Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Family Docs Binder {Printable Included}

It is so great to be blogging again at Happiness is Homemade!

So many things have changed since my last post, {For more on that read this} but my love, nay my obsession, with organization is strong as ever! And what better way to kick off the relaunch of our blog than with some killer printables that will get you organized in a flash and on your way to a happy, cluter-free home.

Remember my Family Study and Budget binders? If you weren't previously introduced click here and here. Well, after having a baby and moving across the country, I decided it was time to consolidate our personal documents and binder #3 was created: the Family Docs Binder.

Move over FHE and Budget there's a new three-ring sensation in town.

As I brainstormed the most effective way to keep all of our sensitive documents (i.e. social security cards, birth certificates, church certificates, financial info) organized and safe, I remembered a packet my lovely mother had given me when Hubster and I were first married that listed all the vital info we would need handy in case of an emergency. Luckily I am a saver of all things brilliant and found the packet in the recesses of my file box.

My mom had received this packet at an LDS Relief Society Meeting and it provided an outline of personal, health, and financial documents that every family needs to have readily accessible. I did a little revising and came up with my own version that serves to organize my binder.

Because my Family Docs Binder includes super sensitive, personal information I don't have any pictures but I'll give brief explanations of each section and why having particular information is important.

Follow along by downloading your own copy:

Black and White
 And, for those of us too lazy to buy a new ink cartridge.
Blue and White

Cover Page: A House of Order
I chose to title my binder - yes, binder's need titles - A House of Order because it is so very true that when our house in order, it is a happier home, with happier occupants that can more readily feel inspiration and love. {See here for more}

Personal Records
This section includes important personal documents for each member of your household. There is a separate checklist for adults and children. You should print off one for each member of your family, gather the listed documents, and fill in any blanks on the individual checklist. I use the checklist as a cover page and file the listed documents behind it in a sheet protector

I added spaces for important numbers on each individual checklist because I often find myself on the phone with an insurance company or doctor's office that needs a social and instead of digging through my paper files - or really digging through my mental files - this sheet gives me a quick reference.

WORD OF WARNING: Because this system suggests that all of your personal files be stored in the same place be very careful where you store this binder. I would suggest leaving it off the office shelf and instead putting it in a safe or another very safe, very confidential location. Also, NEVER take the entire binder with you because this risks the identity of your entire family. If you need a specific form of identification, remove it from the folder. {Of course you will take the entire binder in case of an emergency that requires you evacuate your home.}

Health Records
This section includes a Personal Health History log. Again, print one off for each member of your family and fill out the spaces. Also include immunization records and, if possible, brief medical records especially for the littles in your life.

Soap Box: Please keep an accurate health history for each member of your family! It only takes a few minutes at the end of each year to update any new information and can save you, your insurance agent, and insurance agency hours of headaches requesting medical records and verifying information when you are looking for new coverage or a new health care provider. I worked in insurance for a really long time and value an accurate health history.

End Soap Box.

Church Records
This section includes a checklist and ordination record specific to LDS church members. Feel free to alter these pages to fit your own religious needs or let me know what you are looking for and I can whip up some customized pages.

Financial Records
This section will definitely take you the longest and will be the most detailed. There are sections to list cash accounts, credit cards, safe deposit boxes, vehicle information, insurance policies, and other financial assets. Having this information handy in case you ever face an emergency is vital so you can identify your assets to authorities and claim what is rightfully yours.

Why should we keep this information organized and readily accessible?
When I was in middle school, there was a massive oil spill in a small town just north of my city. Every resident of that town was forced to evacuate with maybe 10 minutes notice. A family friend and her two small children stayed with my family for nearly a week. Because they had to evacuate so quickly they were only able to grab a few essentials; they packed a change of clothes, necessary medication, and, you guessed it, a personal documents file. Even though they were away from home for a week, they didn't have any issues purchasing new clothes or accessing bank accounts because they had all of the necessary paperwork neatly filed and ready to go.

Heaven forbid an emergency befall any of us but unfortunately things happen and we need to be prepared. My friend and her family would have been fine without a complete set of personal documents but what if they hadn't been allowed to return home? What if their home had been destroyed? What if they had been forced to permanently relocate? Having a quick, organized way to document important life events and personal information is essential for each and every prepared family.


What system do you use for organizing personal documents?

Did I miss any important information that needs to be included?

Want customized pages? Shoot me an email.

1 comment :

  1. This would certainly make it easier to find documents when you need them. And since it’s in a binder, you can just add additional sheets when you run out of space to fill them. Thanks for sharing your House of Order. Have a good one!

    Ruby Badcoe


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