Uncomplicate life: Important PSA

Happy mid-August! You’ve made it through 2/3 of a year that you’ll never forget. We are as busy as ever doing our best to keep up yet we do need to take a pause at times and think of the future. Whatever is going on right this minute will pass whether you love it or hate it.

Putting aside all of the social, medical, international, and political issues we are dealing with every day, I know I will never forget this year for another reason that some of you can relate to as well.

2020 is the year that my dear mother passed away. She passed peacefully at home surrounded by her family which is exactly what she wanted. I am so happy we were able to spend as much time together as we did this year in spite of all that has transpired.

While your parents’ death is something that we all have to face at some point in our lives, nothing will prepare you for it. You truly don’t know what it will be like until it happens. And then you join the friends who have already lost their parents in grief solidarity. 

I do want to keep this message positive and cheerful and I want you to benefit from my experience. It has always been my mission to make other people’s lives less complicated and this is no exception.

This will not take 5 minutes but it is worth every second it takes you.

August is National Write Your Will Month but I want you to focus on your parents’ will. Check with your parents and see if they have a will.

This could be awkward and uncomfortable but it is essential. You can even use this message as a way to kick off the conversation. “I read this email by this amazing organizer who talked about her mother’s will. By the way, have you done yours?”

Hopefully they have already written one. Fortunately, my not always organized mother had written her will. It was printed on exquisite paper and carefully labeled in her file cabinet.

However, it had not been notarized. It was written when she lived in another state. We were able to take care of this in time but it was a good lesson in trust but verify. I am not a legal expert but I can tell you that having to deal with NOT having a will at the time of her passing would have added an unnecessary and completely avoidable headache to an already difficult time. 

To continue the conversation and help ease when you will have to deal with this situation in the future, there are other questions you can consider.

While this is certainly not a comprehensive list of what you need to prepare for your parents, it’s a start.
  • Do you have a will?
  • Is it current?
  • Is it legal & notarized?
  • Do you have a financial and medical power of attorney?
  • Do you have an advanced directive?
  • Do you know where you want to be buried?
  • Do you want to be cremated?
  • Is there anything that you want to happen when you  pass away? I’m thinking of scattering ashes or family get together.
  • What do you want to happen to your home/ car/ furniture/ pets/ jewelry?
  • Do you have final charitable gifts you want made?
This is definitely not my favorite uncomplicate and get organized topic. I delayed writing this a few weeks because of its sensitive nature but finally realized this is something that will apply to everyone. If not for your parents, then definitely for yourself. 

Make a note to have some important conversations with your parents. Call an attorney friend and have them refer you to a specialist who can help with your or their will. You won’t regret it and neither will they.

Let’s uncomplicate life where we can.

Uncomplicate your quarantine

I can honestly say this is the first post I’ve ever done that had the word “quarantine” in it. “Social distancing” was not a phrase I had ever encountered until now.


Like most unanticipated situations, a quarantine at home can get complicated. There are so many questions, emotions, extra food, hand sanitizers, and toilet paper! And how are we supposed to keep our sanity with kids and spouses together 24/7?

While I don’t have all of the answers to today’s problems, I certainly can help you uncomplicate your quarantine by offering suggestions to stay sane in this time of uncertainty. 

I’m going to change up the Joan Baez quote to include some alliteration:
 

Action is the antidote to anxiety


Doing something is far better than doing nothing. And this is what I’m doing and suggesting to uncomplicate a very complicated time.

Make your bed. I’ve said it once so I’ve probably said it a 1,000 times. Make your bed. If you accomplish nothing else today, you will have accomplished that. It’s a small victory that can spawn other victories. It takes 5 minutes and you’ll instantly feel like you’ve left zombie land.

Get dressed. Like real clothes. I’m writing this wearing jeans and a sweatshirt but it’s a CUTE sweatshirt with a satin ribbon at the back. I showered and put on makeup. Seriously, put yourself together as if you were going to interact with the world. You’ll feel like a real person. 

Clean/ Organize/ Declutter a forgotten space. You’ve now got the time to go through that closet or cabinet you’ve been avoiding all this time. Just organize it! You’ll feel so satisfied and accomplished you might even do another!
Here are some suggestions of great organization potential:  
–clean your makeup brushes
–go through your jewelry. You may have some pieces you’d like to remake or donate.
–organize your leftover paint so see if there’s any you can throw out because it’s already dried out.
–match up your sheets and pillowcases

Listen to some new music. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying playing some opera arias that I’ve heard in movies. Thank you, YouTube. Peruse Spotify, iTunes, or ask your kids what they like to listen to. You might be surprised that they like some of your music, too.

Practice gratitude. There is always, always, always something to be grateful for. This is probably the most time you’ve spent with your family in a really long time. The weather is beautiful albeit a little rainy. Hopefully you have your health. If you’re reading this you still have your sight. 

As I write this I remember one of my last conversations with my 100 year old grandmother who said when I asked how she was doing, “Well, I can’t see very well and I can’t hear very well but by the grace of God, I’m still here.” She was a master at practicing gratitude!

Sometimes you have to get a little ridiculous and find the smallest thing that is going well but do it. Focus on the little things that work like the internet or your hot water heater. We are all blessed in all kinds of ways. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find them. 🙂

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Uncomplicate your shopping


One trend I’ve noticed through the years that has taken a negative turn is the Sale Section in any brick and mortar store. Whether it’s the $3 section by the Target entrance or the enticing end-cap of an aisle, or even the little table in the back of the store that just screams “Buy me, I’m marked down!” 

All of this stuff is bursting with potential which 99% of the time is unrealized. 

We complicate our lives with “oh, I should get this because it’s on sale even though I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.”

We think we are getting a head start on birthday/ graduation/ holiday shopping. 

We think we are smart squirrels storing away inexpensive toothbrushes, socks, packages of Mac n Cheeze that will prevent us from future shopping. 

We think we have empty drawers at home that are needing to be filled with something.

And who doesn’t think it’s a good idea to shop on sale. Saving money? Yeah!! Like that’s a no brainer. 

Until it means you aren’t using your brain at all. Your drawers and closets are overflowing with the gifts/ toothbrushes/ food/ cleaning products. 

You have a closet with too many clothes with the tag on them.

You have excess food in your pantry that is nearing its expiration date. 

This sale item isn’t what you’re looking for (cue Obi Wan Kenobi voice) and you have just complicated your life by giving yourself something else to find a home for, organize, clean, get altered, figure out a recipient, etc.

This week: I want you to avoid the sale section.

  1. Before you go shopping in a brick & mortar store, make a list of what you need to purchase. Even if it’s just 2 items, write it down.
  2. Check your home inventory first. Make sure you don’t already have these items but in a different location. So often we shop by habit instead of really verifying a specific need. (Trust but verify)
  3. Seriously, walk on by the sale section. Don’t even glance. 
  4. Buy the items on your list.
  5. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it.

This may sound completely draconian and weird. You might be thinking that it’s a giant waste of time if you really do need something that you forgot to write down AND it happens to be on sale. This exercise is all about developing the habit of mindful shopping.

Mindful shopping:

  • buying what you need
  • not buying what seems like a really good deal because it’s on sale
  • shopping for specific purposes
  • spending with intention

Avoiding the sale section will 100% save you money because you’re not bringing home something that you didn’t plan on purchasing. It will keep you from shopping on impulse and adding to that already filled closet. You’ll have less stuff to clean, organize, and find a home for. That is #winning if you ask me. 😉