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Preparation is Half the Battle

September is National Preparedness Month. Seems fitting. It’s the month we prepare to go back to school, prepare for the change of season, and prepare our homes for the onslaught of winter.

But it’s not just this month we make plans. In life we’re always preparing for something—a new baby, selling a house, even death. It’s about thinking ahead and being ready, as we just witnessed in Houston and Florida. But sometimes in a crisis all you can do is grab your most important possessions and flee.

If I were to ask, “Do you know where the title to your car is?” Could you find it easily? Or find it at all? Can you list every account under your name? Chances are good you might not remember one or two, or more.

As an organizer I help clients systematize their ownership of assets by creating lists of accounts, inventorying an entire homes, and identifying the whereabouts of important filed documents like wills, passports, health records in one secure spot. That’s only helpful if someone else in your family knows where those spots are. More often than not, they have no idea.

I was approached recently by the creator of, (he had found me on LinkedIn under organizers) and explained his fabulous product for organization; an actual virtual safe deposit box for important documents you can get your hands on in a big hurry (like a flood or when everything is lost) if you need it. Even if you’re hesitant to put information into “the cloud”, according to my test you don’t need to give account numbers. It’s ultimately “a checklist that thinks of everything”.

For example, in 2015 my Uncle Mark died unexpectedly in his 50s. As executor of his estate I handled his accounts. As much as I love puzzles, this was a real challenge. Mark was organized with his paperwork, but I still had to search for things I wasn’t sure even existed. Life insurance? Gym membership he was paying for month after month? Had my Uncle Mark had access to something like this with everything in one place, my extended search would have been a lot (lot) easier.

No one wants to think about the inevitable, but by planning ahead you can make it less stressful.

P.S. I actually like the creator, an affable, knowledgeable guy. In fact, he was so nice he offered my readers a 20% discount.

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