Springtime cleaning used to mean all that heavy lifting – changing the drapes, having the windows sparkle, even cleaning the walls and having the rugs washed. Some of us still do all that. But today’s more modern spring cleaning may not be so intensive – but you can still include all the mounds of papers that surround your life – the files – the shoeboxes – the records your accountant said you neeed to save for – how many years?
Today, we shred things – you can do this yourself with a handy home shredder, or you can take it to a local service and pay by weight. Occasionally there are free shred-it events in your community – look for those opportunities, too.
What IS the rule of thumb for saving records? Some things we want to save – forever. This would include your social security card, deeds and original policies, and important medical records. However, there is much that we can shred.
7 years is the rule of thumb for cancelled checks for contributions, tax payments and receipts for tax deductible expenses. 1 year is ok to shred paycheck stubs, etc.
For a complete list, see Appendix A in my book (p. 165) or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy shredding! Happy spring cleaning!