Alice is at it again, I tell you this woman is on a roll! This weekend she worked on decluttering her paperwork. For anyone who has done this already, you know this can be a pretty daunting task. How bad was Alice’s before stack? Well, these four boxes housed her financial records, bills, receipts, investments, etc going back to 2007 & tax returns going back to 2000. (I can definitely say she was at a better starting point than I was, because I think my stuff went back to 1994!!!!)
Once she followed the paperwork decluttering rules she is now down to (drum roll please!!!!) ONE blue file box!! That right people she went from four boxes to just one!!!!
How did she do that you asked? Well, the box contains:
10 years of past tax returns and their supporting documentation*
Records from 2012
*Most websites say to keep them for 7 years but she thought she had read 10 years somewhere and it all fit in that box so she felt comfortable keeping them. I definitely agree with her decision…and the reason I agree is because each person has to set their own limits for their stuff…of course within reason because you don’t want to just randomly set limits that help your neurosis either. She set a goal of one blue box and by extending the number of returns she kept by three years it didn’t exceed her goal or limit…so in my opinion she was fine. The great thing is her little file box is still not completely full.
So where did all that other stuff go you ask?
It was shred!!!! Please remember that you should shred anything with your personal information on it to protect your and your family’s identity.
This project took her a total of 3 hours to complete. She did admit that towards the end it got easier and easier to throw stuff away. Alice has now set some rules for herself and will be able to maintain this simple system. At the end of the year, she will go through her current year’s folder(s) and will use them to file her taxes for that year. She will also shred any documentation that is not needed to include the oldest year of tax returns and supporting documentation. She will then start a new current year folder and start over again.