Papers To Keep is a Guideline for deciding what and how long you need to keep essential documents, policies, statements and records.
The beginning of the year is the ideal time to decide what papers to keep and for how long. However, you can organize your papers anytime, once you make a commitment to do so.
As a general rule, use the following guidelines:
Credit Card Receipts
Deposit and Withdrawal Slips
(after reconciling monthly statements)
Store Receipts for Retail Purchases
Statements: Mortgage Bank, Credit Card, Brokerage, Retirement Account, Mutual Funds
Phone/Cell Phone, Bills, Utility Bills
Income Tax Returns (opinions vary)
Real Estate Records
Home Improvement Records
Receipts for Major Purchases
Statements for Closed Accounts
(for Appliances and Equipment you no longer have)
Are you looking for a complete solution for effectively organizing all you essential documents?
Perhaps you are spending TOO MUCH TIME looking for Your Important Documents...
Many of my clients have asked me to find a simple organizing system just for Important Documents. I highly recommend the "Personal Papers Tracking System." This System quickly and effectively organizes all your "keeper" documents into one place. It organizes your financial and automotive documents and household information. It also itemizes credit cards and insurance policies, prioritizes your legal documents, warranties and educational information.
Imagine the peace of mind you will experience by getting all these documents in order! Of course you can create your own system but do you really have the time? Oh yes, once you do take care of this extremely important task, you will never have to do it again! You will simply add and remove things as appropriate.
The first three months of the year are the best months to get your paperwork organized! It may not be much fun but the longer you wait the more cumbersome the job. Remember, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going!
Organize all your papers before Tax Time and schedule time to keep your paperwork organized throughout the year.