Thursday, March 17, 2011

How To Organize Your Personal Information

Organize your lif

Well, here we are at week 5 in Jennifer Ford Berry's book "Organize Now," and we are working this week to organize our personal information. Honestly, this was not a week I was looking forward to, but not for the reasons you might think. Surprisingly, Momma's got a pretty good handle on important paperwork. This is due primarily to the fact that I traded in my two drawer filing cabinet for a mack-daddy 4 drawer one that my father-in-law was getting rid of. Because I was the lucky recipient of such charity, I happily gave my friend Hollie my old filing cabinet. "Share the love," I always say. But I digress...

How about you? Could you put your hands on your family's important papers like Social Security cards, birth certificates, or car titles? Berry breaks down this weeks goals to guide us though this very important task:

1. Decide where you want to store this information. I'm a "paper-and-pencil" girl myself, although storing such info on the computer would probably be easier. Just be sure you save a backup copy to a jump drive, you know, just in case...

2. Label each category accordingly so you can reference the information easily. Berry suggests these:
A. Finances
*Your credit score (I have NO idea what mine is...oops!)
*Credit card and debit card numbers and the number to call if they are stolen
*Bank account numbers and the number to call if your checkbook is lost or stolen
*A budget for your income, expenses, savings, and personal goals
B. Health
* Allergies (food, meds, animals, etc.)
* Your blood pressure
* Any health issues that run in your family
* Your cholesterol level
* Your blood type and those of family members
C. Safety
* Emergency contact numbers
* License plate number and VIN
* Flight numbers if you or a family member are planning a trip
* Current photos of every member of your household labeled with heights and weights
* Photocopies of yours, your spouse's, and your children's passports
D. Just In Case
* Your measurements and clothing size (along with your spouse's and your children's).

3. Purchase a fireproof storage box (if you haven't already) to keep important documents in like:
* Marriage certificates
* Birth certificates
* Death certificates
* Adoption papers
* Auto titles
* Stocks and bonds
* Wills
* Household inventory list
* Valuable contracts
* Passports

As mentioned earlier, I actually have a pretty impressive filing system but a fireproof safe, I have not. I've always wanted one, so I guess it's worked it's way up on my " things to buy" list. I'm going to look around because if I remember correctly, they are not cheap. Worth every penny, I'm sure, but not cheap.

I made a notebook for Anna's medical history several years ago to help me keep up with medicines (that she currently takes, and has failed), doctors and therapists (along with phone numbers and clinic notes or instructions for home) and basic seizure information that I pass on to anyone whose care she might be under (church workers, babysitters, etc.). As for the rest of the fam, including myself, I have almost NO
information. This area needs work I guess. I'll do a post on Anna's book, too, as that might be beneficial for some of you to see how something like that comes together.

I also need to get all my credit and debit card numbers together. We have been the victims of identity theft recently so many numbers have changed for us. This will also be a good chance to cancel some cards that carry a zero balance thanks to some hard work to become debt free. Woot-woot!

Next week we will dive in to organizing our finances and this makes me super excited! Berry's book is making this organizing stuff easy peasy. If you've been following along and haven't gotten the book yet, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Bonnie at House of Grace has a printable for your personal information that looks awesome today, so head on over to check out her post. Happy organizing, folks!

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