If there’s one piece of practical advice I can give: Keep everything important in unique boxes. The most unnecessary pain surrounding this move was having all my important documents in one area, then another, then… where did they go!? If I could estimate the number of hours I lost because I needed this document or that within one month of moving… My fatal mistake was leaving everything in open boxes, free to shuffle freely around.
This box does not contain my tax documents.
I briefly considered it, and might eventually decide to put my important documents in some sort of nigh-indestructible container that could double as a weapon during the hypothetical scenario of gathering all your important documents before running out of a burning home. For now, a more unassuming box among my other unassuming boxes will do, mainly because while I am honest with what I present online, I am not entirely transparent with the eventualities of everything related to me, including broadcasting the object to search out to steal.
Ideally, any important record should be somewhere secure.
Having just filed my taxes and secured another gig, I won’t need to worry about being the show dog jumping through inane obstacles to secure an antiquated W2 or otherwise prove that I am who I say I am… for now. If not for next year’s taxes or the next gig, then there will be another opportunity for me to deal with perhaps the worst decision I made in the old place: Being super casual about how I stored my tax documents.
I knew where everything was before the packing hurricane.
I also threw caution into the winds when I didn’t keep tax information from last year in the same general area, in part because I assumed I’d be going to the same company, but as it turned out, switching tax companies sucks in the United States if you don’t have all the correct paperwork. It’s done, everything is in the mail, and that is a yearly homework assignment turned in for grading. Hopefully, I pass. I wrote this around tax season, but this will publish after tax season because that will be the time for us to ensure we properly downsize our tax records:
Most places can easily retrieve any employment records.
Still, in the aftermath of an anxious disaster, how easy would it be for you to recover identification, tax, or legal documentation? Determining this during a period of legal calmness is better than when you have people hounding you for obscure documentation that shouldn’t even be necessary. Consider this essay a reminder, a cautionary tale, or even irrelevant, after considering someone important asking for something important that is nowhere to be found where hours later, you’re still searching, except now your mind is ablaze with recreating entire clutter architectures to determine where a sliver of paperwork ended up.
If you can imagine that, rather than live it, then it’s time to gather everything important together somewhere obscurely secure.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Explained above. You can look up the specific documentation you might need for your area/country, but you’ve gotta prove your identity to prove your employment to prove you’re the one to do your taxes.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: A toolbox.|
|Written On: March 28th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|