“Wait…don’t you organize closets, and kitchens, and offices and such?” Yes, I do… but my interest in organizing for illness, death, emergencies, keepsakes, downsizing, inventories, family history, photos, and legacies is nothing new. On this page I have gathered together all of my related blog posts, and a number of other resources, to help you navigate this sometimes uncomfortable territory.
Links are to Org4life blog posts, services, and products, unless otherwise noted.
- Start a conversation with your family
- Declutter, downsize & organize your (or your loved ones’) stuff
- Preserve your family history
- Organize your photos
- Organize your estate paperwork
- Create a will (or two)
- Plan to age & die with dignity (including obituaries and funerals)
- What to do when someone else dies
- A combination of all of the above topics
Start a conversation with your family
Organizing for Your Legacy — A legacy is anything you leave behind. Tangible or intangible. Good or bad. What will your legacy be?
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 So, these are outdated instructions.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.
Declutter, downsize & organize your (or your loved ones’) stuff
Downsizing and Keeping Your Family Legacy — I was invited to participate in this panel discussion at the 2018 Before I Die New Mexico Festival.
Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash — book by Vickie Dellaquila
Keepsakes: Legacy or Liability? – What are you leaving behind? What have you been left?
Organized Charitable Giving — This is related to dying in that my personal way of honoring loved ones is to donate money to their favorite charity. But charitable giving can also be part of your estate plan.
The Keepsake Clutter Flow Chart – 11-page e-workbook module
Emergency Preparedness Resource Roundup — In this case the emergency is that you died and people need to know where to find things.
Preserve your family history
Family History Research — Org4life service
The Gift of an Organized Family Tree — blog article about the Org4life family history research service
Puzzling Out Your Family History — blog article about the pleasures and pitfalls of doing genealogy research
The Ancestry Clutter Flow Chart (and companion article)
Mom’s Boxes Part 1: The shed — 8-part series (so far) about what I’m doing with the 33 boxes of scrapbooks my mom left me
Organize your photos
Save Your Photos! — This FREE guide will help you find and gather; sort and organize; archive and backup; maintain, celebrate, and share your favorite photos!
Have you seen Hazel Thornton’s Photo Clutter Flow Chart? — APPO Endorsement
The Photo Clutter Flow Chart – 11-page e-workbook module
Organize your estate paperwork
Organizing Your Estate Paperwork – blog post by Heather Ahern
CBDataSystems – paid tool
Everplans – free trial
LifeinCase — document organization systems
The Vital Records PortaVault — paid paper system from securitaonline.com
Planning Your Estate: Helping Your Family Find Important Documents – free from SafelyFiled.com
Touching the Future – Guide and Workbook for Estate Planning and Charitable Giving – free from redcrosslegacy.org
Exit Stage Right – products, services, resources
Create a will (or two)
Make Your Will: A Quick Checklist – free from nolo.com
Do You Have a Virtual Will? – Who will check your email (and close your Facebook account) when you die?
Virtual Estate Planning — blog post by Heather Ahern
Creating Your Digital Estate Plan — PDF by Judith Kolberg
Your Digital Afterlife — book by Evan Carroll and John Romano
The Digital Beyond — blog by Evan Carroll and John Romano
Plan to age & die with dignity (including obituaries and funerals)
We Remember — memory pages by Ancestry
The Conversation Starter Kit – free download from The Conversation Project
Good to Go: A Guide to Preparing for the End of Life – book by Jo Myers
Five Wishes — living will from agingwithdignity.org
POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) — program available in many states.
A Graceful Farewell – book by Maggie Watson
Reasons to Plan Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service — everplans.com
The GroundSwell Project – founders of Dying to Know Day in Australia
What to do when someone else dies
After a Death Occurs: A Checklist – free from legalvoice.org
What to Do When A Loved One Dies — AARP article
What to Do When Someone Dies: Estate Administration – free from exitstageright.com
The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff – book by Julie Hall
The Executor’s Guide: Settling a Loved One’s Estate or Trust – book by Mary Randolph, J.D.
A combination of all of the above topics
Organizing for Your Legacy — February 2018 Professional Organizers Blog Carnival – advice from many bloggers, this edition sponsored by Org4life.