The fourth section of The HAINES System™️ is for Financial Documents. These include stocks, investments, income, bank accounts as well as contact information for your accountant, broker and other financial professionals. Having all of this organized helps tremendously when it comes time for your taxes to be done, but is also good to have in order the rest of the year.
Though many of these documents may not be retained online, you still need to have access information and contact names and numbers easily accessible. The more of this type of preparation that is done, the easier it will be to keep it maintained as you go along – short-term loss for long-term gain!
The final section is for Medical Documents. Typically this is an issue near April as April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This is a time to reflect on your advance directives – do you have them in place, are they current (legal requirements and named advocates), do your loved ones know where you keep them? For more on this, watch for next month’s post.
No one really likes to organize their paperwork, much less consider legal documents. But, once you have a handle on what you have, what you still need and where to find the papers, it will provide you with great relief.
When we think of legal documents, consider these: trusts, will, powers of attorney, funeral plans…Though not the easiest matters to discuss or to consider, it is essential you have these in place before you need them. Use The HAINES System™️ as your guide for getting these papers gathered, organized and maintained.
Next are Financial Documents. These can also be a bit overwhelming to consider, especially if your finances are not in great shape. However, consider the peace of mind knowing that you have all of your papers together, filed and in a place where others can access them on your behalf. This will include account information, how you pay your bills, who your contacts are and so on.
This second section is for Household Documents. It includes all the paperwork needed for your home – insurance policies, vehicle information, utilities, memberships and so forth. As with the first section, there is a comprehensive form to use listing all the possible documents you may have or need to have access to. There is also space to record other vital details you would like noted. This could be contact information for your insurance agent or property details (primary home, secondary home, vacation home, rentals…).
If you think about it, do you know right off where all of these documents are? Do you have the most current versions? Is your agent still the same person with the same contact information or have they left the business? Do you have an inventory of your household goods, including all of your technology? This worksheet will help ensure you can answer these questions as you need.
The next section will be for Legal Documents.
Could your family find your important documents if you were unable to communicate? The greatest gift you can leave them is peace of mind.
Do you have your military papers, insurance information or social security cards easily accessible? Take the time to get your documents gathered, organized and then maintained – for your peace of mind and that of your family’s. This first section of the five included (Personal, Household, Legal, Financial and Medical) covers the items we all need – education papers, passport information, military documents and so forth.
Every one of the five sections has a comprehensive list of documents for that topic. The worksheets can be used to track your collection as well as to provide contact information or to make other notes you need.
The easy way to do this is to utilize The HAINES System, The Blueprint for Organizing Your Important Documents. For us, HAINES stands for Having All Important Notes Executed and Secured. The goal is to help guide you through the process of accomplishing this needed task. Since it is one most do not care to address, we have taken the difficulty out of it. We have taken the research out of it. We have taken organizing the structure out of it. All you need to do is to follow the book.
Next month, the post will be about the Household documents.
Next Thursday I will be speaking at the New Bern Breakfast Rotary Club on the Top Three Ways Professionals Undercut Their Potential. Even highly successful people can and often do learn new ways to become more productive and increase their successes. This topic will address the following three ways I believe all professionals can do better:
- Lack of organization
- Lost productivity
- Neglecting networking and collaboration
By getting your organization under control so you can increase your productivity allows for more time to network and collaborate. You will also be ready to accept that new client or contract and be able to do so efficiently so you can move on to the next project with ease.
A chronic lack of organization is systemic and though your clients may not see it, they will subconsciously react to it. As will your peers. Perhaps they would have referred a client to you but were not certain you were “ready and able” to respond. Or a client really enjoyed working with you but were hesitant to refer others to you because of this one quality they knew others would not react well to.
Once you get a handle on your clutter and you are able to produce more better, you are in a position to fully engage with others to truly reach your potential. For some this is not easy, but it can be accomplished and with the proper systems in place, it can be maintained. Come out next Thursday the 9th and learn much more about this topic!
If you are interested in having me speak with your group, please check out my signature speaking topics here.
The Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s, Aging and Community Health is looking toward our future. With the aging Baby Boomer’s there will be a “silver tsunami” coming. Through a grant from Merck, NC A&T State University’s College of Arts and Sciences is working to address the concerns about this debilitating and devastating disease through education, advocacy, and research.
It is important that we all complete our advance directives before we need them. My Grandmother died with Alzheimer’s and I am so glad she had our GG to care for her and she had her paperwork completed. This allowed us all to focus on her care, loving her, supporting GG, and then grieving her when she died. It was a wonderful gift for my Mom and the rest of us.
Visit the National Healthcare Decisions Day website for ideas on how to start this conversation with those you love.
Visit The HAINES System on my website for help with gathering, organizing, and maintaining your documents or call (252) 665-3424.
My Mom and I decided that since I managed to get my Dad’s workshop under control (see Organized Hoarder – for Real!), we would work on her pantry (see Organizing the Organized). Though neither needed a lot, the point is that they both needed some help. They are both highly organized people in all aspects of their lives, but even they benefited from having someone else (even their daughter) look at their projects with a different eye.
Even we organizers look for others to help us out. We are constantly learning from others and working to improve our businesses, client satisfaction, and yes, even our personal lives. But, it does not have to be a perfect solution. It just needs to be a solution for you!
I think people often look at an endeavor or project or need as an all or nothing. Either “I have to do it and do it just right” or “I need to find the time first”. We have all said these things and felt this stress. What we need to do is give ourselves a break and allow things to not be perfect, but perfect for us.
So start with something small. I often encourage people to just pick ONE drawer in ONE room and start with that. If you only clear out some trash, some papers, some re-arranging, that is more than you had done before and it is a start. When you next look in that drawer you will be reminded that you really can do it – and be happy with your efforts!
What are you going to do next? What can you do to clear the clutter from your home, office, life, mind, body? Go for it!!!
“I want to live in a world where people can enjoy each other and not worry about paperwork, so I created The HAINES System™”. My sister and I together organized a comprehensive system in a simple format that guides people through the process of gathering and organizing their important papers. This is something we all must take seriously and complete, though most do not.
No one wants to think about or talk about illness or death, but the reality is that life happens! So, let’s be as prepared as possible for this and then relax knowing it is done.
The HAINES System™ refers to Having All Important Notes Executed and Secured. Everyone needs a Will, Durable/Financial Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and a Living Will completed and those named in the documents need to know they are named. We guide you through the collection of your personal, household, legal, financial, and medical documents. If you don’t know how to begin the process, check out our free download here.
If you are interested in purchasing the system, please be sure to contact me! I would love to help you Retire the Worry, Not Your Life!™
As a professional organizer and Productive Environment Specialist, my role is to ask the questions and offer options. Much as my training to be a social worker encouraged, we are here to listen to YOU. It is not our job to come in and decide what you need to do, how you need to do it, and what to throw away. Many fear that having an organizer means having someone dictate to you. This could not be farther from the truth. We are here to help facilitate the process.
We like to ask some basic questions:
And, to create that productive environment, or intentional setting, you need to:
- State your vision
- Identify your obstacles
- Commit your resources
- Create your plan
- Maintain your success
This art of organizing is all about finding out what will work for you and then making that happen. The goal is to establish a process or system that makes sense to you and you can and will maintain. We can help to facilitate this process through communication and NOT obligation! What works for you may not work for someone else and that’s OK; this process is about you and your interest in living and working in an environment that allows you to be less stressed, more productive, and enjoy your life.
The motto for Structured Chaos is clear:
Enjoy the journey and then live yours! Let me know your thoughts on these questions and the idea of having the support to do what you want and need without judgement, condemnation, or pressure. Everyone is different and I thank God for that and for each of my individual clients!