In Kicking the Bucket List, Gail Rubin offers a helpful list of 100 things to do before you die. This is a good, light read and planning tool to help you, your clients, and their loved ones. Rubin has been a speaker at a past Academy event and is a regular contributor to the Academy blog. In this blog, I’ll look at a few of her helpful hints.
Several of her pointers focus on clearing clutter and liberating yourself from excess possessions. Getting organized and clearing away clutter is a great way to streamline your life and focus on what’s important: your relationships and legacy. Many of us have attempted to clear away the clutter in our lives, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Rubin shares helpful ways to achieve the goal of de-cluttering. For example, she advises giving yourself realistic deadlines and taking breaks to minimize frustration and exhaustion. In number 87, Rubin suggests you decide on your approach to de-cluttering. She lists several different approaches. Two approaches that seem logical to me are starting with non-sentimental items, such as clothing and papers, before addressing sentimental items. Another strategy is addressing one room at a time until the whole living space is done. A combination of these strategies might be best. Perhaps you focus on one room and then within that room first tackle non-sentimental items.
Several of her pointers focus on ways to reduce the clutter responsibly. For example, number 74 suggests re-gifting gifts you’ve received but not used. Number 72 suggests clearing out those hotel and trial size shampoos by donating them to a homeless shelter. Several of her suggestions focus on ways to make charitable donations of items, such as donating pet items to the Humane Society (number 59), or donating books to your local library (number 60). Rubin also gives helpful hints on how to track your donations to deduct them on your income taxes (number 79). She has several other suggestions for turning unneeded excess items into cash, such as selling them on e-Bay (number 63).
In an upcoming blog, I’ll look at some more helpful hints from Rubin.
Stephen C. Hartnett, J.D., LL.M.
Associate Director of Education
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555