The New York Times had a recent article on the health effects of clutter. The article points out that if you can't find your shoes, you certainly won't be able to go walking, and if you can't find your medications or other instructions from your doctor that could be harmful to your health as well.
In addition to possibly harming your health, clutter could make it difficult for your loved ones to help you in a time of crisis. If you are admitted to the hospital urgently, and a copy of your health care proxy is needed so that someone can communicate with the doctor, you don't want your family to have to search through piles of paper or lots of unmarked boxes. Additionally, in the event of your passing, your family should be able to easily locate your estate documents such as a will or trust, burial plans, any insurance policies you have and information about your bank accounts and real estate.
Why not set a goal to get your paperwork in order for the New Year? A simple fireproof box from an office supply store (make sure you either leave it unlocked or tell your family where to find the key), along with some folders and labels will make quick work of the job. You can then rest assured that in the event of an emergency, your family can concentrate on what matters - you, and not be endlessly searching through your clutter.