Although she probably doesn’t always feel like it, my mom, age 82, is a whiz with the computer, with organizing things in general, and with all the daily tasks one needs to do (bills, calendar, etc.) to live securely in today’s world. If you have ever dreamed of getting someone to put together your yearly receipts at tax time, you would want my mom to help you. Although she pays someone to fill in the blanks on the tax forms for the two of them, she has already done so much — compiling, adding, totaling — that she should qualify for a discount.
What she is growing tired of, however, is the paper. My mom is irritated about all the paper that arrives, the requests for contributions (they give generously, but so many arrive in the mail), and the other pieces of paper that come from utilities, banks, credit card companies, and other places. If she pays online, she feels like she needs to print out the confirmations. Mom knows that there is no need to keep most of it, but sometimes she is doubtful, so she files it anyway.
So we’ve agreed that I will spend a day with her every so often, helping her sift through the mounds of paper, and she’ll start instructing me about various family records in a way that does not create anxiety for either of us. My husband and I went through this paper crisis four or five years ago, getting serious about shredding as many excess pages as possible, so I’ll tell her about how we went about solving the paper problem at our house.
Best of all, the two of us will spend the day working together.