Moving is the perfect excuse to organize your important documents and shred or toss documents you no longer need. But what should you keep and for how long? What should you toss and what should you shred? We’re breaking it down in this simple guide, whether you’re moving or just tackling a little paperwork organization this weekend.
Pro tip: Moving time is also a great time to go through your list and sign up for electronic statements. Going paperless helps you cut down on clutter while going green.
What to TOSS after one month:
- ATM and Bank Deposit slips: After you reconcile your monthly statement
- Credit card receipts: After you itemize your monthly statements
- Sales Receipts: After the warranties expire.
What to TOSS after one year:
- Monthly bank and credit card statements: As long as you do not itemize expenses (BONUS: Sign up for electronic statements and cut down on paper clutter while going green)
- Monthly or quarterly brokerage and mutual-fund statements: After you reconcile with year end summaries
- Monthly Mortgage Statements: After you ensure the year end statement shows the interest and property taxes paid
- Phone and Utility Bills: Unless you itemize for business purposes
- Paycheck Stubs: After you reconciled with W-2 or 1099 forms.
- Social Security statement: Once you receive the new statement
What to HOLD for seven years:
The IRS has up to three years to examine your return for errors and another six years to conduct an audit if there is reason to believe you underreported your income by 25% or greater. (There is no statute of limitations for fraud.)
- Tax Returns
- Final credit card statements, if itemized on taxes
- Deductible business expenses
- Cancelled checks
- Receipts for entertainment, home/office equipment, and professional dues
- Bank statements
- Retirement account contributions
- Charitable donations
- Child-care bills
- Appraisals for high-end furniture and jewelry (consider reappraising periodically)
- Out of pocket medical expenses
- Mortgage interest
- Property tax payments
- Insurance information
- Home improvements
- Medical bills and claims
What to KEEP permanently:
- Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates
- Wills and Power of Attorney (unless no longer in effect)
- Military Record and Social Security Card
- Year-End Summaries of Investments and Insurance Policies
- IRA Contributions: until investment is sold or closed
- Legal Settlements
- Medical records
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