a division of Barker Business Services,llc


  • 15 Dec 2020 5:41 PM | Pam Huseman

    Hi everyone, I wrote this blog post about 4 years ago, but if there's one thing I've learned in my business, the things we hold on to, for whatever reason, don't really change with the times too much. If you're having trouble letting go of things, you can contact me at pam@pamtheorganizer.com or call me at 707-249-0946. You can also read more of my blogs here:  Organized Solutions (pamtheorganizer.blogspot.com) 

    And, also check out my website at www.pamtheorganizer.com

    Happy reading!!

    Thursday, May 12, 2016

    TEN things to TOSS Today!

    When people find out what I do for a living, I often get questions like, "What's the weirdest thing you've found in someone's house?" Or comments such as, "You must see a lot of different things that people save." And the answer to the latter is yes, I do see a lot of different things that people keep. But actually, I often see the same types of items in people's homes.

    Having my business for a few years now, I've noticed some fairly universal items when I help clients go through the process of decluttering their spaces. Some of these items hide in the backs of closets, cupboards and boxes in garages. Others are right there in your line of sight, but have become such a part of the environment that you don't even notice them. When they are brought out of the closets, cupboards and garage boxes, clients will often say, "I forgot I even had those in here."

    When the eyes of a stranger notice that collection of dusty trophies on a spare bedroom shelf, the client may look at them as if they're seeing them for the first time. That's part of my job. . . to make you look at your space with a fresh set of eyes and come up with a vision for your space.


    That being said, here's a list of TEN things you can TOSS today to get you started on your de-cluttering journey.

     1WIRE HANGERS from the dry cleaners! I know, you're thinking, "Why do I have to go through the hassle of transferring the shirts from wire hangers to my other hangers?" The reason is that wire hangers are ugly, and frankly, potentially harmful (remember the movie, "Mommy Dearest?") When I work on a client's closet, that's the first thing I do. Decent hangers these days are fairly inexpensive and uniformity in hangers make your closet pleasing to the eye which may encourage you to maintain your newly organized closet.

    2. SHOES that hurt your feet! You know the ones I'm talking about. Why? Why would you assign valuable real estate in your closet to shoes that give you blisters or pinch your toes? Why?

    3. PLASTIC CUPS with old company logos, sports team logos, fast food logos, etc. If you need plastic cups for outside by the pool, pick up a pack of inexpensive cups from the grocery store.   

    4. OLD TROPHIES from your childhood, or your kids. We all know you're a winner, so why are you keeping that dusty old baseball trophy from the 70's? These can often be donated to a local charity that specializes in refurbishing them for events such as the Special Olympics.

    5. PAPERBACK BOOKS that you will never reread. Check with your local library to see if they accept gently used paperback books for their "Friends of the Library" book sale. Let someone else delve into the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts!

    6. GREETING CARDS - - I know, I know! Being a paper craft enthusiast, I've created and given many, many handmade greeting cards and this is a sticky subject for me also. I've given myself permission to keep a few really, really special cards such as the ones from my children with their beginning handwriting skills, and a few special wedding anniversary cards. The memory of the day, or holiday does not live in the card, it lives in your own memory of that day. Getting rid of the card is not getting rid of the memory. Keeping it in a drawer is not honoring that memory.

    7. JUNK MAIL!!! Seriously, do I even need to say anything about this? Throw. It. Away. If possible, don't even let it make it into your house to sit on your counter or table. I've seen way too many paper grocery bags full of insurance offers, credit card offers, seed catalogs, Valpak coupons, and drug store advertisements. THROW IT IN THE RECYCLING BIN IMMEDIATELY!!! Here's a link to my post about getting off some of the mailing lists. No More Junk Mail


    8. MANUALS to items you don't own anymore. And while you're at it, toss the cords to electrical items you don't own anymore also. I can't tell you how many cords I've sent off to E-Waste heaven!

    9. FLORIST VASES - Really!! Unless you buy yourself fresh flowers on a weekly basis, what are the odds that you need to keep 7-10 plain, ugly glass vases. Free that space above your refrigerator, (cause that's where I usually find them!) Where do you keep yours?

    10. COOKBOOKS you never use. In today's era of Pinterest, YUMMY! posts on Facebook, and all the other apps and places you can find amazing recipes, why are you assigning valuable space to those big, heavy cookbooks?

    There's my top 10 items I recommend you start with. If you can pick just a few of these in the beginning of your journey, I think you'll find that it won't be as hard as you think. In my next post, I'll give you another 10 items that you can let go of as well.

    What items are the hardest for you to let go of, and why?

    Good luck and Happy Purging!

  • 19 Nov 2020 1:10 PM | Vera Gleason

    How can you be successful home buyer in this market?

    You know you are ready to purchase a home… But Now what?

    Much has been written about how to search for a great real estate agent, what to look for in a lender, or how is the real estate market right now. 

    But how often do you hear about how to be a great buyer when searching for a home?  Here are some tips to help you as the buyer in this very competitive market.

    Unless you are paying cash, the first step is to get pre-approved for a loan. You can’t assume you qualify, you have to go through the process.  So, find a good local lender that you trust.  We have some fantastic lenders here in Vacaville, and I would be happy to refer one to you.

    Why is getting a loan approval the important initial step?  

    • First, so you are not put in the frustrating position of finding a home you love, just to learn you don’t qualify.  An approval states the mortgage amount you can afford. 
    • Second, an agent works very hard to find your perfect home. To do that, they must know what you can afford. 
    • Third, home sellers want qualified buyers viewing their home. 
    • Forth, unless you are paying cash,  a loan approval is your ticket to getting your offer accepted.  No approval letter no acceptance….plain and simple. 

    Searching the internet on sites like Zillow or Redfin is a good way to start your search, but the more accurate information comes from the local Multiple Listing Service. Many agent websites offer this option.  Keep an open mind about viewing properties.  Some homes look great in photos, but not in person.  Other homes don’t photograph well, but look terrific when you view them.  The best home searches are done with a qualified real estate professional who understands the local market and communities. Therefore, the next step is to find a great real estate agent to help you find that perfect home.  Here is something to consider when choosing an agent.  Remember buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, where a great deal of money is at stake.  Your Aunt Violet or cousin Eddie are wonderful people, but please consider if they have the experience required to take on the complexities of handling a real estate transaction. Choose wisely. 

    Now that you have your pre-approval letter in hand, and a great agent at your side, you are ready to start a serious search for your new home.  This is where Buyer etiquette is so important.  Be polite, and remember the house you are viewing is someone else’s home.  

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the home buying process:

    • Communicate clearly with your agent agent about what you are looking for. 
    • Preview neighborhoods ahead of time so you know where you’d like to live.  
    • When viewing, treat the home with respect. 
    • Follow Covid guidelines; one or two visitors at a time and wear a mask. 
    • Be careful about negative comments.  Recording devices are everywhere now.  
    • Too many friends or family makes the process confusing. Keep to a minimum. 
    • Write reasonable offers, including your approval and proof of funds for down payment to prove to the seller you can afford the house. 
    • Once in escrow, get a home inspection. Also, consider a pool, roof, septic or any other applicable inspections.  Sellers don’t usually provide inspections. 
    • Keep repair requests to a minimum, and only include health & safety items. Sellers are not going to remodel for you. 


    • DON’T make any large purchases after your approval.  The lender will run your credit again even if you are approved.  A large purchase can STOP the transaction.
    • Don’t make any employment changes. Once again, the lender will check. (If you consider a change ask your lender first.)
    • And always listen to your agent’s advice. They are the professionals. 

    Successfully finding and closing escrow on the perfect home can seem like a daunting process. But, surrounding yourself with a team of great real estate professionals, and keeping these tips in mind, will help make it easier, and maybe even fun.  And very soon you will have the keys to the front door of your very own home!  

    How exciting!!

    Vera Gleason, Realtor®

     DRE #01412791

    707-394-8372 or 951-334-6002

    Website:  VeraSellsRealEstate.com

    RE eBroker Group, Inc

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