Cathy Toomey
Stone Ridge Properties | 978-609-3970 | cathyt@stoneridgeproperties.com


Posted by Cathy Toomey on 10/3/2017

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 Cathy Toomey on 7/26/2016

Whether you have a free-standing pantry, or a dedicated room for storing your kitchen essentials, thereís certain things that you should do to make sure your pantry is organized and that you have easy access to all of your items. Hereís some tips for good organization in your kitchen pantry: Be Careful With Stacking Canned Goods If you stack large items with other smaller items, such as different sized canned goods, it can pose a problem. An alternative to this storage dilemma is that of using risers. If you donít want to put risers in because you feel that theyíll take up too much space, remember that these storage tools are giving you space in a different sense. However you choose to stack your canned goods, remember that the shortest item should be in the front. Organizing your canned goods by height can help to save you time and space. Store Open Items In Airtight Containers Items that have been opened should be stored in an airtight container with a lid. This can save you money by keeping items fresh. Also, you and your family will know what food items have been opened and need to be finished up before new items are ripped open. Keep cereals, crackers, cookies and even pet food fresh with the use of this simple tactic. Stacking Bins Save Space If youíre like most of America, your town probably recycles. Consider getting stacking bins for the pantry or kitchen area to place recyclables in. Make sure these bins arenít too large. This way, youíll be on top of taking the recycling outside to where it needs to be. This organizing tip helps to keep your kitchen clean. Also, be sure that these containers are easy to open for your convenience. Categorize Your Snack Foods Your kitchen pantry area will stay much more organized if you keep things in categories. Cookies and other sweet snacks should stay on one shelf in one area. Snacks for the kids should be easy to grab for little hands (that is of course if the kids have free reign over the kitchen!) Savory and salty snacks are a different category that will be on a completely different shelf and area. Baskets can be a great accessory for single-serve items. Boxes that snack items come in often take up a lot of space that could be better used. Bags of chips and other items are the same way. These bagged items can be transferred to sealable containers. Baskets are also easy to carry around if youíre offering a choice of snacks. Be sure you have clips to close bags and packages to keep snack items fresh. How Deep Is Your Shelf? Be mindful when it comes to shelving items like bottles that are all the same size. This can make things hard to find. These types of items are often best stored on a lazy Susan, or other type of turn-style storage that easily spins and allows you to see whatís available for your cooking use. This way, youíll never have to move a bunch of things to find what youíre looking for! These kitchen pantry storage tips will help you to stay organized and save time both cooking and cleaning.




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