Step #3. Sort Into Current, Reference, Archive
Here are some examples of what falls into each category and a few more reasons to keep/toss…
1. CURRENT – papers accessed often
- MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD BILLS: unless you’re writing things off, only keep the past month or get online/paperless bills (go to their website to register for this) so you can check your previous payment has been applied properly and there are no other mistakes.
- RECEIPTS: keep debit and credit card receipts to check against statements; recent purchases in case you want to return; for warranty purposes; anything for tax and/or insurance purposes.
- MONTHLY BANK AND CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS: check against your receipts for mistakes and/or fraudulent charges, then shred any receipts you don’t need to keep and either file away the statements (if needed for tax purposes) or shred accordingly. Get online/paperless statements especially if you don’t need to keep for tax purposes.
2. REFERENCE– papers accessed somewhat often
- INSPIRATION: home, travel, fashion…
- ARTICLES TO READ
- MANUALS: make sure you only keeping manuals for things you actually have.
- LEGAL: passports, social security card, titles, ect
3. ARCHIVE– papers that need to be kept but not accessed often, or at all
- PAST YEARS TAXES: some use the previous year’s taxes but the rest can be boxed and put away.
- LEGAL: anything that’s settled and most likely not needed to be accessed.