It seems I had spoken my ideas on getting rid of so much household stuff with ease. But then, the paperwork cleanup began. I found myself tearing through a lot of household files, shaking my head in amazement that I have a natural gas bill from 2009, from a house we no longer own, in a different state.
I’ve stumbled on some revelations about myself, perhaps things I didn’t want to see before. Admitting my conditioning has led me to this sorry state of manila file folders and fluorescent sticky flags. I see the paperclips bulging out of shape, the metal fatiguing under the fat stacks of receipts and insurance benefits statements. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
Okay, so maybe I was a little over zealous with my paper work at home. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what I was doing, or maybe because I do everything to the extreme rule following (and then add extra for good measure). Maybe it was because I wasn’t very organized, and after years of working in an office have learned better methods for filing and disposing of papers. Maybe it is from working where we are required to retain every charge card transaction staple it to the monthly statement and annotate it and sign it, and have another person sign it, and file for 3 years. Good grief.
I certainly don’t need to do that at home, especially since we have this wonderful thing called the internet. I can go ‘lectronic with my statements, now. Maybe, just maybe, it was because I didn’t want to spend much free time sorting papers when it was time to do an annual clean up. It’s so much easier to pay the bill, stick it in its file, and forget about it! I certainly have plenty more interesting things to do at home!
I still faltered on a few items I have kept, and if you want a good website to help you with your important papers, I found one http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance/Managing-Household-Records.shtml.
Sure, when in doubt, I keep stuff, like credit card records that may contain a tax-related document, but for the most part, I’ve learned my lesson: save what I need and keep up with the annual shredding!