Home Organization: Tips on Paperwork to Keep (and to Shred)

Written by
March 19th, 2013

stacks of paperworkYou have a drawer full of paperwork and you keep adding to it – why?  Because you aren’t quite sure what you need to keep and what you can shred.

Here are some general rules for record retention:

Keep for 7 Years:

  • Home deed and closing statement
  • Home improvement records
  • Property taxes
  • Federal, state and local income tax returns, gift tax and/or estate tax returns with supporting documents
  • Checks and checkbook records – 7 years if tax deductible, 2 years if not tax deductible; and the same is true for credit card statements, receipts, and paid bills

Keep 1-3 Years:

  • Bank statements – 1 year
  • Rent receipts – 2 years
  • Home mortgage, title insurance, property appraisals – 3 years after paid off
  • Loan payment records (non-mortgage)

Keep While You Own or In Force:

  • Vehicle paperwork – sales contracts, maintenance records, ownership papers, lease agreements, license information
  • Receipts and appraisal for personal property, artwork, and valuables
  • Home/Apartment Lease Agreements
  • Owners Manuals
  • Receipts for Warranties and Warranties and Extended Service Agreements
  • Insurance papers – life insurance, health insurance, long term care insurance, homeowners, auto insurance

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