Question: How can I organize tons of paperwork after a parent’s funeral? I need to organize lots of paperwork after my parent’s funeral. There are stacks of paperwork everywhere and there must be at least 50 filing boxes that are not labeled.  How do I start? The papers seem to range from useless, to important business papers that will have to be looked at closely, to family photos and mementos.  Any guidance you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks, --Claudia Maria’s Response Dear Claudia, First off, please accept my sympathies for your loss. When it comes to organizing paper for a close family member who has recently passed, it can be a very emotional process. With the amount of paper you have, it would be very easy to get overwhelmed. I highly recommend you don’t do this alone. Someone with no emotional attachment can be of great value. As with all large tasks, it is best to work for short periods of time and then come back to the job. You may designate a certain day of the week or time of day to work on this project depending on how close you live…for about 15 minutes at a time. The first step with organizing any paperwork is to sort. In order to sort, you will need to decide on categories that you feel are appropriate for the paperwork that you see. Initially, you will want to keep the groupings few and broad. That is, keep categories very general at first. Later, you can adjust the categories in order to find specific papers more easily if there is a need. Assuming you have a large area to work, designate an area for the categories and label the areas with a sticky note that has the category written on it.  Some suggested categories are: Financial – bank statements, receipts, credit card statements, taxes, business papers, etc. Property - any information on mortgages, deeds, etc. Insurance - life, health, car, home owners insurance are included in this category. Medical - any papers on health histories, medications, doctor bills, etc. Home - owner’s manuals, utilities, and electronics Photos and Mementos Other As these categories begin to get large, you can begin breaking those down into sub-categories…eventually getting each topic into file folders. You mentioned that some of the papers were “useless,” so have a large trash bin and a shredder handy to take care of those papers as soon as you come across them. Generally, financial information should be kept for another 6-7 years, especially if your parent’s estate was large and complex. Other categories will be dependent on a number of circumstances. That being said, once everything is sorted, you can then handle one category at a time, using the advice of an attorney or accountant if needed.
“ASK MARIA” Your Organizing Question
To Submit Your Own Organizing Question, Please Scroll Down
By Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now!™ Copyright 1998 - 2017 Get Organized Now!™ 611 Arlington Way, Watertown, WI 53094 All of our GON information on this Web site, discussion forum, newsletters and e-mail correspondence, is protected by copyright laws. Reprint is strictly forbidden, unless stated otherwise on individual pages. Anyone posting copyrighted material or correspondence, without permission from the owner of this Web site, will be liable for damages. For reprint permission, please contact the owner of this Web site.
“Organize Your Home. Organize Your Office. Organize Your Life. Beat the Clutter and Find More Time for the Things You Love. “ -- Maria Gracia
TM Create a Happier, Healthier, More Fulfilling Life 	   with Maria Gracia GON Get Organized Now!
Get Maria Gracia’s FREE Treasure Chest of Organizing Resources
Here’s what you’ll get for FREE . . . -- Maria’s Top Organizing Secrets Revealed -- 21 Short, Organizing Videos --  You’ll also get a Treasure Chest of free organizing resources to help you clear the clutter, manage your time, be more productive, and live a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life.
Get Your FREE Organizing Treasure Chest Here Enter Your Email Below
We will never share your email information.
Follow Maria:
f b n in
CUSTOMERS
(Note: Get over 2,175 ideas, tips and techniques for organizing your home, clutter, time, schedule, money, paper, family and much more! Finally Organized, Finally Free for the HOME can help you get control of every aspect of your personal life.)
To Submit Your ďAsk MariaĒ Question, Please Fill Out the Form Below:
Question: How can I organize tons of paperwork after a parent’s funeral? I need to organize lots of paperwork after my parent’s funeral. There are stacks of paperwork everywhere and there must be at least 50 filing boxes that are not labeled.  How do I start? The papers seem to range from useless, to important business papers that will have to be looked at closely, to family photos and mementos.  Any guidance you can give me would be appreciated. Thanks, --Claudia Maria’s Response Dear Claudia, First off, please accept my sympathies for your loss. When it comes to organizing paper for a close family member who has recently passed, it can be a very emotional process. With the amount of paper you have, it would be very easy to get overwhelmed. I highly recommend you don’t do this alone. Someone with no emotional attachment can be of great value. As with all large tasks, it is best to work for short periods of time and then come back to the job. You may designate a certain day of the week or time of day to work on this project depending on how close you live…for about 15 minutes at a time. The first step with organizing any paperwork is to sort. In order to sort, you will need to decide on categories that you feel are appropriate for the paperwork that you see. Initially, you will want to keep the groupings few and broad. That is, keep categories very general at first. Later, you can adjust the categories in order to find specific papers more easily if there is a need. Assuming you have a large area to work, designate an area for the categories and label the areas with a sticky note that has the category written on it.  Some suggested categories are: Financial – bank statements, receipts, credit card statements, taxes, business papers, etc. Property - any information on mortgages, deeds, etc. Insurance - life, health, car, home owners insurance are included in this category. Medical - any papers on health histories, medications, doctor bills, etc. Home - owner’s manuals, utilities, and electronics Photos and Mementos Other As these categories begin to get large, you can begin breaking those down into sub- categories…eventually getting each topic into file folders. You mentioned that some of the papers were “useless,” so have a large trash bin and a shredder handy to take care of those papers as soon as you come across them. Generally, financial information should be kept for another 6-7 years, especially if your parent’s estate was large and complex. Other categories will be dependent on a number of circumstances. That being said, once everything is sorted, you can then handle one category at a time, using the advice of an attorney or accountant if needed. Maria Visit Our Get Organized Now! Store to See All of Our GON Products
To Submit Your Own Organizing Question, Please Scroll Down GON Get Organized Now! . . . with Maria Gracia
Copyright 1998 - 2017 Get Organized Now!™ 611 Arlington Way, Watertown, WI 53094
GON ASK MARIA
To Submit Your “Ask Maria” Question, Please Fill Out the Form Below:
(Note: If youíre serious about getting organized then Mariaís Iím Finally Organized Toolkit is definitely for you. Check out everything thatís included in this colossal organizing resource.
GON Get Organized Now!