{Burn Book Tutorial}

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Since so many of you emailed asking about the notebook Tim mentioned in his letters last week I decided to write a separate post about it. The idea came after reading a book about organization. I realized that if something were to happen to Tim and I, our family and friends wouldn't have any idea where to find our will, life insurance policy, investments, etc. Our solution? The Loerke Burn Book.

I decided to call it the The Loerke Burn Book because it's one of the few things I'd want to grab in a fire. Of course, our most important documents such as passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, marriage license, etc. are stored in a fireproof box which we think is worth investing in. (You can buy one for around $35.00 at Staples or Target).

Here are the contents of our Loerke Burn Book:
* Zipper pouch with pens, cards, and pre-stamped envelopes for Birthdays
* Yearly calendar of our family's Birthdays
* Emergency Contact List (numbers to Poison Control, alarm code, doctor's phone numbers, and our closest friend's contact information).

* Grocery list with pocket for coupons (I'll explain this one later)

* Internet Passwords & Logins
* Health & Dental Insurance Information (Including a list of non-eligible HSA medical expenses)
* Life Insurance Policy and Beneficiaries
* Will, Power of Attorney & Physician's Directive
* Auto Insurance Policy, Car Titles, and a CD containing all of our car maintenance receipts

* Budget & Student Loan Information
* List of our family's medications & allergies
* Photocopies of our debit cards, credit card, and driver's licenses in case we lose our wallets

To explain the whole grocery list thing ... I decided to included it in our Loerke Burn Book because it's something we access everyday. Plus it has pockets for coupons. I also decided to include a family Birthday calendar and pre-stamped envelopes so I no longer have any excuses not to mail Birthday cards!

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on things to add to our Burn Book. I can't tell you how good it feels to have all of this stuff together in once place. It's just good to know that if something were to happen to us our friends and family wouldn't be left in the dark!


PS, we bought our binder here, folders here, and tabs here.


Anonymous said...

Love Flylady and have followed her for years, but not followed through as well as you! could you come organize me? :) --Tracie

brlracincwgrl said...

Wow! You are so organized, I love it! I'm in the process of building a binder for our household! It's going very slowly, but I think the finished product will be well worth the time! :).

Thanks for the tutorial!

Amanda said...

man...you guys are so organized. We're still working on the whole fire proof box thing!

Anonymous said...

A fire-proof safe is generally our wedding gift of choice to give, whether the couple has asked for it or not. I just think it's something you need to have in your house for important documents.

We just got a new computer desk, so our office is a MESS so I might just have to get my act together and gather these papers in ONE place as I am putting the office back together. The hubs would love that. Organization is HIS "love language" and I am terrible at it. :(

Katie said...

wow. can you organize my binders? I think that I need to do something like this! i love the pre stamped envelopes. i need to do more things like that. i don't need any excuses!


Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea. Everyone should have one of these. Definitely something I need to work on.

the zundelephant in the room said...

Oh, YOU. All those years of coveting office supplies have really paid off. Your organizational heart must be singing.

lara said...

em- this is tremendous! as a new(ish) stay-at-home wife and soon-to-be-mother, this book looks like mandatory reading -- not to mention the creation of a similar 'burn book' for the brothers family. thanks so much for caring & sharing. xo

wildchild said...

holy gazoly, how organized. i especially love the pre-stamped envelopes for birthday cards. that's genius right there. i gotta get on something like this.

monster cakes said...

This is so cool. And every type A personalities' dream. Thanks for encouraging my anal retentive habits. ; )

Anonymous said...

wow a girl after my own heart! tho can i ask how you printed the lettering onto the tabs?! way to go!

Nelle Somerville said...

Best book ever. I started one for bills and such but it was too cumbersome. Just need to streamline and simplify. You are such a good woobie!

Today's Letters said...

anony, i cheated and used a label maker since i bought non-printable tabs.

nelle, you make me laugh. xoxo!

Shandell said...

thanks for sharing! I've been working on budget and organization lately. Not the most fun task, but it feels so good when it's finished!

wardie's mom said...

This is so impressive and SO intimidating. So, I guess in order to make this, I would need to actually FIND each of these documents first? Bummer:)

Today's Letters said...

you can do it! just start small with one thing then add one thing to it once a week. i believe in you!

Michele said...

good stuff! I don't have my act nearly as together as that! but I do have a handy list of things that are on automatic payment on my debit card (subscriptions, donations, gym membership) for when my card gets lost/stolen!

Lindy Stewart said...


The above link is a great resource for a "home binder". Though I am not at all the same stages in life as the lady who made this binder there are still a lot of good ideas for home organization.

Dan E said...

Hey Em! Love the blog...you have a loyal readership of at least 1 in Uganda ;)

Curious as to why you guys have four passports?

Heather said...

This is fantastic! I'm bookmarking all your good ideas in my TL folder (you didn't know I had one of those did you?).

I've been reading you for months and just now thought I should comment and tell you so (smart, eh?).

Love to you both. Keep up the good work!

Today's Letters said...

dan, did i not tell you we work with matthew borne? 4 passports is a minimum requirement.

2 are expired ... but they are like woobies. you can never throw them away because they tell such great stories.

hope you are well!

Teresa said...

When we came back to the US a year ago we did something similar - but it was just all account information, family contacts and tithe record. I LOVE the idea of putting all of our essential documents (and the roughly 3000 cards I have bought and yet never sent)in the binder as well.

Thanks for going through yours, ours is going to be updated accordingly!

Samantha said...

I know this is on an older post but I recommend writing all the serial numbers down and adding that to the Burn book. I was working on ours when our house got broken into and our electronics stolen. It helps the police track your items if they try to pawn them.

Love this idea and still trying to go paperless/organized!

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