Kicking the Bucket List (a short book review)

Vector illustration of bucketThere are a lot of good books out there that I don’t take the time to review for you. But this one fits so well into the Organize Your Legacy portion of my business that I couldn’t resist. It’s called Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing & Organizing Things to Do Before You Die, by Gail Rubin.

I received this book for free, to review if I felt so inclined, but (don’t tell the author) I probably would have bought a copy anyway. I met Gail Rubin at a talk I gave earlier this year called “Who Will Check My Email When I Die?” We are so much on the same wavelength that when I read Kicking the Bucket List I thought, “Well, there’s another book I don’t have to write!” I will be recommending it to all of my organizing clients, and… hmmm… holiday gifts for my family?

You don’t have to be old or dying to downsize. Click To Tweet

Kicking the Bucket List

I think you should buy the book (available on Amazon), but I don’t profit in any way if you do.

In addition to lighthearted, practical advice about wills and funerals and such, many of the tips are about decluttering and downsizing. “You don’t have to be old or dying to downsize.” I completely agree that it is important NOT to leave a legacy of clutter and disorder behind when you “kick the bucket”. Your loved ones will be grieving. Isn’t that enough without leaving them the added burden of making decisions about things that you didn’t even value? The benefit to YOU in getting your affairs in order is peace of mind and a more pleasant rest of your life. Why do we only “rest in peace”? Why not also live in peace?

Don’t miss the Near Misses at the end! (Things that are rather specific and didn’t make the main list, such as disposing of embarrassing items before someone else discovers them, and how to save a loved one’s tattoo. Yes, really!)

As Gail Rubin says, “Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, and talking about funerals won’t make you dead. Start a conversation today.”

Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, and talking about funerals won’t make you dead. Click To Tweet

P.S. If “Kicking the Bucket” sounds familiar coming from me, you may remember Dad’s Kick-the-Bucket Flow Chart. My Dad has since moved to Albuquerque, where one of my brothers and I live. So these are outdated instructions. But the message is the same: Let your loved ones know what you want.

What stage of life are you in? Where do you need help?

Please share in the comments below!

Copyright 2016 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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  1. Seana G Turner on August 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Working in this profession has made me become even more committed to shedding unnecessary items. I’m in the stage of trying to get my husband to agree:)

    • Hazel Thornton on August 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      That can be a tough one! Sometimes when I am working with a client (most often a straight woman) whose husband isn’t on board, he will see what she’s doing, and how much happier she’s getting, and follow suit all on his own. Wonder if PO’s husbands are as easily influenced? And, of course there are items that need a consensus. Good luck with that!

  2. Janet Barclay on August 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I may need to read this. I downsized 12 years ago and have continued to purge since then, and even though I don’t acquire a lot of new stuff, I still keep finding things to get rid of.

    • Hazel Thornton on August 23, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Even if you acquire slowly, if the purging does not keep pace, stuff accumulates. Me too!

      • Janet Barclay on August 24, 2016 at 9:16 am

        And then there’s stuff that keeps making the cut, until one day you look at it and can’t even remember why you had it in the first place.

  3. Sarah Soboleski on August 23, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Question: Any relation to Gretchen Rubin, another author I know you like?
    My mom has gotten good in the last 10 years about shedding stuff, but she can’t seem to get my dad on board. This book may be a stocking stuffer for him this year!

    • Hazel Thornton on August 23, 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Good question, but she says no. Not that she’s aware of. I don’t know that giving your Dad the book will help if he’s already not interested. Did you see my reply to Seana? Also, there’s a new POINT discussion about husbands of clients. You may get some ideas (or give some) there.

      • Sarah Soboleski on August 23, 2016 at 8:26 pm

        I’ll have to check out that POINT thread. Thanks!

  4. Teri on August 29, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Another great blog Hazel! I’ve been on a book-buying binge lately . . . but this one seems to be calling my name . . .

    • Hazel Thornton on August 31, 2016 at 7:34 am

      It’s a quick read. The doing of the items, of course, is another matter! I wonder…hmmm…I might pick it for book club next year! Which means…I’ve never requested that a library stock a particular book, but why not?

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