I guess the love of organization runs in the family. My father was one of the most organized people I have ever known. His desk at home was always neat and tidy. His workbench was a site to behold....he loved the hardware store. Strangely, so do I. Often heading into NYC to visit him at his office, I wasn't surprised to find that everything had a place, nothing was stacked higher than he could tackle in a day. At home around the house my parents always had order, everything had a place. I have to admit there were times that it drove me crazy, but in the end and especially raising my kids, I am grateful for those lessons. I remember reading that when your environment around you is organized, your thoughts will also be organized.
One of the things that my father kept up to date and in order was his Answers Book. As I approached high school and my siblings before me, my father would occasionally show us a white notebook that he kept current with any information that would be helpful to our mother and to us if something should happen to him. That was pretty grim information for a teenager and thankfully I never had to call upon that book until he passed away when I was 32.
It was such an emotional time, dealing with the death of a parent, helping to support your mother who was grieving as well. I grew up in the days when many mothers stayed at home, husbands paid all the bills and kept track of anything financial. She never wrote a check for more than the groceries or dry cleaning. Thank goodness he had the "organized gene" as when it came time for us to figure things out, everything we needed was right at our fingertips.
As I approach a pretty big birthday in a few months it occurred to me that while my husband is as organized as my father, I still had the yearning to develop my own Answers Book. Partly as a tribute to my father but also to pass along the same sense of relief should the time come for my children. I am hoping I have many editions of this book before my children need it as I waited NINE months for each of them, so they can wait a bit longer and keep me around to spoil their children rotten!
Keep in mind the attachment below is an outline of what I find useful as my Answers Book and should only be used as a guideline. I keep my pages in a three ring binder so pages can be added and taken away easily. I also have a clear zipped pocket that contains extra car keys, safe keys, safety deposit box keys anything that is loose and needs to have a safe place. I am sure there will be things that you will omit and perhaps you will have some ideas to improve this outline as well. Feel free to share any ideas you might have in the comments section below.
One last thought, for those of you who might want a digital form of this information, my easy solution to that is having both! Scan the completed information into a file in your computer.
As in life, this is work in progress!