How to Declutter Paperwork Including Financial Documents
Keeping track of your tax paperwork can be time consuming. A good record can help you to identify income sources and determine tax deductions. However, when it comes to paperwork, most people tend to keep everything. This includes receipts, tax forms, and insurance policies. It’s a good idea to organize these documents in a way that makes them easy to access. It can also help to make sure that your family has access to your most important financial documents in the event of an emergency.
It’s a good idea to keep a record of your most important tax documents for three to seven years. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t get rid of your tax returns, but it does mean that you’ll need to shred the older copies. Similarly, it’s a good idea to keep incoming mail in a designated area for easy retrieval. If you have an electronic communications system with your financial services company, this is a great way to cut down on the amount of snail mail you receive.
If you are planning on decluttering your financial documents, the best way to go about it is to establish a simple filing system for your papers. For instance, you could create a separate file for your financial records, one for bills, and one for utility accounts. Once you’ve established a system, you can then begin the arduous task of sorting through all of the paperwork.
If you are unsure of the best way to go about it, there are several online resources that can help. These include Bankrate, which has a helpful guide on how long to keep certain documents. You can also hire a professional organizer to help. If you decide to declutter your papers on your own, you’ll probably want to set aside a day or two each week to do it. It’s a good idea to have a designated area for all of your documents, and a shredder on hand to dispose of any sensitive paperwork that may come your way. You can also hire a local shredding company to get rid of the older documents for you.
In addition to the obvious, the best way to declutter your financial documents is to shred old tax forms and bills. This will not only free up your storage space, but it will also make it easier to find important tax information when it comes time to file them.
Organizing your financial documents is not as daunting as it may first seem. If you’re not sure of the best way to go about it, a good way to start is to ask for electronic communications from your financial services company. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re taking care of paper bills as soon as you receive them. If you get a lot of paper bills, it might be a good idea to set up a weekly appointment to sort them out.
Organizing your financial documents might take a bit of effort, but it will be worth it in the long run. Decluttering your papers can also bring you peace of mind.