Whatever your age decluttering is not just for ‘things’
How often do you ‘spring clean’ or de-clutter your ‘things’? It’s something we all do from time to time, if you’re like me it doesn’t happen too often but once you get started it actually becomes quite adictive and where I may have started out simply clearing a cupboard it has been known to grow into continue sorting the whole room and even the garage or loft space. I find it very therapeutic sorting things in to piles – charity shop, rubbish bin, eBay and even ooh I could use this somewhere else…. once finished I sit back and think ‘I wish I had done that sooner , I feel so much better because the clutter has gone’ .
Let me ask you another question (well two actually); how often do you do the above with your personal affairs and paperwork? Who would know how and where to find all the important ‘stuff’ they would need to know if you were no longer here?
A recent survey carried out for ‘The Dying Matters Coalition’ revealed that although 64% of people questioned said they were comfortable talking about death only 35% had actually made a Will or put plans in place. That’s quite a shortfall between saying and doing. So what are you going to do about it? Sadly, dying is not just the domain of the sick and elderly, none of us know what is around the corner as the recent terrorist attacks have painfully shown us. No matter what your age if anything was to happen to you would your loved ones know what to do with you, your business, your children, your pets? Something parents of a young family should definitely consider.
There is never a better time than the present to start getting organised. The most simplest way to do so is gather all your important documents together; insurance, pensions, bank statements, details of your Will etc, safely disposing of out of date paperwork then pop the remainder in a box file together with a list of main contacts your family may need then TELL them where they can find it. Job done you may think, but have you really sorted everything or is your head still cluttered with information you should be sharing?
If you have ever been in the situation of having to have dealt with the death of a parent or close relative, unless they themselves were super-efficient and organised chances are you found yourself having to hunt (sometimes fruitlessly) for information and second guess what they would have liked you to do. Wouldn’t it make you feel so much happier if you could avoid your own family going through that same stressful experience. So, what’s stopping you? Maybe your family aren’t happy talking about death, no problem, make a plan and write it down*. Imagine you are just stepping away from your life – taking a break away for a while, somewhere remote with no telephone or internet connection. What details about your house, your work, your affairs would someone need to know in order to take over the smooth running of your life – this is exactly the information you should be detailing. Have you thought about your funeral,? What on-line presence do you have? What memberships do you hold and where? Who holds spare keys to your house? How do they access your contacts on your phone?
It will take a while to work through but just like clearing out your ‘things’ once its done you can relax and get on with living and enjoying your life knowing that your affairs are in order and you are leaving your family well equipped to tackle that inevitable ‘to do’ list they will have after you have gone.
*In addition to working with bereaved families helping with the practical tasks that need to be done Lin also helps people think about and document detailed information they should leave behind to complement their Will using the workbook ‘Planning For Life After You’ available from www.worthyconclusions.co.uk For more information contact email@example.com
It's at this time of year our thoughts have quite possibly turned to Spring cleaning of some sort.As we start we probably have a very good idea of why we want to do this and exactly what it is that we want to achieve by it.
However we approach it we're usually motivated by thoughts such as: it's time for new beginnings; the days are getting longer and the evenings lighter and it's time to throw the windows open, metaphorically or actually, and let that fresh air in; it's time to shake up the energy in a space after it laying stagnant during the longer, darker winter days; it's time to get clean, get sorted and get ready for the new; it's time to get our heads above the parapet again and be ready for the off....whatever that might be.
So what difference does all of this make to the way that we feel?
Well: it seems to give us more energy; it helps us to feel lighter, less bogged down and more open and creative in our thoughts; we're just more focused and ready for whatever opportunities life may bring us.
If this is the effect that spring cleaning our homes can have on us, then what benefits could it bring for us to spring clean our businesses too?
How could it make us more effective and perform better in our working lives?
Well, it clears our head, making room for creative thoughts, for forward thinking and planning.
It also means that physically we're not distracted by bits and pieces that are lying around on our desks....filing cabinets...computers or wherever else we might keep the " might come in useful" little bits and pieces.
Most of us have a very clear idea of how we would approach spring cleaning our homes but where do we start and what approach do we take when it comes to our businesses?
Well, we could start by spring cleaning our computer... Sorting files out; deleting anything that is no longer relevant or needed. It's time to get rid of things that might've served us beautifully in the past but that are not quite so relevant now.
This way we know exactly what we've got. This means that we know where to find things and so it's easy for us to make use of all the documents, information and ideas as the need arises. It also saves us time...that most precious of commodities.......searching for these things and helps prevent frustration building when we waste said time, either through fruitless searching or being distracted by other things that we discover stored away that we'd forgotten we had.
The list goes on!
We could clear out old paperwork...if we still work with paper.
We could make sure that we have a good and up to date system for keeping business cards we've collected and the vital information on them.
We could take a new look at any posters or sayings we have decorating our walls. Like the pictures we hang in our homes (Crying single women, storm clouds, rainbows, flowers dancing in a sunny meadow, gorgeous shoes) they give out messages. Are these messages still relevant to us? Are they appropriate to who we are, what we believe and what we want to achieve? Do they reflect where we want to be, our goals and our values? Do they serve us in our quest for being amazing?
If not, then change them.
We could take a good look at our work space.......
What have we been putting off that it's now time to change?......chair?.......desk?..... Shelf space?
What is our storage like? Is it enough? Is it well used? Do we need to change it in some way?
Is our work space aesthetically pleasing and fit for purpose?
Does it actively support us and our businesses.
If not, is it time to change it in some way?
Now is the time to do these things, no matter what time of the year it is, so that nothing stands in our way of being the best we can be and showing up to the best of our abilities in each and every area of our lives.
Happy spring cleaning .... Whatever time of year you choose to do it......and enjoy reaping the benefits it will bring.