Friday, August 28, 2009

My Life in the Junk Drawer

So we have decided to take stock of our lives, and by we, I mean you.  What now?  Unlike the grocery store, our lives are not stacked neatly into evenly spaced cans and boxes waiting to be counted.  If you are like me your life probably looks a little more like the stuff I find in my kitchen junk drawer. If you just looked over your shoulder to see if anyone saw you blush, I want you to know I feel your pain.  Don't get me wrong, the items in my junk drawer are all useful on their own, they just don't belong together.

So where do you start? I suggest taking a month of vacation, kicking your family out of the house and emptying every box and drawer onto the floor to look through.  (Please tell me you didn't believe that!)  As tempting as it is to start a project with a ton of energy and get a little too excited, don't.  You goal is not to hate this.  Your goal is to love this.

Start with a binder, of course I suggest Prepared Binder - Home Edition, this is my blog obviously. As you run across things that are important, stash them in the binder.  If you have a copy of PB-HE you will note there are pockets provided, if not, go get some.

Make the first goal your personal paperwork. Climb through the bowels of your filing system and pull out your birth certificate, your marriage certificate, your social security card and similar items for every member of your household.  Now dust off the cobwebs and muffin crumbs and put the documents in sheet protectors in the binder.  (You guessed it, PB-HE provides those too.)

Pat yourself on the back.  Job well done!  Oh wait...did I hear someone in the back say they couldn't find their birth certificate? Ahhhhh! What to do....what to do.  Don't panic, really, don't. You have just done yourself a huge favor.  You realized you needed a document BEFORE the crisis.  Pat yourself on the back again.  Look up the department of vital statistics in the area you were born.  In the U.S. it is usually filed by county.  Give them a call, send them an email, or submit an web site query to ask how to get a certified copy.  You will likely need to send proof of who you are or how you are connected to the person whose certificate you are requesting, and there is sure to be a small fee. Go ahead and get 2-3 copies for your later use.

Wow! That was amazing.  Did you see yourself take charge like that?  Impressive.

So now you are wondering why I made you do that.  I mean really, when was the last time you looked at your birth certificate? Personal information like birth certificates and passports are tricky things.  You never need them until you NEED them. If you needed to evacuate your home and relocate, you would need all that information to re-register kids for school, to obtain new government ID and to travel out of the country.

So here is today's question: What information do you know you have "somewhere" that you can't find? How big of a problem could that be?

No comments:

Post a Comment