Imagine what your life would be like in a world without any of your vital records. In what you might call a freak accident, and others would call lack of proper storage, you find yourself without proof of your identity, birth, or citizenship. You got into this situation because you could not find the proper way to store your most essential documents.
So, perhaps at that moment when it is too late, you would take stock of your situation and consider that there are many ways to store documents—some better than others.
Let us say that you have a simple home office or merely a filing cabinet and a safe. Is there a way that this equipment can make for the best way to store documents at home? You might not think that a room, a cabinet, and a safe can make for the perfect way to store every kind of document, but you would be surprised.
By reading this article on the best way to store your documents, you can ensure that your documents are safe from natural disaster, home accident, or intentional theft, and prying eyes. By using the method described in this article for document storage, you can:
- Easily identify and locate all the documents and forms of proof you need on a daily, monthly, and annual basis.
- Get a grip on your and your partner’s financial and personal past with the proof you need to back things up.
- Archive and store the things you want to keep with a clear head and intentional focus without saving everything in a jumbled mess of stacks and boxes.
- Protect and prove your identity, birthrights, and citizenship by keeping the most essential documents separate and protected from dangers to your privacy and security.
If you realize that you might encounter such a threat as fire or another person in your home, a foolproof method for storing your documents is a useful addition to the measures you take already to run a transparent but secure household. In this effort, read on to discover one of the best ways to store precious and sensitive records at home.
Considering Threats to Your Documents
In landing on the best way to store your personal records, you must consider that there are many possible threats to your private library of information. Some of these threats are more likely than others, and so the best method will have thought through all possible risks and taken the appropriate measures against them.
Because natural disasters are by far the most remote and basically unlikely risks to document storage and security, your storage method will need to take precautions against the most likely risks first: prying eyes, intruders, and jealous spouses.
As such, if you do not already have one, a locking filing cabinet of a size that cannot easily be carried away may be a necessary investment.
This is where you will store the majority of your documents, however, a smaller and tote-able safe is also necessary as part of the best storage system to account for more remote, immediate, and unforeseen threats like flood and fire.
Finally, for those documents that contain no identifying information or sentimental value but must be kept as a matter of routine living, you can have your choice as to your own personal storage style.
The 3 Steps That Are Considered The Best Way to Store Documents at Home
Step 1) Sorting the Keepers from the Recycling
The truth about the organization of anything, including documents, is that some things should be kept, many things should stay temporarily, and most things should just be thrown out. Your first task is to ask of each individual sheet of paper “Is this something I can live happily without?” You may find at the end of this exercise that your set of storage-requiring documents is much more manageable.
Step 2) Organizing the Keepers into 3 Categories
Once you have separated the winners from the losers, it is time to sort your keepers into three simple categories: long-term, short-term, and emergency. Long-term documents are things that you need but hardly refer to such as tax returns and medical bills.
Short-term documents are those you need and refer to at least monthly such as family documentation, this year’s tax records, and home-, school-, or work-related records.
Finally, emergency documents will include anything you would need to run out the door within the event of a home and natural disaster—think hard-to-replace items like birth certificates, passports, and sensitive social security cards.
Step 3) Store the 3 Categories in 3 Places
The final step is simple: store them in their appropriate place. You have already done the hard work of thinking for a minute about each item in your collection, categorizing it according to its use and sensitivity, and the final step in the process is simply to place it according to your system.
Nothing more is needed in this thoughtful and robust storage system. Every possible kind of document will fall somewhere along the spectrum of the necessity of “I don’t need this at all” to “I need this in the event of a fire.”
Whether you are faced with fire, involved in a separation, or simply need more order in your life, there is a simple storage system to use but it will always require a keen understanding of your storage goals and risks
A competent organizer will be able to help themselves to any piece of the collection when there is a need to prove an expense to a lover, show your children how you appreciate their school success, and to prove your own identity and property—to name just a few important and common tasks.
Each of the steps in this best-practice storage system was discussed because they address the problem of document types, the document uses, and document threats for everyday use, as well as disaster occasion.
It does not matter if you are seeking a simple grab-and-go system or need a thorough nothing-unturned library, these steps are the best way to address growing piles of important paperwork. Give them a try by following the steps above.