Spring Cleaning-Conquering The Paper Pile

Spring Cleaning-Conquering The Paper Pile

By on Apr 9, 2019 | 0 comments

Spring is here and if conquering those paper piles is on your to-list, following are general guidelines on how long you should keep documents. I would also consult your attorney and the person that does your taxes and ask them how long you should retain legal and financial documents.  This will give you a personal guideline to follow.

Once you do that review the following supplies that will help you keep documents organized.

  1. File box or filing cabinet for documents you should keep for at least a year and related to your personal life.
  2. Storage box for documents you need to archive ( tax returns, 1099’s and paystubs).
  3. Safe box for items you need to keep forever.
  4. Shredder or FREE Shredding Event for items that have your personal information that you are getting rid of.

Use the following as a guide to tackle those piles in your life.

Keep for 1–3 Months

  • Utility bills
  • Sales receipts for minor purchases
  • ATM and bank deposit slips ( once you check your statements)

Keep for 1 Year

  • Checkbook ledgers
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Monthly mortgage statements
  • Expired insurance records

Keep for 7 Years

  • Bank statements
  • W-2 and 1099 forms
  • Receipts for tax purposes
  • Cancelled checks ( major purchases)
  • Disability records
  • Unemployment income stubs
  • Medical bills/claims

Keep Indefinitely

  • Annual tax returns
  • Deeds, mortgages and bills of sale
  • Year-end statements for investments
  • Legal documents (birth certificates, marriage license, divorce papers, passports)
  • Home improvement documentation and receipts
  • Receipts for major purchases—for warranty and insurance purposes
  • Wills
  • Living wills
  • Power of attorney designation
  • Medical and burial instructions
  • Beneficiary directions
  • Real estate certificates
  • Automobile titles ( until car is sold)
  • Current insurance policies
  • Medical records
  • Education records
  • Pension plan records
  • Retirement plan records


  • Paycheck stubs after reconciling with W-2 form
  • Expired warranties
  • Coupons after expiration date

After reading this are you inspired to clear those piles?  Please share.  If you are ready to get your life organized check out my Power Keys Package by clicking this link so I can help you on your journey to living an organized life.