Ah Paper, the root of all evil as I like to say. It breeds like bunnies. Before you know it, you have quite a few piles or drawers full. It is human nature to create projects which also creates more paper in our lives. Most of us end up keeping paper that we don't need. Here are some tips on what you should be shedding from your life and file cabinet.
- Saving coupons for things that you aren't currently in the market for is one way to build up paper clutter. Most coupons expire within 2 to 3 months. If you are a coupon saver, keep them organized by category.
- Keeping old estimates for household remodeling. A company won't honor a five year old estimate. Costs of labor and materials change. If you don't use the service, let it go.
- Material for organizations that you are no longer involved. If you are no longer involved in the organization or have aren't an officer, its time to pass the torch. Let go of the paperwork that is sitting idle. You don't need it.
- Old taxes. The rule of thumb is to keep taxes for 7 years. Let the rest go.
- Mortgage papers from properties that you don't own anymore. Three years after the sell date, this paper can be purged out of your files.
- Old doctor visits and bills. If they don't specifically identify a diagnosis or have medical notes on them, they can go.
- Old check registers. These can be shredded.
- Manuals for simple appliances like the coffee maker. You can find most manuals online.
- Paperwork for old projects. Unless its home improvement, you probably don't need to keep it.
- Outdated catalogs.
These are the main repeat offenders that I find lurking in file cabinets and file boxes. Take the time to clear and keep only what you need.