Organizing Your Important Documents: Introduction (Part 1)
Written by Mandy White
The need for knowing exactly where your important papers are, and having them organized and easy to locate, can’t be overstated. A friend of mine lost her husband to cancer, and said that one of the best things he did for her before passing away was to put together a notebook of all of the papers and accounts she would need.
So, what constitutes an “important document”, anyway? I look it as anything that:
a) Would be a big problem if it were lost, stolen, or destroyed
b) Would be a huge pain-in-the-neck to replace, or is irreplaceable
c) Would need to be found quickly in the event of an emergency
There are many places online to buy ready-made binders or kits for your important documents, but it is actually really simple, and a lot less expensive, to create your own.
Two years ago, for Christmas, I mass-produced these binders for my and my husband’s siblings. I gave ours the name “The Brain Book” because it is everything that’s in my brain that my husband would need to know if something happened to me, or that I simply can’t remember all of the time.
You can name yours whatever you like! So, let’s jump in!
Supplies You’ll Need:
A large, heavy-duty notebook (at least two-inches, though three-inches would be preferable)
A large pack of plastic sheet protectors
Stick-on divider tabs (they will stick onto your sheet protectors and can be written on or have a label inserted)
A fire-proof safe (These are exactly the types of documents you want to protect from fire or theft!)
Cardstock (for the section dividers)
A second, smaller notebook (I use a two-inch one) for bulky items
Clear, three-ring zippered pouches to hold bulky items
A large-memory flash-drive, or travel hard drive for backing up your computer
Multi-page sheet protectors (they hold up to 50 pages each) to hold things like Life Insurance policies (I had to order mine off of Amazon.)
A scanner or copy machine (don’t go out and by one if you don’t already have one, but see if a trusted family member or friend has one you might be able to borrow for a day)
A shredder (You can get a small, fairly inexpensive one at Target or Wal-Mart.)
That’s it! Gather your supplies, and we will get started assembling your binders tomorrow.
Mandy White is blessed to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. She and her amazing husband have three amazing kids. She loves to serve others, and her favorite time of year is fall. Unfortunately, in Arizona, fall doesn’t start until November!
Other posts in the Organizing Your Important Documents series
- Organizing Your Important Documents: Introduction (Part 1)
- Organizing Your Important Documents: Family & Personal Information (Part 2)
- Organizing Your Important Documents: Finances & Other Accounts (Part 3)
- Organizing Your Important Documents: Property (Part 4)
- Organizing Your Important Documents: Final Thoughts (Part 5)
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