A new year has just begun, yet you may already feel like you’re buried by paperwork from years gone by. That can be frustrating, but changing your mindset to one that is determined to organize your papers makes all the difference. Once you’ve done that, it might surprise you at just how fast you can tame your paper clutter.
Start by Deciding What to Keep and What to Shred
When you find a new paper pile, take a few minutes to look at each page to determine if it’s something that you should keep and file in a secure location or shred. For example, imagine that you come across tax forms from 2017 and 2007. You would want to keep the newer forms, but there’s no reason to hold onto something 12 years old. You would set the newer tax papers in a pile to keep and put the older one in a pile of things to shred.
Come Up with a System to Organize Papers You Want to Keep
Once you’re certain you have uncovered all of the papers in your home or office that you want to organize, it’s time to decide on a system for doing so. Some people prefer to work with colored folders and have each color represent a different type of paperwork inside of the folder. It is equally effective to buy a package of manila folders and label each one with the type of paperwork it contains. If you don’t have a file cabinet to place the folders in, you can buy a portable one or one that serves as a piece of furniture.
Documents to Consider Placing in a Safe
Some documents are much more important than others and challenging to replace if lost or stolen. Purchasing a small safe and placing these documents inside of it can provide you with valuable peace of mind:
· Title to your car
· Marriage license
· Bank account statements that contain account numbers
· Divorce paperwork
· Loan paperwork
· Insurance documents
· Social security card
· Mortgage documentation
· Tax returns from 2013 to 2018
· Warranties on major appliances
· Service contracts from retailers
· College transcripts
· Medical records
Shred Your Unwanted Documents Safely
You may not think much of the unwanted credit card offers you receive by mail, old receipts or paperwork that could potentially identify you, and you end up throwing these documents in the garbage or recycle bin. The problem with this is that your unwanted papers could end up in the wrong hands and you could quickly find yourself the victim of identity theft. Throwing a bank statement in the garbage one day could result in someone attempting to drain your account the next day. The risk simply is not worth it.
Shredding your documents with Tristar Document Shredding establishes an important chain of custody if you ever need to account for why you chose to eliminate documents this way. Whether you’re overrun by papers at home or work, we’re here to help you become safer and more organized in the new year. You can bring your papers to us, or our onsite shredding trucks can come to you.