So,inspired by a comment in a previous post, I have provided the following. This is an excerpt from a past college "How To" assignment. Of course I did: "How To Organize and Personalize Your Home Office." ...go figure.
The comment was in reference to what to keep when even attempting to begin the "throwing out" process. Taxes and important "life" docs you keep. Refer to my "Tax Time Sale" post for more details on longevity. You can also choose what you want to keep. The real issue with paper is not necessarily "what" to keep but "HOW" to organize it.
Enjoy my college assignment excerpt and hopefully there are some useful tips with it. Otherwise, just ask! I'll try to answer your questions the best I can!
Clean up and clean out is probably the most time consuming part of the organizing and personalizing process. Getting rid of old junk, paper, and habits can be difficult, but the final result will make-up for any anxiety. Keep what you must. If you think you can find a functional way to store it, then hold on to it for a little longer.
When you begin, you may be experiencing old piles of papers or a non functioning existing filing system. Also, there may be personal papers scattered in different areas of your home that need to be centralized. When you are done with step two, you will have a trash pile or bin. Also, you will have other separated piles or bins of relevant subjects topics to your life that will be placed in an even more organized fashion in the remaining procedures.
1. Obtain organizing bins, boxes, or even bags.
2. Categorize and label each bin to file your organizational needs.
Examples) trash, magazines, bills, home records, vehicle records.
3. Trash unnecessary items.
Note: You will sort through each bin again when you begin filing.
Decide What To File
Deciding what to file can be basic or very personal. It is all up to you ultimately. Have definite subjects that make your future organization simple and easily manageable.
When you begin, you will see various pre-sorted piles or bins. When you are done with this procedure, you will have more defined subjects that will make future organization easy and manageable.
1. Decide what needs to be filed at home.
a) Banking records, credit card records, home records, vehicle records,
medical records, life insurance, utilities, guarantees and warranties,
2. Decide what needs to be filed in a safe deposit box or safe.
a) Passports, birth or death certificates, will, marriage license, divorce
decree, military records, house deed and title, saving bonds, stock
certificates, list of valuables, rainy day cash.
Rule: Keep billing and tax records for approximately four (4) to seven (7) years. There may be a time when you will need to provide proof of income for a few years, for example, when trying to purchase a new home.