Decluttering And Organizing Important Documents
Here we are at day 19 already. We only have one more week to go in this challenge, how are you feeling so far? I am guessing it feels great to have so many spaces in your home cleared of clutter and organized. Today we are going to be decluttering and organizing important documents.
This is a very important part of your organizing process. Having all your documents organized and ready to go, in case of an emergency, will give you tremendous peace of mind.
“Important documents” is a broad category and you should include here anything specific to your family situation, but it will certainly include documents like birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, living will copies and power of attorney documents.
To make your life simpler, with the Decluttering & Organizing Documents Checklist -in the Vault!- you’ll also find a checklist for categories and the documents included in each of them.
Let’s get started.
How To Declutter And Organize Important Documents
- The first part of this is going to be accessing or acquiring a fire-proof filing box for your very important items. This doesn’t have to be huge, it should just be big enough to hold your important documents and any very valuable or sentimental items that you could not imagine losing.
- Supplies you may want to have handy when organizing your important documents:
- have a scanner, filing folders, labels and pen ready. The app Genius Scan does a great job from your phone if you don’t have a scanner.
- Next, organize your documents in categories. Here are some of them: Legal, Money, Taxes, Insurance, Medical, Home, Auto, Business.
- Here is how each of them could look like:
- Permanent documents:
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Marriage certificate
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Divorce Decree
- Citizenship / Naturalization papers / Green Card
- Military Discharge
- College Transcripts
- Adoption Information
- Will and living will
- Power of attorney
- Bills of sale
- Inventory of collections, art, electronics, valuables
- Plot of survey of properties you own
- Property taxes
- Rental or lease agreements
- Vehicle titles
- Medical: copy of insurance cards, policies and list of your providers.
- Credit cards – make a copy or scan all your cards (front and back) and save in a pen drive.
- Bills – make a copy of every service provider you have. You can scan and save them in a pen drive to reduce volume.
- Your contacts – download all your contacts and save them in a pen drive.
- Have a pet? Create a folder with all their documents, insurance, vaccination etc.
- Permanent documents:
- Scan your important documents and save on the cloud and on a pen drive.
- Create the files for the categories you need.
- Place your important documents in their respective files.
- Label each file accordingly.
- Make a list of the contents of each file, print it and store it inside your box. Keep a copy of this list in the back-up pen drive.
- Now that all is organized let’s decide where to keep them safe. If you live in a flood zone or tornado-prone area, consider this when you are hiding your safe. The best place to store it is in a spot that is safe but is also easily accessible if you have to leave the house quickly in case of an emergency.
- You will be surprised how much more at ease you will feel once your valuables and your very important documents are stored neatly away in a secure area.
Document Declutter & Organizing Checklist
After you grab the free printable each day, don’t forget to share your process and progress on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the hashtag #APONewYearChallenge for a chance to win a free copy of the Life-Binder Purposeful Life Planner!
Day 18: Your ComputerParagraph
Day 21: Creating a House Care BinderParagraph
Day 23: The Playroom
Day 24: The Garage
Day 25: Creating a Disaster Kit
Day 26: Protecting Your Valuables