I still have my original birth certificate and social security card. They’re both worn with age and tucked away safely until needed. My old pay stubs from working at the bookstore? Those were tossed years ago along with old birthday cards from school friends. Grad school papers on my computer? Yep, still got those. Receipts from four years ago? Those are on my computer as well.
However, holding on to things only increases the amount of clutter in your office and home. So what are you supposed to do? You can’t, and shouldn’t, keep everything. But how are you to know what stays and what goes?
It can be hard to know what to keep and what to let go of when it comes to your paperwork, especially when you are talking about digital documents. Yes, you could hang on to digital files longer since they appear to take up less space. But the question becomes, do you need to?
And before you buy additional cloud storage or another external hard drive, consider that purchasing that extra space is equivalent to purchasing a storage unit for your physical papers. Do you really want to do that?
Instead, review recommended records retention guidelines to determine what needs to be kept and what can be tossed. In general, these guidelines apply to both digital and physical papers.
Vital documents such as a birth certificate, marriage license, immunization records, etc. should be considered permanent. These are often in paper form, so go ahead and scan them into your computer to have a second copy you can keep ‘at home’ while you put the originals in a safe place. When discussing records retention, financial documents require special attention. I recommend contacting a lawyer or financial advisor if you have specific questions about keeping your investment reports or other financial paperwork.
If you need help getting through the actual weeding or organizing process, schedule a Discovery Call and we can talk about setting up a file organizing session!
For tips like these direct to your inbox, make sure you’re getting my newsletter! http://eepurl.com/gO8xJz