Monday, 5 February 2018

Why you need to audit all the things now

Inside - why you need to audit everything, and how to get started

We've all grown up with the looming spectre of the tax man doing an audit of our books if we fudge our accounting just a little bit but there is immense power and clarity in auditing all aspects of your life these days.

But let's just back up for a second, what exactly is an audit?

definition - a systematic review or assessment of something

A review or assessment of something. Or all the things, in this case.

What things can be audited?

Just about anything. Your wardrobe, or pantry. The bookshelves, or your games cupboard. Your DVD collection, or your filing cabinet.

Anything that can be considered a collection of something can be audited.

Some of the things I'm auditing at the moment include all the blog posts here, my craft room, pantry and me. <== Don't freak out, I'll explain this.

Why would I audit those things?

I've noticed 3 main reasons as I've audited things.

1 - to find gaps in collections, and fill them.

2 - to check for maintenance of collections.

3 - to inspire

Consider for a moment the catch all plastics drawer in your kitchen. If yours is anything like mine, it's been waiting for an audit (or review, or to be sorted out) for a long time. So long, in fact, that you probably can't remember what is in the drawer, what is supposed to be in the drawer, and whether or not you've actually got lids for everything that's supposed to be in the drawer.

It needs an audit.

Or a review.

Or just to be plain sorted out.

It's all the same thing, with a fancy word that makes it feel less like housework, and more like adulting.

How do I audit the things?

Let's stick with the example of the plastics drawer for now, because it's a tangible item. I'll explain intangibles in a moment. 

So, as I'm sorting through the plastics drawer, I'm making sure everything has a lid, or all the parts are there for the Icy Tups that I had to have all those years ago but have never used. I'm noticing gaps in collections, just as I would if I audited my wardrobe.

As I go, I'm throwing out the dog chewed broken pieces, and bringing all the pieces together from all the random cupboards kids have squeezed them into.

And, in a bizarre adulting-pride-in-your-house kind of way, I'm inspired to keep all the plastics in one place, for as long as possible (and maybe even sharing a photo to Instagram)

For intangible items like a business or life audit, you need to start with a list of questions and some self-analysis.

What things are working?
What things aren't working?
How am I holding myself back?
How can I move forward?

What things is Cate auditing?

I've been working through a variety of different things for a few months now.


A pantry audit - now the kids are all at school, my pantry is full of easy to grab boxes of food, and empty plastic boxes that don't fit in the drawer, as well as the usual spices and baking bits and bobs. Time to pull everything out, and make sure it's all usable.

A content audit - this has been a fun project that I've been working on for a few month now. It involves pasting every single post ever written on this blog into a spread sheet (which is the bit that I'm still working through) and then checking for broken links, formatting of posts, Pinterest images where relevant and generally ensuring that the content is the best it can be. I expect this to take at least another year in random small bursts.

A craft room audit - as we've moved Douglas into our downstairs room, and all my craft stuff has come upstairs at last, I need to go through and see what's still relevant to my crafting today. Do I still need resin and silicone to make my own moulds? Do I need a box full of cartoonish fat quarters? How am I going to actually store all the kids school work for the next 20 years?

A life audit - this is mostly a follow on to GROWTH and embracing ACTION, and ensuring that the things I want to do are in balance with family life and goals. I have roughly 25 hours each week that I can do anything I want in, how best can I use my time to benefit myself without harming the family?

What will you audit next?

Further reading
How to conduct a life audit - Marelissa Fabrega 

linking with Denyse Whelan, and One Mother Hen, and All Mum Said.
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6 comments

  1. I've done audits on clothes, furniture, money/budgets, insurances, superannuation and yes, my plastics drawer in the past year. It's nice to have things a bit 'better' now. Makes it easier to find and know where things are.
    I think I need a personal audit now. I like my job and I'm so grateful for financial security (as secure as anything is these days) but I can't work out what to do with those pangs of wanting to do more and get back to working in jobs where I actually get to use my degrees.

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  2. This! I've been treading water these last few years. I need new goals and also to let go of things that are keeping me stuck in the same position. I find it easier to audit the tangible things rather than thoughts and behaviours. This will be my year to audit those intangibles.

    SSG xxx

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  3. I've done audits of my pantry, beauty products and bathroom drawers without knowing that that was what I was doing! I classed it as a declutter. My next audit is my wardrobe - that one scares me a bit but it will be good to get rid of things I won't use anymore and find the gaps and work out how I can have an overflowing wardrobe yet still feel I have nothing to wear some mornings!

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

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  4. A great post which made me think. We have moved house twice in 3 years and the first one was great for culling/giveaways etc, the second time not much because we had only lived in that place for 10 months and not everything was unpacked. This house though most of our stuff is here: in cupboards and in August after nearly 3 years we need to move again. I will begin being more ruthless in the months preceding this! Thank you for joining in #lifethisweek 6/52. Next week's optional prompt is "Who's a Worrier?".

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  5. I am slowly doing this to my house too! Feels good!

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  6. I am ruthless when I audit. It's starting is the hard part. My linen cupboard could do with an audit firstly, then I am thinking the space under my kitchen sink!

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