WHICH PA­PERS NEED TO BE FILED AND WHICH CAN BE THROWN AWAY? WHAT DOC­U­MENTS SHOULD BE SHRED­DED?

Secrets of Getting Organized - - Sanity Savers -

ABY GARVEY

File per­ma­nent records, such as le­gal doc­u­ments (mar­riage cer­tifi­cates, con­tracts, wills, etc.) and fi­nan­cial doc­u­ments (re­ceipts of ma­jor pur­chases, mort­gages, tax re­turns, and doc­u­ments used to de­ter­mine the num­bers for your tax re­turns). Toss pa­per that con­tains in­for­ma­tion you can eas­ily find else­where, such as on­line with a sim­ple search. Shred any­thing with iden­ti­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion (ac­count num­bers, so­cial se­cu­rity num­bers, etc.).

KATHY VINES

I use some ba­sic guide­lines for shred­ding. If it has in­for­ma­tion on it that can be used to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion about you that you wouldn’t want pub­lished on Face­book, like how much money you make, what ill­nesses you have, or what med­i­ca­tions you take, then shred it. If it can be used to steal your iden­tity (checks, credit card in­for­ma­tion, so­cial se­cu­rity num­bers, etc.), shred it.

JA­NINE ADAMS

My best tip is to keep less pa­per. Be­fore you de­cide to keep and file some­thing, think about whether you could find it on­line if you needed it. Just be­cause you have a file for some­thing, doesn’t mean you have to keep it. If you de­cide to keep a piece of pa­per, take 10 sec­onds and file it rather than putting it aside to file later. If you’re putting off fil­ing be­cause your file cabi­net draw­ers are stuffed full, take some time to clean them out.

KATHY JENK­INS

Make de­ci­sions based on what makes you com­fort­able and what you have space for. If you only have space for a crate of of­fice pa­pers, then that’s how much you can keep. A lot of stuff you can find on­line now. You can log into a util­ity or bank and get at least a year of in­for­ma­tion. If you file a doc­u­ment, put a note on the folder that says how long you want to keep it. Or when you are done pay­ing a bill, you can scan it and throw it in an elec­tronic folder or use one of the apps on page 19.

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