Paper files are wonderful things. As we discussed on January 8th, filing paperwork weekly is a healthy habit to form to stay organized. However, not all papers warrant keeping forever. Once a year, it is a good idea to review the contents of your files and clear out what is no longer relevant.
Some of your files probably hold paperwork you no longer need. For example, if you have a school file for your kids, you may have tucked pages in there throughout the year with information on curriculum, field trips, activities, reports, etc. While school is in session, this is helpful to have on hand. However, after the school year is over, you probably do not need it. Or, you may have started a file for an activity, hobby or role that you no are longer pursuing. Remove this type of file all together.
One time a year, glance through your files and see if there is anything you can recycle or shred. Then, consider relocating the out of date contents of your standing files to an archive area. For instance, after you have filed your taxes, you can take the contents of last year’s investment & financial files out and place them in a banker’s box with other important paperwork from the year, label the box with the name of the year, and move it to a remote storage area.
Do you review, purge and archive your files each year?