Helpful Personal Planning Topics

Selection criterion: does it spark joy?

Wow! I just completed a huge home organizing project in my home. I read “the life-changing magic of tidying up,” the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo and I applied the KonMari Method of cleaning category-by-category and a 2017 and past purge. I feel so much lighter. The dust flew over the weekend, as I cleaned and organized my last few categories. With the new year upon us, this weekend we took down the Christmas lights and decorations and cleaned up all around the house.

If you followed my organizing journey in 2017 on Facebook, you know I cleaned out my closet, cleaned out my home office. I used the selection criterion: does it spark joy? I got rid of so many hand-me-downs, old clothes, and things I kept just because. The tidying order is “clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellany), and sentimental items.” For me, I felt a dramatic change after going through each category, and so much lighter organizing my photos and sentimental items. I followed the rule “Reduce until you reach the point where something clicks. I felt big changes after throwing away items from the 1950’s and things that didn’t bring me joy. I’m serious, it worked! Also, throwing away broken things and old things helped me organize my storage. My closet is cleaner, so it’s easier to get dressed for work. My home office is clean, so now I enjoy working remote – shout out Volume Nine! I’m ready to dive in and live in the moment in 2018. I’m ready to discover what I really want to do and gain confidence in life through the magic of tidying. I’m surrounded by people and things that spark joy and make me happy. I’m ready for my real life to begin in 2018.

The points from the book that I implemented and bring me joy include:

  • folding things smaller
  • storing things vertically
  • discarding empty cardboard boxes
  • storing bags inside of other bags
  • emptying my bag every day (still working on this one)
  • making the top shelf of my bookshelf a personal shrine

In this journey, I learned about my family, including my great-grandparents, who lived in Denver. My great-grandfather, Alberts S. Blauvelt served in World War I, seen in his WWI uniform in this picture. I’m fortunate my grandmother wrote their names on the back of the picture, and I have other documents to connect them to my family through my ancestry, SSN documents, WWI draft documents, newspaper articles, birth records, and census records. Albert and Vera Blauvelt are my paternal grandmother’s parents. Did you know you can find real pictures of gravestones online?  Like this one of my great-grandparents – the ones in the picture. I want to document these family stores about photographs and share them with my loved ones, that is one of the great uses of Plan My Affairs. You can upload photos and stories and share them with your loved ones, your designees.

One of the best reasons to sign up for Plan My Affairs after cleaning using the KonMari Method is you have your possessions organize by category, and you can use our checklists to document your things, then upload to Plan My Affairs. In less than one hour you can create your personal digital organizer that you can PRINT OR SHARE with family and loved ones with a simple password. It’s safe and easy. I experienced the life-changing magic of tidying up, and now I’m going to document and share information about family heirlooms, photographs, special possession and stories with Plan My Affairs.

With Plan My Affairs, you can plan my family affairs in less than one hour.

Take a look inside Plan My Affairs. 

My 2018 goals are to go on vacation, sign our wills, and get our passports. I can add these important documents to my Plan My Affairs and share with my designees – it’s easy!

I’m excited to share my journey with you in 2018. You can follow my journey on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

As Marie Kondo says, “Follow your intuition and all will be well.”

Have you read the book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo? Or have you tried the KonMari Method of cleaning and organizing your home? Did you feel different afterward? Share your comments below! Thanks for reading.


Sara Settle


Selection criterion: does it spark joy?

WWI era couple, Albert and Vera Blavelt, documenting family history

Moving Parents to a Retirement Community

I remember the day that my folks and I made the decision it was time to consider a retirement home.  My dad fell for the fifth time and my mom was very upset no one was available to help them, for about an hour.  My dad considered the assisted living costs. He planned well for retirement, but I admit that his planning – based on the average cost of retirement –  did not prepare us for in-home care costs or retirement home costs we now faced. Make a Plan While You Still Can – here are some tips for planning for retirement and beyond. “Most of us think about retirement as the last big plan we’ll ever have to make. But there’s one more thing that’s perhaps even more important. You need a plan to protect yourself against the risk of making poor decisions in your older age. Like it or not, we aren’t as sharp at 80 as we were at 60, even when we think we’re fine.”

The decision to move my parents into a retirement home required my brother, sister, and I to consider assisted living costs and our ability to assist our folks. I imagine your family is like ours. If you need help, you are prepared to help. We were fortunate enough to make these arrangements work for our parents.

This important life decision led us to sell our parents’ home.  As we went through the house, we longed to know the stories behind the memories, the antique furniture, and antique collectibles. Did these items belong to our grandparents or great-grandparents?  A flood of memories came back as we looked around our parents’ home. For our family, this was the perfect time to document the memories; identify and document the location of important paperwork and information. Locating family picture albums, car titles, mom and dad’s will, paid insurance policies, and more – these became important things to document. Plan My Affairs makes this process easy and quick. Plan My Affairs is a simple, safe repository to ensure you capture family information, the location of important documents, and photos, personal inventory, financial accounts, contacts.

Document and plan family affairs in less than one hour with Plan My Affairs.  Take the time to organize and preserve the important items your parents worked so hard to earn. Our planning checklists make it easy to plan your family affairs. Take a look at Plan My Affairs.

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Moving Parents to a Retirement Community

Slow Down

The other day I sat down with Bruce, a long-time client who I meet with once a year.  I was


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