Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Boomer Burden: A Book Review

I belong to NAPO-Ohio,  an amazing chapter of professional organizers who share generously.  As part of our meeting, we have a segment call the Round Table. Someone suggested we all read The Boomer Burden by Julie Hall.  It's book that she often gives to families when she gets calls about downsizing or estate settling. It was perfect for discussing at Round Table.  Roger, an associate member from Crestview Books, handed out copies to members. (I told you they were generous.)

I have to say it was one of the best books about organizing, downsizing, and talking to parents about hard to talk about topics.  You should read this book if you have:
a) parents
b) children
c) stuff
d) all of the above

I read this book on a road trip with friends, who patiently let me read parts aloud. The title of the book comes from the post-depression era parents and their baby boomer children who are now dealing with their parents "lifetime accumulation of stuff."   The author provides checklists, strategies for decluttering, help for dividing estates when instructions were not specific, getting appraisals, and dealing with siblings.  The book has lots of anecdotal bits about families she has worked with and their tales of frustrations, deception, and overwhelm.

Having a will is a good start, but keeping it updated is crucial. What if the people named have already passed? In my case, I felt great about having a will, but it hadn't been updated since my adult children were tots.
Shred old documents like the outdated wills and insurance policies that are no longer valid will save grieving loved ones the trouble of following loose ends.
Children often find value it what you used often, like your favorite coffee mug, and not the silver plated tea set.
Sort through your stuff regularly and be a blessing to your children.

I heartily recommend reading this book.  5 out 5 stars from me!