In a world that is going paperless, there are still quite a few people that have "Paper Paranoia." Yes, those that just can't seem to let it go. Paper represents undone actions. Many people choose to keep paper to trigger them that they need to do something or a reminder of something that has been done.
According to the experts, 90% of the paper that comes in our homes, can be looked at and tossed immediately. When I get my mail, I stand over the recycle bin and just let it go.
The first step to letting go of "Paper Paranoia" is to know what you need to keep. Check out the list below:
- Taxes- You should keeps your taxes and your back up paperwork for 7 years
- Closing Documents- Keep a copy of your current closing documents
- Legal Papers- Its important to keep a copy of these items including divorce, or lawsuits
- Utilities - You can get these invoices online. You need to keep them as tax back up if you write off a home office
- Financial Papers- you get can these statements online
- Large purchase items can be kept- I advise scanning them in a file
- Home improvement- keep a copy of the home improvement costs that you incur for when you sell your home
- Medical Papers- If you have a chronic condition, you need to keep a record and timeline of your treatment.
And what don't you need:
- Grocery and banking receipts can go immediately
- Dining receipts can go unless they are a business expense
- Small misc purchases can be tossed
What you to keep for a short time
- Clothing purchases
- Medium sized purchases like appliances
- Gift purchases
So instead of bagging up all that paper due to fear. Start letting it go. Take baby steps if needed. Start getting items set up on a paperless system.