The other day when I went to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to renew my driver’s license, I had to bring a lot of different documents with me: my social security card, my old driver’s license, my birht certificate, and a bill with my name and current address on it.
If you had to come up with all of those documents on short notice, could you? Do you have a place where you keep important papers like birth certificates, marriage licenses, car titles, or divorce papers?
What about not as important things that you need to find quickly?
I can remember years ago when my children were small, we had tickets to the circus. Since we bought them weeks in advance, I put them in a “safe place” so that I wouldn’t lose them. The day before the circus, I practically tore the house apart looking for those tickets. Sure, they were someplace “safe”, but where was that, exactly?
If you can relate, I’ve got a couple of suggestions for you.
For really important things, like birth certificates and such, get one of the following:
- A file cabinet
- A fireproof lockbox
- A safe deposit box
A safe deposit box has the advantage of being out of your house, so that your documents would be safe in a fire or other disaster. However, the fact that it’s not in your house also makes it less likely that your important papers will get put into it in the first place. I know how that works, cause I have ADD, too.
For other less important things that you still need to be able to find quickly, find a place in your house that you consider relatively “safe” and designate that as the only spot you will put such things. “Safe” in my definition means an area out of public view and without a lot of traffic. Attached to the fridge with a magnet is not it.
I used to use the cupboard over my stove – you know, those little high up ones that you don’t know what exactly to store there? It held my wine glasses and things like tickets to the circus. Another good suggestion (taken from a home party plan years ago) is your underwear drawer, cause nobody’s going there.
Whatever place you choose, make sure it’s the only place for everything, and let the family know, too.
One final reminder: you might want to remind yourself of where you put things, just in case. I use my PDA (an iPod Touch with lots of cool add-ons), but you can just as easily use your planner or even an address book. Under B, list birth certificate, and then where you store it. Simple!
By the way, I am now a legally licensed driver in the correct state, thank you very much. No more hiding from the law for me!