ParentClick Ventura

Create a box for important documents


Here’s how to organize an important documents box of your own so that all your essential papers are in one place just in case. Not only is this box great for emergencies, but in the event that something should happen to you, your family will know where to find all your essential information.

I used to tease a friend of mine about being over-planned and over-prepared. For example, she kept all over her family’s pertinent information in a well organized fire-proof box near her front door, while I kept my information scattered around my house in various poorly labeled files. Well, when the Tea Fire threatened to swallow her home and she had seconds to get out, she was prepared enough to grab this one single box and save herself hours of headache in the aftermath of the fire. Suddenly, she became one of the wisest women I knew. Here’s how to organize an important documents box of your own…


  • important contact information,
  • family evacuation plan,
  • social security cards and insurance cards (stored in a business card plastic sleeve),
  • marriage license/divorce papers, passports,
  • Life insurance policies
  • 401K/investments
  • documents related to your medical history (I keep a running log in a small notebook every time I take my son to the doctor)
  • power of attorney papers
  • living will
  • list of bank accounts/safety deposit boxes
  • list of pertinent passwords
  • Deeds/mortgage accounts
  • debts owed
  • vehicle titles
  • tax returns
  • will,
  • end-of-life instructions or wishes
  • written home inventory
  • degrees
  • licenses
  • military record

All of these items can be stored in a notebook with plastic sheet protectors. Keep that notebook in a waterproof, fireproof locked box. You, your partner, and your power of attorney should have access to the box.

These are not comfortable issues to think about, and assembling this file will take time, but once it’s done, you will have incredible peace of mind.

[AUTHOR: Becca Eliasen]

September 15, 2014

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