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

A Home Inventory for Perpetuity and Protection

We are collectors!  Over the years we invest in items of value that bring joy to this journey–vehicles, artwork, sports equipment, jewelry.  We have collections of books, stamps, comics, dolls, toys…the list goes on and on and on. According to Allstate, 90% of homeowners are concerned about protecting their homes, yet only 10% have actually documented their possessions.

Getting your affairs in order is not just about end-of-life planning.  It’s about being confident that you are prepared for the unexpected.  Listing all your possessions and their value after a fire, burglary or some other disaster can be an emotional, gut-wrenching experience as you attempt to remember everything you own. The Plan My Affairs Home Inventory Category allows you to record your important possessions, to upload images or video files and to provide the history or stories attached to them.

Here are some tips to help you make a home inventory:

  1. Start with a Visual Record: Videotape or take pictures of each room in your home to physically document your belongings. While videotaping, it may be helpful to narrate, discussing each item and noting special features, including their condition.
  2. Create a checklist: There are free, downloadable templates available online, and most insurance companies have forms you can use to begin your home inventory.  On this list, include your belongings and as much information as possible:
    • Original price (including the receipt, if possible) and estimated current value
    • Year purchased
    • Model/Serial number
    • Unique features
    • Characteristics that help describe the value or provide authenticity
  3. Securely store it: Invest in online storage of this information. Your checklist is only valuable if you can access it.  A file saved on your computer is not safe, as hard drives crash.  At the minimum, save the information to a flash drive and store it in your fireproof safe or safe deposit box.

That last part— “Securely Store It”—is where Plan My Affairs earns its stripes.  It is the easiest, cloud-based personal organization tool with bank-level safety on the market today.  Not only will you have peace of mind that your home inventory is safe, you also can change and update information in your profile at any time.  And one step further…you can share your home inventory section with your insurance agent or anyone who you want to have access to that information. If you don’t already have a subscription, start your free trial today and take a proactive approach to your planning with Plan My Affairs.


A Home Inventory for Perpetuity and Protection

Home Inventory


Download Your Personal Planning Checklist. This checklist will outline some of the many elements you should consider in your Plan My Affairs Plan.



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