Have you been in a situation wherein you urgently required a record and couldn’t find it? Perhaps, you may have messed your entire house to see it in some file thrown under the carpet. You must know where your documents are when you need them, but it is also important to keep them safe and hidden in case of a burglary.
Here are the eight essential documents that you need to secure at your home.
- Financial Statements
Knowing your financial situation is vital to keep you financially stable. Your financial statements help you know about your status daily and, therefore, you need to preserve them. Financial statements are most prominent in business, wherein you need to have good accounting skills to smoothly manage your business’s cash flow.
- Birth Certificate
Birth certificates are essential proofs of residence or to define you as a citizen of that country. Most government offices or even school applications may ask you to attest copies of your birth certificate. So these are usually used for official purposes.
- Tax Returns
The IRS generally audits returns in three years from the date of issue. There might be situations wherein the IRS sends you a letter stating you haven’t filed your returns. To prove yourself, you need to have a registered receipt.
Power Of Attorney
Power of attorney is a document that allows an individual to entitle another individual to manage things on their behalf. Here the person who gives you the power is called the principal, and you will be the attorney-in-fact. Many a time, there can be disputes regarding property, house, or even bill issues between the principal and the attorney-in-fact or a third person. Therefore, secruing this document will help you get out of the legalities only if you get into one.
Though your attorney bears one copy of the will, you need to secure the copy given to you to prove yourself right or to hold your assets if there are any false accusations entitled to you.
International travel is impossible without a passport. Making a new passport can be a long process, and if you plan to move very frequently, securing your passport intact is something that you need to put into practice.
- Social Security Cards
This can also include a social security number which is highly confidential, and you ought to secure it rightly. Since it contains essential bank statement details such as your earnings, credits, and other pursuits, keeping them safe is the only option you have.
- Credit Cards
There are cases where credit cards have been robbed and hacked, causing a debit of dollars from bank accounts. Credit cards have important sensitive information, and you need to store them right.
Now that you are aware of these eight essential documents you need to keep safe, you need to know how to store them so that you can glance at them or secure them from being stolen during emergencies.
Usually, people situate a home safe in their cupboard, which may also include your locker. Many a time, people tend to safeguard documents along with money or gold in the same vault. Imagine trying to find some papers, and you tend to misplace some money during your search. You should avoid this because every valuable entity in your house should have a different secured area. You can design your own home safe and fix it into a region of space where it is away from the visitors.
Most of the time, banks and credit unions offer safe deposits, so you could keep your originals there and have a photocopy of them with you at home. Because even if you lose the photocopies, you know that the sources are safe at the bank. Most banks take charge, but they will offer a discount if you have an account in that bank. At least you will sleep in peace because banks have a load of high-level safety.
Use Separate Folders
All your paper documents should be in different folders. If you are a family of 4, you need to have four other folders that would easily segregate your documents and help you manage them easily. To identify individual folders, one could label them in the front and tag different forms the folder contains. So that within a glance, you know what is there and what isn’t. Doing so is especially handy when you have to maintain your kid’s documents because they are too young. It would be best to secure them accordingly until they reach an age where they can secure their documents independently.
Laminate Your Originals
Lamination is a technique of securing original papers so that they are safe from wear and tear. Laminate documents such as school or college mark sheets, identity cards, a driving license. Laminate things which you frequently use and are subjectsecuring to easy damage. Lamination increases the shelf-life of documents, permanently securing them with strength, stability, and appearance. It usually uses plastic for producing laminated papers.
You may have electricity or maintenance bills along with your essential documents. The first thing to do is to segregate what’s critical and what is not. Documents like maintenance bills can go into your cupboard shelves or in the drawer. At the same time, valuable documents need a safe. Accumulating and piling all the records together will increase your time searching for the right one every time you need it.
The Bottom Line!
Every household has valuable papers and documents which tend to get misplaced only due to irrational ways of security and storage. Identifying critical articles is the first step to securing them. Once you do so, organize them accordingly, and you will never miss out on anything.