Sign up for Organizing Tips, straight to your inbox!

Papers To Keep

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:

Keep For One Month

Credit Card Receipts

Deposit and Withdrawal Slips
(after reconciling monthly statements)

Store Receipts for Retail Purchases

Keep for One Year

Paycheck Stubs

Statements: Mortgage Bank, Credit Card, Brokerage, Retirement Account, Mutual Funds

Phone/Cell Phone, Bills, Utility Bills

Keep Indefinitely

Income Tax Returns (opinions vary)

Real Estate Records

Home Improvement Records

Receipts for Major Purchases

Keep In Safety Deposit Box (or at least a Fire Proof Safe)

Birth Certificates

Marriage Licenses

Insurance Policies



Death Certificates

No Need To Keep

Statements for Closed Accounts

Expired Warranties

(for Appliances and Equipment you no longer have)

Personal Documents Tracking System

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.

Get Started!

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.

sign up for Organizing Tips, straight to your inbox!