Ask the Organizer: When Disaster Strikes

My wallet was recently stolen and trying to figure out everything that was in it and who to call has been a nightmare! I think I’m finally through it, and I hope I never have to deal with it again, but if I did, what can I do to make it easier?

Let me start by saying that I am so sorry about your wallet. That’s rough. I imagine the emotions were feeling partly violated and somewhat panicked. And then you had to scramble around for information on top of it all. Awful. Again, I’m sorry.

As your replacement cards and ID are arriving, it’s a great time for you to follow this simple tip. In fact, It’s a great idea for everyone to follow this tip ASAP (as a precaution).

Make a photopcopy of everything you keep in your wallet. This includes your license, credit cards, ATM cards, insurance cards, membership cards — everything.  Make sure you copy both the front and back of each card. *Note – I prefer a physical photocopy to a computer scan for safety purposes, it’s probably not a great idea to have all this information saved as a file on your computer.

Keep the wallet-copy in a safe place – preferably one you’ll remember. If your wallet goes missing, this document will have all the phone numbers and corresponding account numbers you’ll need. It will also serve as a great checklist – when you’ve contacted the number on each card, you can rest a little easier.

IdentityTheftLabs has a great step-by-step list of what to do in just this kind of situation.  It talks about police reports, credit agencies and much more – I encourage you to read it to be sure you’ve taken all the necessary measures. The first step is to call your credit card and ATM card issuers. With your wallet-copy, you’ll be prepared to do just that.

I hope you’ll make your wallet-copy soon and that you’ll never have a need for it!

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Got an organizing question of your own? Email and I’ll answer it in an upcoming Ask the Organizer Friday!

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