Organizing Vital Records

how to organize household personal information

Part of your financial identity is tied up in what we call vital records. If you had to leave your house in the next hour, would you be able to grab the important documents that would allow you to re-create your life? It’s not just hurricane and house fire victims that need organization. You can save time, money, get better deals – and even deal with the Target fraud disaster –  if you can lay your hands on important papers quickly.

Now, I know a lot of you think this is important, because you’ve bought various kits to help you do this. I know, because I’ve seen them, still empty, when we do organizing projects. There is a blue one in particular that I trip over more times that I can count, that retails for about $60, from a nationally respected financial advisor, who sells hers through a TV shopping network. You know which one I mean. So many people buy these, and still don’t do the important work of pulling these documents together. A simple $3 accordion folder and this article might actually get the job done today!

organizing vital records

  • Visit my vital records list and pull down the one-page document there*.
  • Circle or check off each of the documents that applies to you. (For example, if you were in the military, you will have military discharge papers. Otherwise, this won’t apply to you.)

That should take you about 6 minutes. You can stop here, knowing that there is more work to do. But now you know what you are looking for.

For extra credit, gather all of the records you just circled, and put them in a single file. This should take you about 20 minutes. You don’t need any special equipment. A cute accordion file like the one above, a regular manila file or large envelope will do. Label it “Vital Records”.

For extra extra credit, make copies, and put the copies in a safe, safe deposit box, or off-site storage with a trusted family member. For most people, this can take between 2 hours and 2 days.

If you completed your Vital Records Roundup, give me a shout out on facebook. You’ll inspire others to get theirs done, too!

*By the way, if you think I’ve missed an important document that belongs on the Vital Records list, please email me. If I decide to add it to the list, I’ll send you a free Password Organizer.

This post is part of my 31 days of 30-minute Organizing Projects. Be sure to subscribe for daily emails with projects you can complete in just a few minutes to start your New Year off right.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sammy

    Hi! I was just wondering where did y’all get the accordion shown in the Organizing Vital Records section? I really like that design.

    1. Darla

      Sammy, pretty sure that one came from Target a while ago. They refresh their patterns all the time, and this season’s patterns are cute, too. Thanks for stopping by!

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