When I had my first kid, I never expected to spend a week and a half in the NICU. What was supposed to be a wonderful birth experience turned into 10 days of watching my baby struggle to breathe.
Two things I learned from this experience – 1. When life throws you a curve ball, all you have is prayer and faith and 2. I did NOT know where any of our important documents were.
When you are 9 months pregnant with your first baby you are not nearly as worried about where all the important documents are (and if your mom would be able to make heads or tails of your instructions for where to look!) as you are of getting the nursery all set up.
When I was pregnant with baby 2, I was OF COURSE incredibly worried that we would be in the same predicament again and I really needed to get my act together. So I created a Family Organization Binder. All of our important documents were in ONE unified, organized, and easy to find binder so that if something happened, my husband or mom could EASILY find it and bring anything we may need.
After I made this, I felt so much better that should we have a bad storm, a prolonged hospital stay, serious injury, or even just a “hey I need a copy of my birth certificate” situation, I would be as ready as I could be.
And today, I’m sharing it!
Two things about me you should know – I am organized only because I can’t function in clutter, and all my organization hacks HAVE to be super easy to assemble. There are some SERIOUSLY organized people out there that have organization binders for their organization binders…you know what I mean 🙂
Here at Little Cottage Life – we get you organized the easy and fast way so you can get back to enjoying your family!
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Family Organization Binder MUST HAVES –
Three Ring Binder (bonus points if it has a Clear pocket on the front!)
Your Computer and Printer
Step One – Gather Your Most Important Documents
This is potentially the most time consuming step. But DON’T get bogged down! I’ll try to help you through this 🙂
Start by looking for your marriage license, birth certificates, social security cards, and passports. If you can’t remember where you put them start by calling your mom and MIL. It was probably a few years after we got married that I actually got all of our documents from parents to our own house just because I kept forgetting to get my original (official vs copy machine copy) birth certificate from our parents.
Also check dresser drawers, your safe, bed side table, and that pile of papers in your desk drawer that you keep needing to go through.
IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE – don’t organize anything else in your dig for documents. This is not the time to stop and organize your dresser drawers. Focus on this task and we will get back to those drawers later. 😉
Step Two – Other Important Documents
These are the documents that you may or may not have as handy as your most important documents but are absolutely worthy of going into your Family Organization Binder. These include – Vehicle Titles, Life Insurance Policies, Car Insurance Policy, Prescription Information, Home Owners Insurance Policy, Pet Documents, and anything else that your family needs access to in a timely manner should an emergency arise.
Some of these policies may only be stored online, or arrive in the mail just when the policy is renewed. Either way, go ahead and print or call and ask for an additional copy of the policy from your provider. I like to highlight or write down on the printable divider what the deductibles are so I know what to expect when I call in and use the policy.
Step Three – Put it all together
This is the fun part! Print the free Family Organization Binder printable from your computer that will be emailed to you and put the papers into page protectors. The reason I do this is because I do NOT want to three hole punch my marriage license. So I just put the document INTO the page protector as a pocket! Super easy!
Okay, so, have I convinced you at how EASY and IMPORTANT it is to have all your documents together? AND that I’ve already done part of it so score, right!? Plus…it’s super cute 🙂
So click here to get the Family Organization Binder sent to your email!!
PS – When you are done getting everything together, make sure to put is somewhere SUPER SAFE! Preferably in a lockable fire proof safe! (Here’s some on Amazon!)