer to spend their time doing other things.


Create a master checklist of typical maintenance tasks that should be done each year and break them down by the month, tackling indoor ones in the winter and outdoor ones in the nicer weather when possible. Once this is complete, it can simply be copied from year to year and used again. Whenever possible, tie these items in to other tasks that you do on a regular basis. For example, many people find that they can easily remember to change the batteries in their smoke alarms if they make a note to do it when they set their clocks ahead each spring.
Roger Parker from Oak Park’s House of Heat says that spring is also a great time to have an annual maintenance check up. Professionals can evaluate both your furnace and air-conditioning to be sure everything is in order and working properly. Parker also mentions, “The most important maintenance task a homeowner can do is change the air filter every three months.” He notes that at the beginning of the season, almost a third of their service calls are filter-related and may have been avoided with a little prevention.

Don’t forget exterior maintenance tasks either, which can include everything from cleaning out gutters to minor fence repairs. Some of these items may only need to be addressed every few years, depending on their condition. Keeping an eye on things such as the condition of a roof can help insure repairs can be made before requiring a major overhaul.
Maintenance doesn’t just apply to the house itself, but to vehicles as well, which fall under the “household” umbrella. Regular oil changes and routine maintenance should be rolled onto the checklist and include lawnmowers, bicycles and cars. Al Markus, a manager at Oak Park’s Bump City Auto Craft says it is well worth putting time and effort into keeping cars in good shape—not only to protect your safety—but to protect your investment.  Cars are expensive items, but Markus points out, “If you take care of them, they outlast the cars of the past.” 
Putting a little time into maintaining your household on a regular basis can help save you money and time in the long run. This can mean hiring a bit of outside help or just taking the time to plan things out in advance so they are sure to get done. Start with a good look at the current state of things and create a plan that works best for your household.

Saving Marriages on video

Jan Richardson of Available Video captures weddings and other special occasions on video, and also specializes in other types of commercial videography such as advertisements for cable TV, business seminars, training, music videos, demos, documentaries and many other video production and editing applications. Richardson maps out a course of required technical action, preparing shot sheets/plans, applying "hands on" creative music/audio/jingle writing performance, and anticipating challenges. He inherited his artistic and technical skills from his late father.

"My late father, a well-known architect, loved Frank Lloyd Wright," explains Richardson, "and hobbies like art—painting, electronics, theatre, stage and set building, music and stereo audio set-up wiring up the entire house with speakers, his custom photography, darkroom developing, offset printing, early artistic graphics and of course, the old 8mm home movies!

"I transferred 12 two-hour home movies to DVD along with a 250-picture photo montage for my parents 50th anniversary. Dad's attitude of 'I can fix anything!' along with the aforementioned attributes, was instilled in me before and during my video experiences. My performance in recording studios as a semi-professional musician helped in making music videos, something I originally wanted to emulate from MTV."

Richardson said he uses the newest Studio version of Adobe Premier© Pro 2.0 to edit and burn DVDs with motion chapters using a multitude of special effects including a multi-camera feature for bigger projects. That, along with ongoing experience in technology, new musical equipment (Yamaha) and recording studios enable him to produce company jingles and musical soundtracks as well.

Computer Set Up and Maintenance

Computers are very much a part of the household dynamic these days. Getting things set up at home, then updating and maintaining the system can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Oak Park’s Azure Horizons, Inc. specializes in small business and home setup for computer networks. President Keith Carrizosa says, “We are usually asked to enter a household or small business to act as their IT department and provide them with support services.” For those who enjoy computers but are not “tech-savvy,” this can be a blessing—and a time-saver.

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