ASK SHELLEY: Maintaining Family Records

ask shelley

By Shelley Swenson Extension Agent III
UF-IFAS Wakulla County Extension


I am not sure what is happening to me right now, but I am really into the organizing mode.

It goes further than cleaning out accumulated clutter: I want my family records organized and shared with others in my family.

Once again, I am happy that UF/IFAS has tools to assist people when they feel similarly. Writing down this important information in an organized fashion can make looking for vital records much faster and easier for both you and your family if the need arises for them to do so.

This publication provides suggestions on what papers are vital to keep and where they should be kept.

Decisions need to be made if something should be kept in a safety deposit box or in a waterproof and fireproof locked box within your home.

The authors of this UF/IFAS publication encourages us to complete a list of about 24 items.

I like the fact that I can complete several of these each week and in a relatively short time my records can be organized and I can feel relief from the stress that accompanies unfinished work.

To name just a few items that you will be listing and providing details on include: persons to be notified in an emergency, family members names, their contact information and relationship to you, employment records, health records, financial obligations, and guarantees and warranties on household items.

If you are familiar to our website, you can list in the search button FCS7103 and the document called Family Records will be available to you to download.

As always, if you wish to call me and indicate your interest, I will put a copy in the mail.

When you have completed that step and you are still in the organizing mode, start a household inventory.

It’s a good management principle but it also is vitally important if a disaster strikes and your home and/or possessions are destroyed. We will be far more prepared for this disaster if we keep an up at date household inventory and if we keep the inventory and other valuable documents in a secure, dry place. UF/IFAS has an excellent publication on this topic as well. DHI118 is the number on our publication through www.solutionsforyourlife.

A quick phone call to me can get this in the mail to you. An up-to date household inventory is a valuable resource. It assists you with determining if you have enough insurance to cover the contents of your home as well as give others the opportunity to more fully aware of where things are in your home if the need arises.

An inventory consists of a description of items in your home, when and where you bought the item, and how much the item costs. It is highly recommended to have photo and/or a video to accompany your inventory.

Peace of mind is what I am searching for – getting on top of my household inventory and family records can help provide that.

Doing this kind of household record-keeping can seem overwhelming but when a small amount of time set aside on multiple days, the job will be completed in good time and it makes the process manageable.



Posted: September 6, 2016

Category: Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: Disaster Recovery, Disasters, Educational, Family, Family & Consumer Sciences, Financial, Financial Planning, Organization, Record Keeping, Records, Shelley Swenson, Taxes

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