October is a great time to look back and ask yourself if you can dispose of any paper files you have been…let’s admit it, hoarding. I used to hoard everything for seven years until I came to realize I was creating unnecessary clutter in highly-needed square footage! In actuality, we really don’t need to hold on to most things for much time.

Throw out now!

  • Paper copies of bills or account statements 
  • Obsolete instruction manuals

Keep for one year…

  • Explanations of benefits from your health insurer 

3-Year Club

  • Anything that supports your individual tax returns — things like canceled checks, receipts, and charitable contributions 
  • Mortgage interest payments

7-Year Club

  • Tax returns
  • Receipts that support figures affecting multiple years of tax returns

Forever Documents 

  • Birth and death certificates 
  • Marriage licenses and/or divorce decrees
  • Social Security cards 
  • Military discharge papers
  • Mortgage-related documents 

It Depends…

  • Keep real estate records for as long as you own the property, plus another three years. 
  • Keep documents from your investment accounts for as long as you own the investment, and then another three years.
  • Insurance policies should be kept as long as you have the policy.

Confused? Let Judith Heft & Associates take a look at your records to see what can be consolidated, digitized, or shredded. We’ll lend our expertise and show you what’s important and what just looks important. 

At a time when indoor entertainment of any kind is at a premium, every last cubic inch of reclaimed space counts.