If a fire or natural disaster hit your home, would your important papers be safe?
I would suggest that you store the following papers in a fire proof safe. You can pick up one at any office supply store or home goods store, such as Target or Wal-Mart. Safes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, as well as price ranges. Although many of the following can be replaced, it is only with extreme difficulty and effort on your part.
- Adoption and citizenship papers, passports
- Birth, death, and marriage certificates
- Property deeds, mortgage papers, rental agreements
- Divorce decrees
- Household Inventory (including pictures and video)
- Insurance policy papers
- Lease agreements and loan documents
- Lists of Bank and Credit Card Account Numbers
- Military records
- Property insurance policies and agent contact information
- Personal property appraisals (jewelry, collectibles, artwork)
- Social security cards
- Stock and bond certificates
- Vehicle titles and spare keys
- Copies of wills, powers of attorney, living will, and health care proxy papers
If you have both a bank safe deposit box and a home safe, keep the originals of the documents at your bank and copies in your home safe.
What’s the most irreplaceable thing in your home? Most people say it’s photos. So, put photo negatives or flash drives of most-cherished photos in your safe or, better yet, in an off-site safe deposit box or backed up digitally off-site, such as via Carbonite or Dropbox. Your family memories will be preserved and reproducible even in the event of a disaster.
As far as where to store your safe, avoid the master bedroom, as that’s where most burglars look first. Basements are best from a fire-protection standpoint, but not good if your home is located in a flood-prone area. You want to keep it conveniently located so that you actually use it, but hidden out of the way of potential theft.
And don’t forget to LOCK your home safe. It is NOT fireproof if the lock is not engaged! Take action today to prepare and get organized. Your peace of mind will be your true reward.
© 2016 Articles on Demand™
I am Cathy Dryden, and I started neat chic organizing to empower others to lead more fulfilling lives by helping them to become more organized through individualized coaching and training.