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Spring Cleaning: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle with a Warm Hand

Wow, our lives sure can get busy and complicated.  We take care of our families – shuttling children to school, activities, getting the school forms signed, accumulating stuff, then chucking that “stuff” into a temporary storage space, while thinking “I’ll get to it later”. Maybe tomorrow, maybe on the weekend, maybe next week.  Then more time passes and before you know it there is more “stuff” accumulated everywhere.

As we get older, we may find that we use less and less of our everyday items.  We may have younger family members, children or grandchildren who may benefit from them.  Why not share some of your memories with family & friends and encourage them to make new ones?  This is a simple part of estate planning that can be done at any age, at any time.  The more organized your estate is, the less stress we leave our estate trustee in organizing it with the added stress of our passing.

Spring is finally a time to take a deep breath of fresh air, and have a moment to look around and take stalk.  Where did all this “stuff” come from? When did this happen? Do I really need all this “stuff” or could someone else benefit from what I can no longer find use for?

Perhaps internal questions arise about where did all this stuff come from?

  • Do I need or use this stuff?
  • What will I do with this stuff?
  • How did things get so out of control?
  • How do I start getting a handle on this?

Relax, there is a simple solution:  Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.  It just so happens that Earth Hour is at the end of the month on March 28th.  Why not get a head start and give Mother Earth a hand by giving things with a warm hand to someone where they might get new use.  There are so many groups that need and appreciate things that perhaps we no longer need.

Now that you’ve decided to spring clean, where do you start?  Be ruthless and act now!  Set a timer for 10 minutes and take a tip from the experts on those organization television shows and start by creating 3 piles:

One: Junk!  How long have you had that?  Things that need repair, are broken, or totally useless go in this pile.  Okay, then what?  Throw them away as environmentally friendly as possible.  No contemplation!  Just keep moving.  Ten minutes is not a lot of time so I suggest that you pick one corner, cupboard, or closet and then go for it.  Remember that some household electronics can be recycled for free by several local organizations.

Two: Things that are useful, yet are no longer used or needed by you.  Congratulations, these are the items you can donate with a warm hand.  Items that you once enjoyed but have outgrown, upgraded to a newer version, or simply do not use anymore can be donated to someone who would find them useful.  Bag, package, or box these items and set a date and time for delivery or pick up and donate these items to charity or resale store.

Three: Any items that you know that someone else close to you would appreciate and enjoy.  The key thing to remember here is to actually contact them and set a time to drop off the item or have them pick up the items.  Who knows, maybe you could have a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy some time together catching up on past times, family or friends.  Time well spent and reusing items is a win/win for both parties.

The feeling you will have to give, donate, or reduce the clutter in your own home is that you have done this with a warm hand.  The best feeling is that you have the notion that people are enjoying what you had and appreciated and no longer need or use during your lifetime.  Now congratulate yourself in that you are creating a Loving Legacy.  Take some time to celebrate your success and enjoy the gratitude you have shared.

What are some of your Spring Cleaning methods to help get your home organized?

If you’re not sure what is important to have organized or how to do this than click on the link below to purchase your PDF copy or hard copy of the Taking Care of Business – Executors Workbook to help you get started on being organized.  You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!

Until next time,


Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.




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