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Inertia is a weird gift.

(This is from an email I sent to my mailing list a few months after my Mom passed over in early 2023.)

I haven't written an email to you for a bit.



I've strived to avoid the 'rah, rah, get 'organized and have a perfect life' routine that sells books and tv shows. But I do know organizing things makes a difference in your life in ways you don't expect.

To that end, the occasional emails have generally been updates on classes, tips, and insights learned from clients that I think you might benefit from hearing. (Downsizing classes have been popular lately.)


But I've been stuck for a while.


I've been wrapped up for many months with my mom's illness which resulted in her passing a few weeks ago.


Stuck, yes, but also appreciative of the luxury of the space of time to grieve, start clearing out Mom's house, and let go of the chronic low-level tension that came from the uncertainty of her health.


But it's time to get back to 'regular' life.


I told some wise people that I was stuck getting back to sharing tips and missed hearing how people enjoyed them.


They gave me my own advice on overcoming inertia.


Get started. Get help. Write about what you know. Ask people what they want to learn about. Don't negatively prejudge your efforts.

Try this, then try that.

I promised to act on their wise advice.


So if you've read this far, here's my standard advice that's been honed these last months. It's good stuff.


Do the best you can every day. It'll vary from day to day and may not meet your or someone else's standards.

It's OK. Really, it's OK enough.


Remember that people don't last forever. That doesn't mean you won't be irritated, sad, or frustrated. But couple that with doing your best, and you'll reduce regrets.


Stay as organized as you can. Of course they're not everything, but modern life is about details and tasks. They're unavoidable. If you can't stay on top of things on your own, get help. It's OK.


Take care of your stuff, now and after you leave. Pick up your socks and clothing; do your dishes daily. Organize your time accurately so you don't disappoint yourself and others. Pay your bills and laugh as much as possible. Plan for your own future and for those that help you.


Here are Mom's intangible gifts that helped us great deal.

  • She had a Will, a Living Will, and had designated a Power of Attorney. There are still questions and tasks of course, but having these in place made it a LOT easier for her family. GET YOURS DONE! (I can help you and your parents.)

  • She made her children co-owners of her bank accounts.

  • She retained a life tenancy when she deeded her home to her children. After-death transfers are easier.

  • Most importantly, she talked about what she did and didn't want. Give those around you the gift of insisting on having uncomfortable conversations. They're necessary!


Here's what you can do to be as cool and awesome as my mom.


Talk with your family and friends, then contact an attorney to create your Will, a Living Will, and give a trusted person Power of Attorney to help with administrative details if you can't deal with them. Consider ways to give what you want to your heirs. If you don't have heirs, there are many organizations that need your help.


Write your funeral. What do you want to be done with your body after you're done with it? If you don't tell them you want to be buried in the garden, your ashes might end up scattered at sea because no one remembered you hate fish.


Please, please, please: write your passwords! It doesn't have to be a complicated program. Paper or electronic, make sure trusted people have access to how to get into your computer and online accounts. (Please don't write to tell me how insecure paper password books are. They're better than nothing, and the odds of someone breaking into your house to steal it are low.)


Consider gifting now. No matter how much or how little you own, someone has to dispose of what you own. The more you declutter your areas now the easier it will be for you to live in your spaces but also for those that follow you.


Do you have jewelry you never wear? Give it now. Are you living with furniture you don't love because it was your grandmothers? Give it now. If no one wants it now they won't want it later. Can't do it yourself? I'm here to help.


All in all, I'm grateful to my mom for being a strong, independent, caring woman who was true to herself until the end.


I leave you with her thoughts in her own hand

in a letter to her great-grandson Wyatt.


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