Which Paperwork Should I Keep?

What are the 5 basic filing systems?

There are 5 methods of filing:Filing by Subject/Category.Filing in Alphabetical order.Filing by Numbers/Numerical order.Filing by Places/Geographical order.Filing by Dates/Chronological order..

What documents to keep and what to shred?

What Documents to ShredATM receipts.Bank statements.Birth certificate copies.Canceled and voided checks.Credit card bills.Credit reports.Driver’s licenses (expired)Employment documents that have any identifying information.More items…

What papers should I keep and for how long?

Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

How can you destroy a document at home without a shredder?

Pulping is a fairly labor-intensive, but highly effective way to get rid of old sensitive documents. For this method, you’ll need bleach and a tall, bleach-resistant trash can. Add a half gallon of bleach to the trash can. Bleach breaks down paper and destroys ink, so it’s great for rendering your documents unreadable.

Is it OK to throw away old bank statements?

Is it safe to throw away old bank statements, or do you need to shred them first? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft.

What is the best way to store important documents?

How to Keep Your Documents SafeSafe Deposit Box. Your best bet with storing important documents is a safe deposit box. … Home Safes. For documents you keep at home, or copies of documents in your safe deposit box, get a home safe. … Use Plastic Page Slips. … Use the Shredder.

What should you not shred?

Be sure to lock up any important documents that you don’t shred, including birth and death certificates, adoption papers, marriage and divorce papers, citizenship papers, Social Security cards, tax-related documents, deeds and titles, and financial statements.

How far back should you keep utility bills?

one yearUtility Bills: Hold on to them for a maximum of one year. Tax Returns and Tax Receipts: Just like tax-related credit card statements, keep these on file for at least three years. House and Car Insurance Policies: Shred the old ones when you receive new policies.

Should you keep old insurance documents?

Experts generally agree if you have renewed a “claims made” insurance policy, you can get rid of the ones preceding it. Because these policies only protect against claims made during the life of the policy, there’s no reason to keep them after they have expired. Most U.S. insurance companies write this type of policy.

What is the safest way to store files?

Below are five ways to keep your data safe.Regularly backup your files. If a virus infects your operating system, it’s often necessary to completely wipe your computer and reinstall programs. … Use an external hard drive. … Store files in the cloud. … Control access to your files. … Encrypt your hard drive.

Where do you store personal documents?

Where to Keep Your Important PapersWallet. You are, obviously, very limited in what you can keep in such a small space. … Safe Deposit Box. You can rent a safe deposit at your bank or credit union for a small annual fee. … Home Box. … Attorney. … Out-of-Area Friend or Relative. … Online or Digital Storage.

What papers do I need to keep?

What Are Important Documents?Legal identification documents. Social Security cards. Birth certificates. … Tax documents. Tax returns. W-2s and 1099 forms. … Property records. Vehicle registration and titles. … Medical records. Wills, powers of attorney or living will. … Finance records. Pay stubs.

How many years of medical records should you keep?

seven yearsFederal law mandates that a provider keep and retain each record for a minimum of seven years from the date of last service to the patient.

What personal records should be kept permanently?

How long should you keep documents?Store permanently: tax returns, major financial records. … Store 3–7 years: supporting tax documentation. … Store 1 year: regular statements, pay stubs. … Keep for 1 month: utility bills, deposits and withdrawal records. … Safeguard your information. … Guard your financial accounts.More items…

Should I shred old utility bills?

Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years. After paying credit card or utility bills, shred them immediately. … After one year, shred bank statements, pay stubs, and medical bills (unless you have an unresolved insurance dispute).