5 Reasons To Organize Your Important Personal Documents Now

Photo: getty
5 Reasons To Organize Your Important Personal Documents Now

It has always been important to organize your important documents, and even more so now because of the global pandemic.

These documents must be organized so that they are easy to access when you need them.

Many contain sensitive and privileged information so you don't want to leave them hanging out in the open. You'll want to keep them secure and away from prying eyes.

RELATED: 5 Easy Organization Tips To Add Structure To Your Day

Here are 5 reasons why it's important to organize your important and personal documents.

1. It reduces stress and anxiety.

Clearly, we are more relaxed when we're not worried, stressed, or anxious — this applies to almost anything. When there's a crisis, these important documents become vital.

I started thinking about this because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What would happen if I got sick and couldn't talk to the doctors? How would my bills get paid if I had to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time?

Do you ever ask yourself questions like these? Do they make you worry?

When someone gets too sick advocate for themselves, a healthcare power of attorney gives someone else the authority to make decisions for that person.

The other necessary medical documents may include a living will or an advance directive. These important documents tell other people your wishes. Without them, many people are flying blind.

If you're sick and your loved one is trying to help you navigate your illness, their hands are tied unless they have access to these important documents.

You can reduce your stress and anxiety by making sure to organize these important documents and let your partner, spouse, or trusted friend know how to find them.

If you don't have a living will, get one. That will bring you peace of mind and will also reassure your loved ones that they can be your advocate if necessary.

Quite honestly, most of us don't spend time thinking about these important documents until we realize that we need them. Then, it becomes a big worry, wondering where they are and how to find them.

Thinking about how to organize important documents adds anxiety and stress.

2. You know which documents are important.

Other than a living will, do you know which documents are important to organize?

There may be some documents that you will want to get so have a checklist — some may not apply to you and there may be documents omitted from the list that you'll still want to include, such as a complete home inventory.

It's also important to make a photocopy of the cards you carry in your wallet, just in case your wallet is misplaced or stolen.

If you do this, copy the cards front and back. Then you'll have the information from your driver’s license and know which credit card companies to call. You'll also have the information from your insurance cards or any other cards you carry regularly.

By photocopying the contents of your wallet, you give yourself peace of mind that no matter what, you are protected.

3. You'll help someone help you.

Create a digest of your accounts and their passwords. Keep this list with your important documents.

This will give your trusted person the ability to help you stay current with your accounts.

RELATED: 14 Ways To Keep Productivity High & Stress Low While Working From Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic

4. You're prepared in case of a disaster or theft.

You never know when disaster will strike, so it's best to have them all together and organized when they're needed.

There could be a fire, a flood, a hurricane, an earthquake, or a tornado. Chances are, there will be little time to get all the documents together so that you and your family can safely leave your home.

What if someone came into your home and ransacked it? With your important documents organized, you'll be able to prove what's missing from your home.

5. You have the time now.

Before our communities completely open up, take time to organize your important documents.

Many have been organizing closets, cupboards, and other spaces at home. You've probably seen "before and after" organizing pictures from a variety of friends on Facebook.

Taking time to organize these spaces not only restores order but can also help restore the feeling of calm in your mind.

I heard from one friend that her head was so full of things she was worried about that she went into an organizing frenzy. In an afternoon, she had cleared her back hallway of all clutter.

Opening the physical space and using some of that pent-up anxious energy gave my friend space in her mind.

Her children commented that there was too much empty space. They wanted their mom to put something back. She told them to let it be, that they would grow accustomed to the empty space — that it would be OK.

Removing clutter makes a space visually calm. This peaceful view helps your mind to relax which in turn allows new ideas to flow freely. Just imagine the possibilities.

If you're among those who have organized many of the physical spaces in your home, take time to prepare in case of disaster, and organize your important documents.

If disaster strikes or if you become incapacitated, you will be forever thankful you made the effort. If you never need them, well that's also fine. At least they will be organized.

RELATED: 50 Fun Ways To Improve Your Life While Social Distancing At Home During Coronavirus

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer, and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives.

This article was originally published at DNQ Soluctions. Reprinted with permission from the author.