One child made his First Holy Communion last fall. Four kids are getting Confirmed later this year. One is applying to seminary. I need proof of my sacramental marriage. None of us has a complete and up-to-date sacramental record. I don’t even have a birth certificate.

Because of moving, vital family records or sacraments are recorded over 10 locations. Most of the official record keepers did not record the sacraments properly. Now, years later, I am scrambling to find a picture of my sons’ First Holy Communion or get a letter from the officiating priest (thank God he’s my brother) as proof it happened so their baptismal certificates can be completed.

I was musing on Facebook that I am going to compile these records and hand them to my kids to take care of on their own once they are 18. There was much debate about at what age a child can be entrusted with these precious but replaceable documents, however, many military wives revealed they have the same system for organizing these papers. I admit, I used to have a similar system, but moves and more children threw us into disarray. My friend Chrissy graciously shared table of contents of her “moving book”, created by her mom back when she was a military wife.

Document Title                                                                                    Location

  1. Birth certificate                                                                                     Tab A
  2. Baptismal certificate                                                                           Tab B
  3. Marriage certificate                                                                             Tab C
  4. Shot records                                                                                           Tab D
  5. Insurance policies (life and property)                                           Tab E
  6. Social Security cards                                                                            Tab F
  7. Deeds and or Mortgages                                                                     Tab G
  8. Power of Attorney                                                                                Tab H
  9. Copy of Will                                                                                            Tab I
  10. Bank Books                                                                                             Tab J
  11. Car registration/Title/Insurance/Licence #                                  Tab K
  12. US Savings Bonds, stocks, mutual funds                                      Tab L
  13. Last LES                                                                                                   Tab M
  14. PCS orders                                                                                               Tab N
  15. ID cards                                                                                                    Tab O
  16. Passports                                                                                                Tab P
  17. List of previous addresses and contacts                                       Tab Q
  18. __(Homeschool records?_______                                               Tab R
  19. _________________________                                                Tab S

Each tab is a plastic sleeve filled with whatever should be in there. Chrissy used to have them in a binder but now she sticks the sleeves in an expanding file. She keeps it in a fire safe box. She says it has served her well for over 20 years.