More organization tips for those of you that love organization! How to prepare for almost anything…..yes, I like to be prepared. This is just a start…..but it takes away some of the anxiety of “what if”…..promise! And it’s a simple system. I uploaded all my documents and the templates to save you some time!
We keep a central envelope for all of our personal documents. It’s easy to grab and put back items as they are needed. We keep all the obvious items in the envelope like birth certificates, passports, etc but I also keep photo copies of all of our wallet contents in case a wallet or handbag is stolen (I wrote an entire post on that here!) Other things I keep in the envelope:
Pet vaccination records: in an emergency a shelter might require this to accept your pet
Copy of a recent utility bill: you might need this for proof of residency
Financial account summary: keep a list of all your bank and investment accounts
Copy of insurance policies and contacts: for proof and easy contact
Family Photos: for identification if missing or trying to reconnect
You can download my personal document list here as a start if you need to…..I included the PDF and WORD version so you can edit it:
Do you know what you own? What if your house was robbed? Not to be a Debbie Downer…..but what if your house caught fire? Do you know the serial numbers of your electronics? Do you have photos of your small valuables? Would the police and local pawn shops know what to look for? I keep a household inventory of everything we purchase…..and it’s not as hard as you think. I fill in items on inventory sheets as we add them and I keep all receipts for big ticket items in a notebook. I use page protectors to keep warranties and service agreements together with the receipts. Having all this information in one place….like model numbers and serial numbers makes service calls easier too because I don’t have to crawl behind furniture to find them! I also recommend taking a video of each room of the house so you have an idea of all the other small things that are too much to write down. Make sure to keep copies of these in a fireproof safe, uploaded to your cloud, at a family member’s house or in a safety deposit box!
You can download my household inventory sheets here….print them off whenever you need to…..I included the PDF and EXCEL version so you can edit it. I also included a financial summary sheet for accounts and investments:
What if you only had 5 minutes to run into your house and grab something? What if you had 10 minutes? You’d probably be a little paralyzed without a little planning. Put together an “In Case of Emergency” list of things that you would want to grab in the event of a fire, flood, emergency evacuation etc. If you list them in the order of importance you can grab what you need until you run out of time. Make sure to post your list in an easily accessible place like on the refrigerator or by the back door. You can download a sample list below but basically mine includes….in order of importance: personal documents, wallets and cash, household inventory, phones and chargers, etc. I also write where each item is located….in pencil because sometimes it changes! This way someone could help me grab my photo albums and home movies…..which I always keep in the same place. Don’t spread them all over the house!
You can download my emergency evacuation list here as a start if you need to…..I included the PDF and WORD version so you can edit it:
Living in earthquake country has me constantly thinking about disaster preparations (we live just a few miles from the San Andreas fault in southern California). What would you do in a natural disaster? Make sure to have a large bin or backpacks with supplies in case you ever need them….including things like quarters and an emergency radio that will charge your phone!
Here’s my detailed emergency list….it’s a compilation of about 40 lists into one……so it’s tailored to earthquake country but it’s also a good start!
Make sure to check out this tutorial as well on how to organize your photos and files!
Hope this helped! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments and if there’s enough interest around a certain subject I’ll see if I can tackle it…thanks!
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2 wine coolers on your household inventory?? Houston…we have a problem! 🙂 haha!
Ashley Hackshaw says
Hahaha….funny you picked up on that. Actually….they are empty….and not because we drank it all 😉
Karen Boyd says
Ashley…you must be the most organized person on the planet…if you get bored you can come to my house anytime and sort us all out 😀
this is great!! thanks! your post last night was great but maybe that is because i like romney:) or rather or views are more similar. praying obama can help this country.
What a great post. I am going to add this to my to-do list!
Adriana M. says
Love that you posted this because I told my husband last night that we will be organizing and updating our emergency preparedness plans etc.this weekend. Now I have some guides to follow. Thanks so much!
this is a great post but honestly have to say that i think i am having an anxiety attack now as i add this to my to-do list…at least i don’t have to make an earthquake kit (Missouri)
Thanks for all the great tips, ideas, and resources!!! You are AWESOME!
You make my life so much easier. I also thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of the inside of every closet, drawer, cupboard, etc. At least that way you would have a visual and reminder of almost everything. Thanks for all your helpful tutes.
Stephanie P says
Love this!! We live in Los Angeles and were just talking with friends the other day about getting better prepared. This just made things a little easier. 🙂
Another thing to remember is to Always keep your car at least half full or full of gas in case you do have to evacuate. We keep over $1000 in cash in small bills and change as part of our emergency kit. Everyone has a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and and 3-4 days worth of food and water along with other emergency supplies. A firearm is also on our list as a item to grab ( we do have a license to carry and protection is a must for your family).
I do like the list you have incase of a 5-10 min evacuation, I will need to get that put together. My older kids have laughed at us for being so prepared but I think after this past couple of weeks with Hurricane Sandy we won’t hear them complaining or laughing at us anymore. I would rather be prepared and never have to use this stuff, than not and digging in a dumpster.
Thank you! Is it possible you can check the Excel documents? I have having trouble opening them. I have most of this done but this motivates me to get it completed properly.