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How to Secure Your Invaluables: Pictures, Antiques, Art, etc…

You’ve put a lot of time and money into making your home a safe and secure place for you and your family. When an emergency strikes or accidents happen, it’s important to be prepared. And while you have likely done your best to ensure that your family’s well-being is taken care of, have you thought about protecting those things that are invaluable – and those things that would be nearly impossible to replace? We’re talking about photos, important documents, and even family heirlooms. Take the steps necessary to ensure that those things that mean the most to you, which would be difficult to replace, are kept safe in the event of an emergency.

1. Photos

Baby pictures, wedding photos and other moments captured on film can often become our greatest treasures. These are the physical proof of a moment in time. Photos capture feelings, emotions and help us record events. If our photos are ever damaged or lost, it can be a big blow. A fire, flood or even just sun damage can destroy photos forever.

Keep your photos safe, even in a fire or flood, by making digital copies of each photo. You can scan photos to your computer and then save those scans to a CD. You can also pay someone to do this service for you. Once you have all the photos you want saved scanned and on a CD, be sure to put the CD in a safe deposit box or a fire-proof safe.

2. Family Heirlooms

Did you inherit your grandmother’s wedding ring? Your father’s cufflinks? Or maybe a favorite aunt’s recipe collection? Items we receive from other family members, those things that have been passed down through generations, are absolutely invaluable to us – and impossible to replace. Keep these items safe and secure so you won’t have to worry about losing them one day.

The first thing you want to do with any family heirloom is to get it appraised. You never know what a great-grandmother’s chair or a vintage dress may be worth. After you get the item appraised, be sure to document the item. Take a picture, write down important details about the condition of the item, and write down when you received it. Then, take the documentation, including the photos, and secure them. The best place for these family treasures is a safe deposit box. However, if you prefer to have ready access to your items, keep a fire-proof safe in the house and lock the items up when you aren’t using them.

3. Important Documents

You’ll also want to protect those important documents that are difficult to replace. While it is possible to replace most physical documents, it’s often a hassle and can cost you a lot of extra money. Instead of trying to replace documents, protect them. You’ll want to make copies of any important document. Some documents you may want to copy include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Passports
  • Insurance information
  • Wills

After you make a photo copy of the document, take the original and put them in your safe deposit box or your safe, just like you are doing with the other invaluables you are trying to protect. This way, your original documents stay secure and you’ll have a photo copy handy for times when you need the documents, like job interviews or getting a new driver’s license. Plus, having a photo copy will make it easier to replace the document if you ever need to go down that route.

Take the time now to protect and perverse the items that mean the most to you. Once disaster strikes, it may be too late.

Image taken from ArcadianHome.com.