Home Office Paper Clutter – To Keep or To Toss

Do you ever wonder when to get rid of receipts? Or How long you need to keep credit card bills? Here’s a guide to help you clean up the overflowing mess of receipts, tax documents and other paperwork that clutter your home office. Get your trash can ready.


Stock Certificates – If your brokerage firm has them electronically; then you can toss them

Receipts – If its not needed for a warranty or tax filings, then toss it

401(k), IRA, and Keogh Statements – You can toss the old one when you get a new one

Social Security Statements – You can toss the old one when you get a new one

Tax Returns and Supporting Documents – You can toss after 7 years. You can also scan the returns into your computer before you toss them .

Bank Deposits – You can toss them after you reconcile your statements

Check Registers – You can toss after one year

Check Statements – You can toss after one year

Credit-Card Bills – You can toss after 7 years, in case they are needed to support tax filings

Annually Renewed Insurance Policies – You can toss after renewal

Brokerage/Investment Statements – You can toss old ones when new ones arrive, but hold annual statements

Savings Bonds – Cash them in when they mature or convert them to electronic form at the Treasury’s Smart Exchange program

A Safe Deposit Box is a great place to keep important papers safe. Check out All Financial Matters for What Belongs in your Safe Deposit Box.

Green tip of the day

Now that your trash bins are overflowing with paper, make sure and put those papers in the recycle bin. But first don’t forget to shred them if they have any personal information on them.

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