“The Boomer Burden” by Julie Hall (The Estate Lady®)

A fellow Organizer Colleague and friend, Deb Heimann made me aware of this book earlier this year and I can hardly stop talking about it. Why? Because as a Professional Organizer I help people sort through their stuff and de-clutter. AND my parents are nearing 80 and guess who will be sorting through their stuff?

“When we lose a parent it is devastating to most and then to face the reality that no one had prepared for this eventuality makes it even more difficult.” The author calls this “the boomer burden.” “If a family has not adequately prepared for the inevitable loss of their parents, the grief at the funeral will quickly turn into a nightmare. For those who are unprepared for this event, the legal technicalities and process of cleaning out the parents’ estate can drag on for months and sometimes years.”

The author got me thinking about how many of us avoid thinking about death. Because life is going at a warp speed, we don’t take the time to ponder the inevitable. And if we do take the time to ponder death, then we must also confront our own mortality. Preparing for your parents’ passing will also prepare you so that your kids never have to go through what you’re going through. Many people just don’t know how to get their affairs in order.

Get things in order!

  1. Create a will and a division of assets (it is a fairly simple process, make an appointment with an attorney and get it done).
  2. Assign an executor and a power of attorney
  3. Locate all important papers
  4. Know the monthly bill and expenses system
  5. Plan end-of-life decisions
  6. Make funeral plans


The 7 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Own Stuff

  1. You will experience less anxiety and worry about all the stuff you seldom use.
  2. You will spend less time looking for things.
  3. You will be helping people in need.
  4. You will have more time to do what you really want to do.
  5. You will find things you forgot you owned.
  6. You will revitalize your routine with a new adventure.
  7. You will protect your kids from ever having to do what you have done/will do/ or are doing with your parent’s home.


 6 Reasons it is Hard to Get Rid of Stuff:

  1. One spouse hoards, and to keep the peace, the other spouse just tolerates it.
  2. Clever advertising screams an irresistible message, you need to buy this to be happy!
  3. We can afford it.
  4. Even if we can’t afford it, its’ easy to buy stuff with just a swipe of a card.
  5. Peer pressure doesn’t stop at high school.
  6. Blurred lines between wants and needs.


 8 Indicators That I May Have Too Much Stuff:

  1. When I go to hang up a shirt in the closet, I have to push apart the other clothes to make space.
  2. I can’t see the floor in my closets.
  3. All of our kids have moved out.
  4. At least one bedroom has been turned into a storage area.
  5. We rent storage space or have a filled a small storage barn.
  6. There are more licensed vehicles that licensed drivers in our home.
  7. We have more than one credit card, and on one we are only paying the minimum balance each month.
  8. We can’t put our vehicles in the garage because we use it for storage.


Have no fear, the great thing about letting go of stuff and starting this process, is that you don’t have to do it all today.


“The best gift that you can give to your kids is to not leave them with an accumulation of your stuff.”


If I could, I would buy this book for every person that I meet. It is a must for anyone’s library. There is a great “Complete Parent Care Checklist” at the end of the book that is incredibly useful.


Crazy thing!  My friend alerted me that this book is available for only $1.99 through Amazon for Kindle for $1.99! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007V91MX2/?tag=rdtyc-20  Love it when the “stars align!”