A client comment I hear regularly, “I have that, I just need to figure out which pile it is in.”
Does that resemble your desk, table, counter or floor?
How do you tackle the ‘file by pile’ syndrome? Or thin the overstuffed file drawers.
Ask yourself four questions?
One – Is there a specific circumstance you need the information contained in the paper? Or is it a vague “I might need it later.”
Two – How hard is it to get the information again if you should need it?
Three – How current and up to date is the information you have?
Four – Is it worth my time to file a piece of paper and not handle it again? (Time management tips also suggest handling paper one time. This is easier to do if you have a system.)
Sort your papers into three options:
- File cabinet or similar organizing system
- Throw it away
- Shred it
Items that should be shred verses thrown away are items with any personal information such as address, phone number, account number or social security number.
Items such as:
- Pre-approved credit card offers and applications
- Credit card statements and receipts
- Bank account statements
- Cancelled checks and carbon copies of checks
- Old investment statements and documents
- Tax returns
Shredding paperwork is like filing paper – keep it current.
When purging your records, consider using a company that does shredding. I found delivering 4 boxes to a local shredding company cost me $20.