There are key documentation and paper work you will want to protect.  Let’s be honest, your home is not as secure as you would like to believe.  There are people that come into your home for different reasons.  There is also the possibility of natural disasters.  Time and time again, I meet people that have lost everything in a fire or flooding.  This is a painful process to go through but here is how you can be prepared.

Label your assets into 3 buckets.  What is replaceable?  What is hard to replace? What can’t I replace?  This may sound simple but it is harder than you would think once you sit down and go through it.  We will start with the simple items.

Items that fall under the “What is replaceable” bucket are things like your furniture, electronics, decorations and clothing.  This is where homeowner’s insurance comes in.  Getting coverage for your replaceable items is a good idea in some cases.  Think about how long it took you to acquire your possessions.  How much would it cost you to go out and replace them?  If you could replace everything with 1-6 months’ salary, it might not make sense to get insurance for those possessions.  If it would take longer than that, you will need to ask yourself how long will it take and look to see if it is worth it to you.  If the answer is yes, go with the insurance that does not require you to have receipts.  Chances are you will not have them to show your insurance company if you need to.

Items that will fall under “What is hard to replace” are birth certificates, social security cards and passports but they are not the easiest things to replace.  If you find yourself between jobs and you cannot find your social security card or passport, you will not be able to get the job.  I recommend placing them in a safety deposit box.  You are not going to need those items on a regular bases and you will always know where to find them.  It is a small investment in your sanity.

Here is where it gets complicated.  Items that fall under “What can’t I replace” are family pictures, jewelry passed down through the generations, things your kid’s have given you and many other items that you have some type of sentimental value.  Those irreplaceable items need to be in a safer place.  The problem with that is you will pay a lot if you are not careful.  Some people put their photos and kid’s art work in a larger safety deposit box.  I will keep them around the house as those things do not have value to thieves but I will scan them and store them in the cloud.  This way I will have a digital copy of them which is a good compromise that I can live with.  It will always come down to what you can live with.  It is best if you are prepared for what could happen.


Important paperwork which you want to protect, should go into your safety deposit box.  Once you are ready to throw the paperwork away, make sure you shred it with other nonessential paper for.  This will make it harder to put it all together.  Once you have it all shredded, take the large pile and divide it into 4 piles.  Place each pile in its own garbage bag.  You will throw away 1 bag a week for 4 weeks.  This way if someone is looking for something, it will take them a long time.  You can also take one bag and throw it away at work or in a friend’s garage.  This will discourage anyone who was trying to steal information from you.