Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

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investor656
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Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by investor656 »

Looking for an idea to protect some of my important documents that I've amassed over the years(car title, birth certificate, tax docs, work docs, other valuables). Was thinking about smaller safe but can't secure/bolt down since living in apartment with wood floors. Was thinking maybe safety deposit box but know they are slowly being phased out and are subject to issues of their own. Thoughts/ideas? Thx
mhalley
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by mhalley »

Aside from online or usb storage, this article discusses some ways to hide things.
https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/20- ... ng-places/
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JoMoney
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by JoMoney »

Are the documents so valuable/irreplaceable that they need a safe?
I keep most of what you mentioned in a locked briefcase that would be evident if it was missing or tampered with. It would be a pain to get new copies if something were to happen to it, but a safe would be a pain to deal with too.
For tax documents I don't keep paper copies, any loose documents get scanned in and archived each year, i keep an encrypted archive file copy on a thumb drive stored with other documents you mentioned and a copy stored on a 'cloud' drive.
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Vulcan
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by Vulcan »

A safe deposit box at a nearby bank sets me back $35/yr.
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fourwheelcycle
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by fourwheelcycle »

We have a home safe that weighs about 230 lbs. It is not bolted down. It has a two hour fire rating and I think paper contents inside it, like our car titles and passports, would survive a house fire. I had to use a dolly to bring the safe into our house, and I'm sure any burglar would have to do the same to get it out. I doubt most casual burglars would have time and equipment to break into the safe "on-site".

We used to have a safe deposit box, but it became too inconvenient to go to it every time we needed to add something, or get our car titles or passports for a new car or a trip. Our finance and estate document records, and our other computer files and digital photos, are stored online in the zero knowledge Sync.com server. The signed originals of our estate planning documents are in our attorney's safe.
livesoft
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by livesoft »

Protect them from what?
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runninginvestor
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by runninginvestor »

We are also renters. We've gone mostly digital, still transitioning old files. For primary documents like birth certs, social sec cards, etc, we have a fireproof briefcase. This was mostly so that if a fire were to occur, and we had the thought, everything would be in an easy to grab case. And if we didn't, there'd be some fire + water protection.
jebmke
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by jebmke »

Get a decent scanner. Most of these are replaceable or scanned copies will suffice.
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climber2020
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by climber2020 »

investor656 wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:33 pm Looking for an idea to protect some of my important documents that I've amassed over the years(car title, birth certificate, tax docs, work docs, other valuables).
I scan them to have the information available and then they go in a cheapo small security box that remains unlocked and has the minimum amount of fire protection. If I didn't already own that security box from my younger hoarding days, then I'd use a regular plastic tupperware box from Walmart. All those documents can be replaced.

The only other valuable I own is the collection of photographs on my computer, and those are backed up and stored in several different physical locations. Everything else other than the cat is expendable and not worth the cost or effort.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by SmileyFace »

Safety Deposit box is what I have been using for 30 years and continue to use. I see no phase out in my bank or area.
All finance is digitized however (but a digital archive is also backed up and placed in the safety deposit box along with 25 years of photos)
gtd98765
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by gtd98765 »

Car titles, birth certificates, and similar documents can be replaced if lost or destroyed. We have a safe deposit box at our bank but the only thing we keep in it is a hard drive with copies of family photos, which are truly irreplaceable.
gavinsiu
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by gavinsiu »

investor656 wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:33 pm Looking for an idea to protect some of my important documents that I've amassed over the years(car title, birth certificate, tax docs, work docs, other valuables). Was thinking about smaller safe but can't secure/bolt down since living in apartment with wood floors. Was thinking maybe safety deposit box but know they are slowly being phased out and are subject to issues of their own. Thoughts/ideas? Thx

For most document, I scan the doc to my network drive and that goes backup. A copy is stored off-site somewhere in case there is a fire. That place could be a safety deposit box, a trusted family's house, or at work if you can lock it (and make sure your workplace don't have restrictions on storage devices). The idea is that with multiple copies, it's harder to lose it all. Rotate your media regularly to avoid bitrot.

My mom does something similar, she backs up her stuff to a network drive, which I tend make copy off her network drive and store it on external device.

For physical document, you might want to consider a fire proof safe or store it at the bank deposit box. However since multiple copies are not possible, you are essentially estimating which location is safer.
PeninsulaPerson
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by PeninsulaPerson »

mhalley wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:54 pm Aside from online or usb storage, this article discusses some ways to hide things.
https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/20- ... ng-places/


Interesting thread.

Seems best to figure what threats an individual wants to protect against and take it from there.

(The article mentioned above had some fairly baroque ideas - meaning, likely to fail when I needed them and also that it seemed like there would have to be an easier way for a homeowner/resident determined to come up with a good idea.)

If one is worried about dash in/dash out burglary, that's one thing.

Protecting against fire is another.

Protecting against known individuals in the home is a 3rd.

Presumably there are searches that could not be protected against - government or police search warrants - that don't happen to most people anyway.

One neighbor of ours - her house is so filled with stuff that important items could easily be hidden in plain sight!

So ... does anyone have practical/workable tips or ideas they would share?

One thing I do is have some important papers "mis-filed" as Previous Cats Vet Records. My husband and I know what's there but it's just that little bit more unlikely that anyone doing a quick riffle would choose that file. (Our main concerns are burglary and fire.)
MJS
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Re: Idea for protecting important documents/valuables

Post by MJS »

JoMoney wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:25 pm ...
I keep most of what you mentioned in a locked briefcase that would be evident if it was missing or tampered with. ...
+1. Fire or evacuation is the substantial risk; being able to grab & flee is important. You could stick a label or postage stamps over the case's door seam to ensure that you'll know if it has been opened.
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