#239 Clean Out Your Files

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Clean out your filing system

Be Proactive

We’re half way through the year at this point and it’s a great time to be proactive about the important papers that you’ve either filed away or piled up. If you’re internet savvy, there’s really no reason to keep statements these days. Just about any financial statement you may need is available online at any given point – at least for the last three years or so. If you are still receiving paper statements, check them for accuracy and promptly file them or shred it.

Why Shred?

Shredding any statement, piece of paper, or bill that has your financial information on it is paramount in our culture today if you aren’t burning it. We all know destroying these sensitive pieces of paper is a key consideration to protect our identity and shredding is the most proficient way of accomplishing this task. It destroys the paper more efficiently than any other disposal method other than burning.

What to Keep

In general, the rule of thumb is to think of how difficult the document would be to replace. If it’s not readily available online or if it can’t be sent via email after a brief phone conversation than a filed copy may be in order. Most other things can be discarded, at least after your accountant has taken a look at it.

A good list of important documents to file versus what to throw away is by the Colorado State University Extension office – HERE (easy to print .pdf format).

We no longer need cases of statements or four drawers of filing cabinet space to keep track of our lives. A well organized filing system needs only to contain hard to duplicate documents, policies, and certificates – in alphabetical order, of course. It’s just a little thing that makes your life overall… easier and more orderly so wait for a rainy day and then get to work…

Cleaning out your filing system.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “#239 Clean Out Your Files

  1. I’m a big scanner. All my kids artwork through the years Ive scanned in and made books out of, saving and framing only some originals. I have one accordion binder for each kids school “career”. Last year i went through every scrap of paper and got it down to one drawer of tax return packets and one plastic hanging folder box of my parents papers and legal docs like certificates for the family and titles, some info for my home, and a few other miscellaneous! If i need to find anything i know right where to look!

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