Thursday, March 3, 2011

Organizing important documents-how long to keep them

Once you start an organizing project you might catch the organizing bug and see other areas that are in need of organizing.  That's exactly what happened to me, we were preparing our taxes and after going thru stacks of bills etc I decided my next huge project will be my home office.

There are built-in shelves that store books, family photo's, crafting supplies, office supplies, the shelves were dusty and looked to cluttered. I also have file cabinets that were not being utilized in a way that was constructive.  The professional organizer suggested we take everything off the shelves first, throw away unnecessary items and stack the rest in like items for example all books, photo's, supplies etc.

We dusted every item first than when the shelf was empty we dusted, washed and waxed each shelf. While sorting thru all the stuff we located things we forgot we had and at that point decided to take this to another level by organizing papers and placing them in file folders and now we can locate papers we need by checking our list of where to find certain papers. Next sorted thru important documents and placed them in appropriate containers for easy access when needed. Most are in a safe deposit box for safe keeping.

How long should creditcard statements be kept? If there are tax deductible charges on the statement keep it but if there aren't any than shred them immediately. 

Keep tax statements and supporting documentation for 7 years. 

Bank statements, keep for one year.

Hope this helped and happy organizing!

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