Professional Residential and Business Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio since 2003

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Paper and More Paper

Over the last few weeks we have seen clients who have too much paper in their homes and offices.  Despite the movement to go "paperless", many of us still like to print out emails and handle a real piece of paper.  Don't know what to keep and how long to keep it?  Just keep on reading...

Eliminating junk mail is a great way to reduce the paper before it even comes into the house.  DMA Choice (by the Direct Marketing Association) and Catalog Choice are two free services to help you do this.  When you get your mail, try to recycle the junk mail immediately, then sort the remaining items into categories:  Bills to pay, RSVPs. To Read Later, etc..  We suggest a bill paying center where you keep the bills, stamps, and envelopes to save time and to keep the bills together.

What do you need to keep?  Anything related to taxes definitely should be retained.  Place documentation into a current tax year file for safekeeping until it is time to do your taxes.  Once you have paid your bills for the month, you can retain them or shred them - this is a personal choice.  You may wish to keep your medical, insurance and credit card bills for the entire year, as you may need to refer to them.  Banking and investment statements should also be retained.  Replacing these can be costly and you never know when you will need to confirm the cost basis on an investment. 

We recommend that everyone have a filing system and keep it as simple as possible.  Many people hate to file so they just don't do it!  It is so much harder to find things when you need them if you don't have a system in place.  Try a "Paid Bills" file which will not require sorting but will keep them all together.

Long term retention of documents and statements can be simple.  We love Bankers Boxes because they are easy to put together, label and stack in the corner of a closet or an attic.  Be sure to put the year(s) on the outside of the box so identification is quick and easy.


Have further questions or need some help with all your paper?  Please give us a call at 216-321-6126, or send us an email.  Enjoy the heat of August!

                                       Muffy and JoEllen



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