Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

I'm back! Recent questions from my husband, neighbors and friends about the status of my blog encouraged me to resume writing. After several months of hard work at my previous job and making a recent transition to a new job, the time is again ripe to pick up the proverbial pen.

So, I'll ease back into simplification mode with a quick tax-prep related tidbit. Once you've collected all of the paperwork necessary to file your 2010 taxes, consider setting aside some extra time to go through all of your important files and documents. My husband and I did this last weekend. I simply could not believe HOW MUCH paper we were able to get rid of. I'm certainly not an expert as to how long you are supposed to hold onto certain documents, but here are two helpful links:
  1. Bankrate suggests a fairly conservative but flexible approach, noting that while bills should be kept "from one year to permanently," bills can be shredded once the canceled check for the paid bill has been returned--but that bills for big purchases "should be kept in an insurance file for proof of their value in the event of loss or damage." And I love that they provide the information in an easy-to-follow chart. 
  2.  This New York Times article by Jennifer Saranow Schultz keeps it real, offering well-researched information while reminding us that "there are two main reasons to keep financial records. 'It’s either for backup to a tax issue or for proof that you did something like make a payment.'" 
What I have not yet figured out is where to shred the mountain of sensitive documents that we no longer need. A small home shredder would take forever. My next step is to see if a local Staples or Kinko's might have a massive shredder available for pay-per-use. A quick Google search revealed that personal shredding services exist online. Due to the apparent ease of this service, the following find was my favorite:

Express Destruction (best name ever--would you consider it redundant or an oxymoron?) quoted me $34.95 to shred up to 30 pounds of paper. This includes shipping.

Do you have any leads on how/where to shred? How many pounds of unneeded documents do you think you have in your home right now?

1 comment:

  1. Nice. We came down on 7 years of tax returns, 3-4 years of bank returns.

    In this digigtal age it's also so easy to request the information if you don't have it when needed. Maybe it's worth it in smaller spaces to save on storage space?



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