I am having a bit of a time with parting with my data. I keep a box for each year and organize into folders for bank cards, utilities, investments, health/medical stuff, insurance, etc.
The reality is once I get through the year, the only thing I ever pull out again is usually tax related items. Because, drilled into my head from previous experience is the fact that the only really important stuff to hang onto are tax files.
Now that I do 75% of my bill paying online, I have less paper, but I’m still buried from accumulated paper over the years.
We’ve been married for almost 13 years, hence almost as many boxes cluttering my upstairs closet. I did make an effort, oh, about 6 years ago to weed through the data, and I consolidated 3 years into one box…. but then I got bored and never finished.
I don’t want to turn into my MIL and have 40 years of data rotting in the basement.
So what do you all do for organizing your household paperwork? What do you keep? What do you toss?
And more importantly, how do you dispose the data? I have TWO shredders that worked for like a month, and died. I’m not buying an industrial shredder for one clean-up effort. But I must shred and have no resources to shred large quantities of paper.
Because I am buried in useless paper that would be much happier as recycled paper.
And I want my space back.
3 thoughts on “I want to be FREE… of paper.”
You shouldn’t have to buy an industrial-strength paper shredder, but you will want to keep your eye open for a shredder labeled as “continuous duty.” That means the motor won’t burn out on you . Many low-end shredders like Fellowes and other department store brands typically burn up after being used for hours on end. Also be sure to oil your shredder after using it. That should extend the life of a shredder. I personally have an older Intimus paper shredder and have never had a problem with it dying on me, even after running what is probably several thousand sheets through it over the past couple years.
I have what I call “Year End” boxes. They are the standard file boxes you can buy from CostCo, but I have one for each year. I keep each one for 7 years, just in case. Of what? Not sure, but it sounds like a good number. It has every bill, bank statement, investment statement, medical stuff, etc. for that year. This year I’ll be able to shred the 2001 box. We have a regular shredder that’s held up good so far, but now that I’ve converted as much as I can to paperless statements, that whole shredding thing should be less daunting.
girl, I so feel your pain. I’m not sure i have the answers, but I don’t see why you would have to keep more than 3 years back…