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Save It or Shred It

As a homeowner, it’s simply impossible to avoid, seems to accumulate out of nowhere, and you never know what to do with it all – that’s right, we’re talking about the dreaded paperwork. From tax documents, to bank statements and bills, there seem to be three forms for everything. Today we’re going to go over what paperwork you ought to be keeping, for how long, and what paperwork you can shred! We hope this post helps you get some of those stacks under control!

Bank statements: At this point, you ought to be enrolled in e-statements and be online banking. Those 10, 12, or 24 page long statements you get each month are just a few clicks away on the Internet, and easily accessible. Check with your bank that you can access up to seven years of old statements (that’s how long the IRS has to audit you), then toss them!

Vital records: Under no circumstances should you get rid of a birth certificate, social security card, will, marriage certificate, or divorce decree. Keep them in a safe place, such as a home safe.

 Pay stubs: The chances are good that you’re enrolled in a direct deposit program through

your employer. If that is the case, odds are also good that there is a way for you to check your previous pay stubs online.

Bills: Typical bills should be kept for a year. After that, clear ‘em out, and start fresh.

Receipts: Most general purchase receipts can be trashed. However, if you have some expensive items under homeowner’s insurance like jewelry or electronics, save the receipts indefinitely.

In order to avoid clutter, try designating one day a month for going through loose paperwork. This should help keep things in order!