Janet Cramb & Company Real Estate



Posted by Janet Cramb on 8/22/2018

Thankfully, the human brain is usually a pretty efficient mechanism for keeping our lives organized, healthy, and safe.

However, when we're rushed, overwhelmed, or feeling stressed, important tasks, safety measures, and priorities are sometimes forgotten.

Most of the time, this does not pose an imminent health or safety threat, but there are exceptions. Fortunately, there are often simple solutions available and preventative measures we can take.

Finding high-tech (or low-tech) ways to remember important things can provide you and your family with improved home safety, more peace of mind, and other benefits.

Here are a few strategies for overcoming the pitfalls of occasional forgetfulness.

  • Practice present moment awareness. You'll tend to be happier, healthier, and safer when you condition your mind to stay in the present moment as much as possible. Although there is a lot of value in planning for the future and dwelling on happy memories, it's counterproductive to worry about problems that might never happen or regret things from the past that can't be changed. People waste a lot of energy and create self-imposed stress when they spend more than a few seconds worrying or regretting. Staying focused on the present moment also has some health and safety implications worth mentioning. For example, how many times have you left the house (or gone to bed) and wondered if you locked the door, turned off the oven, or unplugged the iron? Getting yourself in the habit of bringing your mind back to the task at hand and being more aware of what you're doing will help you avoid some of these potential dangers, concerns, and distracting  thoughts.
  • Set an alarm as a reminder. If you set an alarm on your mobile device or computer to remind yourself to get ready for an appointment, send an important email, make a phone call, or check on the progress of dinner in the oven, then you never have to worry about getting distracted and losing track of time.
  • Good habits can be a lifesaver. Going through a mental inventory before you leave the house or go to bed can help reduce forgetfulness about locking doors, turning off kitchen appliances, and reactivating the smoke alarm. And speaking of smoke alarms, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that homeowners check the batteries in their smoke detectors once a month and replace them with fresh batteries at least once a year. It also urges people to completely replace their smoke alarms every 10 years. Important safety note: The federal agency strongly discourages people from removing smoke detector batteries to silence the device while cooking. Instead, it recommends opening a window, waving a towel at the alarm to clear the air [a paper plate also works], pressing a "hush" button if the unit has one, or moving the alarm several feet away from the cooking area.
While you can't always depend on old-fashioned memory techniques like tying a string around your finger, effective ways to jog your memory can range from using cell phone alarms and appointment-reminder software to low-tech strategies like Post-it notes, to-do lists, wall calendars, and calendar books.





Posted by Janet Cramb on 2/14/2018

Is your garage overflowing with odds and ends leaving no room for its intended purpose - storing your car? Then you are in the same boat as many other homeowners. Garages can be such a tempting to place to hide stuff that doesnít have a place, after all out of sight out of mind. If you are ready to clean up your garage to make things easier to find and maybe even finally fit your car inside of it again keep reading. Start by clearing out your garage. Go through everything and sort items into giveaway/sell, toss and keep piles. Get rid of anything that your children have outgrown, you havenít used in years or household chemicals that have since expired (be sure to responsibly dispose of these). This step can be a weekend project in itself so donít worry if you donít have the organized garage you envisioned before Monday. When you have settled on what will be staying in your garage sort the remaining items into categories. Typical garage storage usually contains categories like seasonal items, tools, and sports equipment. When reorganizing you will want to make sure everything stays organized. You can do this by giving everything an assigned place and preferably a clearly labeled one. When possible assign items their places in a way where they will be off the floor. This prevents clutter from building up and forces you to give everything a home throughout the process and in the future. When you have emptied out your garage and organized your remaining items into categories you will have given yourself a clean slate to work with. Set yourself up for future success by investing in shelving units, large plastics bins, small glass jars and maybe even a label maker. Slat board, peg board, and track based organizational systems are other great ways to keep items off the floor, organize smaller items and hang up tools. Garages are also a great place to utilize ceiling space by installing overhead storage. Since you have already decided on categories and what is staying you should have a good idea of what kind of storage solution will work best for your garage. Once youíve created a storage system in your garage with assigned places for each item you should have that coveted room to park your vehicles inside again! Take the time to choose where you will be parking your vehicle and hang a tennis ball from a string to signal when you are parked in the correct place. The ball should gently bump the windshield when you are in the right spot. When choosing your new parking spot allow for space to walk between the vehicle and the back wall as well as the side walls. If you have a two car garage ensure that there is plenty of room between the two cars so that when doors are opened it doesnít risk bumping the other car. Depending on how cluttered your garage is organizing it may be longer than a weekend project. However, by investing the time into creating a smart storage system you will be able to use your garage not only easily but also stress-free. Happy cleaning!





Posted by Janet Cramb on 11/22/2017

Depending upon where your laundry room is in your home, it may be a breeding ground for plenty of stuff. People leave their shoes in there along with coats, an array of cleaning supplies and other ďjunkĒ piled up in one spot. However and wherever your laundry room is, you can organize it in a few easy steps.


Gather Off Season Items


If you place coats, boots, sandals, hats and gloves in the laundry room, you need bins to keep them organized. Either label bins and put items where they need to be, or get some baskets to sort everything out. Every member of your family can have their own bin for their off-season belongings.


Keep Hampers In The Laundry Room


For easy sorting, label hampers so that clothes are already sorted when you head to do laundry. This will cut down on your laundry time significantly. Each family member will have their own responsibility to bring his or her own clothes to the laundry room and sort them out.


Get A Retractable Clothesline


Since space can be limited in the laundry room, itís hard to find places to hang clothes to dry that arenít able to go in the dryer. If you get a clothesline that will enable you to hang your clothes vertically, youíll save space. 


Clear Counter Space To Fold Clothes


If you have some counter space in the laundry room cleared way and reserved, youíll have more space to be able to fold your clothes. Getting the folding done on the spot is a great idea because then, youíll have less to do when you come out of the laundry room! 


Keep A Wastebasket Near The Washer


Itís inevitable that people will always leave something in their pockets. You donít want tissues and receipts to end up in the wash. As youíre doing laundry, youíll need a place to dispose of these items and a place to get rid of dryer lint and dryer sheets as well. Other items that are found in the laundry that donít belong there should be kept in a separate basket for people to pick up at a later time. 


Install A Shoe Rack


If the laundry room is near an entryway to the home, you need a shoe rack there. People will be taking their shoes off and on, and you donít want shoes strewn throughout the room. You may also want to get a good doormat, one that will pick up mud and dirt, to keep it from spreading throughout the room and the house.


With a few changes, your laundry room can be easily organized. Youíll just need to train your family on how to use the new systems in order to make life a bit easier for you!





Posted by Janet Cramb on 12/7/2016

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Playrooms are usually the bane of a parentís existence. The neverending stream of toys from holidays and celebrations coupled with a childís lack of natural orderliness do not an organized room make. If youíre determined to end the clean up time struggle and find a solution that works keep reading.

For starters, forget the typical toy box solution.


Toyboxes only force children into creating a mess as they dig through its contents pulling toys out as they go to find the one they are looking for. Instead, opt for bins and/or baskets to corral your childrenís toys by category. This way legos have their own container and Barbie has hers.


Want to really keep a tidy playroom?


Put a cap on the amounts of toys your child owns to avoid overwhelm and minimal clean up time. Your child will be better able to manage their toys as well as enjoy them more. Donít worry you donít actually have to throw out all of their toys.


A great solution that also adds renewed interest in old toys is to keep most of your childís belongings in storage. You can then swap out their available selection throughout the year to keep their interest piqued without cluttering up the playroom.


Avoid moving the madness to your attic or basement by also regularly cleaning out existing toys to make room for the influx of the new during the holidays and birthday seasons.


Give your child responsibility.


Teach your child responsibility for their toys by having them clean up their own messes. Create routines throughout the day to help them learn how to clean up before they move on to their next activity. This could mean cleaning up before lunch and bedtime or even before moving on to a different toy.


Make cleanup a breeze for your child.


Keep all storage within reach so your child can not only easily access their toys but also easily clean them up on their own. You can do this by keeping like items with like and storing items in clear containers that are well labeled. If your child isnít old enough to read, create labels that have simple images that indicate what type of toy belongs inside each container.


Customize your storage solutions to your child. Review what works and what doesnít often and make changes accordingly. By creating a process that evolves with your child as learn new habits and even grow older you can guarantee a solution that sticks throughout their childhood.


Hopefully, youíve gained a few ideas on how you can improve your childís playroom to not only be better organized but also stay better organized. With some patience and modeling good organization behavior, your child will be keeping their playroom neat and tidy without a fight. Happy organizing!





Posted by Janet Cramb on 9/14/2016

Your attic; itís a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most peopleís it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you canít quite let go of or donít know where to put. Perhaps itís overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading. If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically. Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic. Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier. Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly. Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas. Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes. While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!




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