Organizing Your Parents Paperwork

There are so many situations that require certain documents to get anywhere, most of them unpleasant and unexpected. This is why it’s important to have everything organized ahead of time so you’re not searching through the basement or waiting in line in a government office for hours with a recent emergency bearing on your mind.

But keep in mind this may be a time of loss for your parents. While you may have the best intentions at heart, they may not take it as such. Pick your battles, with so much already changing for them, the idea of organizing paperwork can seem like a much bigger deal than it may to you.

Before doing anything, talk with them about why you want to get their papers organized. It can also help to do this together, even if it slows down the process.

General Categories

Start by gathering everything that may seem of importance. Once you have everything, start laying things out into categories. Find a large space you can spread out for this, and use whatever system works for you. I find getting a temporary box for each category keeps things organized, but post it note piles, writing on a scrap piece of paper for each category and laying the papers on top will suffice. Whatever works for you, start putting like items together and don’t forget to include a scrap pile.

We’ve created a breakdown for organizing, and even printable labels to get you started!

Once things are in order, it’s important you chose a designated area for all your paperwork, so things don’t end up getting lost all over again. Keep this in a safe but accessible space. If possible, I like to keep a few extra supplies such as folders, files, pens, label maker etc. nearby in case you need to add another folder.

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