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Which Documents Should You Keep Hard Copies Of and For How Long?

Knowing what to save and what to ditch can clear up clutter fast.


Do you hoard paper out of fear of needing it later? Have you intended on scanning all of your important documents but haven’t had time to do it to date? If you’re short on time but have boxes or piles of paperwork that needs your attention, it’s time to learn what to give the ol’ heave-ho. You can safely dispose of certain items cluttering up your home or office by knowing what their lifespan should be.

Here are some examples of documents you might have in your home and how long you should keep them on hand.

Tax records and government payments should be kept forever.

Placing these items in a BinderBag Sleeve is the perfect way to store them conveniently and easily. You can add to the binder as the years pass and additional documents are generated.

Tax documentation that supports your filed tax return is needed for three to seven years.

Scanning these items helps free up space in your home or office. It’s a tedious task initially but can be saved to the cloud for future reference.

Pay stubs are necessary to keep for one year.

Rubber band or paper clip them together to make the items more compact. Once the year has passed and your taxes have been filed, shred the pay stubs.

Utility bills, deposit, and withdrawal slips are needed for only one month at a time.

You can dispose of these items when you’re done paying them. You can put them through the shredder.

Now that you know how long to keep hard copies of documents, you’ll have an easier time getting rid of the things you no longer need. The pile of clutter that you’ve been holding onto diminishes in size. You’re then able to focus on the things that are needed going forward.

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