How do I organize household papers?


not sure what all I should keep and what to throw away

  7 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Sep 12, 2019

    Purchase a home sized shredder.

    A small one with capacity to shred multiple sheets and ones with staples will be a time saver, and will be less likely to burn out or jam.

    No need to keep:

    • Income tax statements older than 3 years
    • Statements for bank accounts or credit cards older than 1 year
    • Statements for utilities or municipality taxes older than 1 year
    • Bills that have been paid and are older than 1 year
    • Insurance renewal notices or policies other than the current ones
    • Receipts for any purchases whose warranties may have expired
    • Brochures for appliances or other items that you no longer use
    • Installation booklets for appliances already installed
    • Photocopies of applications for anything that you have since received
    • Prescriptions for medications older than 1 year
    • Any printouts referring to travel that you have already taken

    Start shredding.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 12, 2019

    Hello, After organizing what to purge and keep -my personal system is to use binders.

    I have all my household appliances alphabetically stored in clear plastic sleeves in binder, and binders for repair and remodeling. You can purchase those three punched folders to put in your binders to hold miscellaneous papers and file them in a way that’s agreeable with you.

    And accordion file might be another option if you don’t have a file cabinet.

  • Sharon Sharon on Sep 12, 2019

    I have a small file cabinet mainly for those financial records you need to keep for 7 years, I take them out of the envelopes, and just keep the statements filed by year in a manilla folder with the most recent on top.

    Medical records same thing, scrap the envelop and just keep the part that shows what they paid for and what they did not. File in folder with most recent on top.

    I keep a seperate folder for doctor visit reports and med list.

    My personal ID stuff I keep in a small clear folder with rubber band with my birth certificate, SS card, passports, old addresses, old driver's licenses, also my warranties for TV etc. So I can get it quick. I hide it.

    I have a built in desk that I store all my appliance and electronic manuals in one of the paper storage sections.

    All my bills are paid electronically, so I've gone paperless.... but I can check online.

    I also like the small plastic file boxes.... I use these for all my disabled clients necessary papers for easy access and frequent visits from case workers, doctors, pharmacies etc. In fact some you need to have your SS annual statement and a bank statement to give for each visit to the case worker or pharmaceutical free meds applications every 90 days so I make multiple copies of these so we are always ready.

    I throw ads and junk mail in the trash can by the door. Don't even look at them.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 04, 2020

    Hello Pamela,

    Best to keep Paper files as Computers eones can get wiped as I can confirm, It happened to me - twice!! It is possible to get lockable small files. Things such as Insurance policies, Agreements, Mortgage or Landlord details, Guarantees ,Water, Gas, Electricity etc. should all be kept. Review your Papers every few years and discard those that have no reliveinse..........

  • Touheed Touheed on Apr 11, 2021

    shredder is the best solution

  • I don't keep a lot of stuff anymore since 90% of statements, utility bills and manuals can be accessed online. If I can log in and print it up at will, I don't keep it anymore. I have a file cabinet, organized alphabetically where I keep only the most important papers- taxes, etc. I go through it once a year and shred what's no longer necessary.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 26, 2021

    I use a file cabinet, dividers with labels, and folders. I colour code the folders. EX - Any financial papers go in red folders.