Paperwork/Filing- what to keep? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 07-04-2010, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I am catching up on several months worth of filing, thinning the filing cabinet and reorganizing the files I have:

The files I have:

1) Preschool
2) Verizon (TV, Phone, Internet)
3) PSE&G (Gas and Electric)
4) Geico (Car and home insurance)
5) E-ZPass (Tolls)
6) Direct Loans-Me (My student loan repayment)
7) Direct Loans (DH student loan repayment)
8) My job (pay stubs and assorted papers)
9) His job (pay stubs and assorted papers)
10) IRS/Taxes (past taxes and W2s)
11) American Express (credit card)
12) Capital One (credit card)
13) Discover (credit card)
14) Sears (credit card)
15) Blue Cross Blue Shield (health insurance)
16) Mortgage payments
17) Toyota (car payment)
18) VW (car payment)

One folder that closes all the way that has important documents: birth certificates, social security cards, high school, diplomas, military discharge papers, nursing license etc.

Ok that is all the organized paperwork.

I have a few folders for my husband's credit cards but he doesn't get statements regularly, a folder for our bank account but we don't get statements for that account. Old paystubs, old medical records, medical bills, vet info for our cats. Then I have manuals for electronics and household items. College records for my husband and myself and probably some more things I am forgetting about.

How long do I need credit card statements?
Car payment statements?
The letter saying I filling my contract obligation in full on a car I no longer own?
What papers from college?
Account closure from the student loans I consolidated?
Account closure from old cable company?

Honestly most of this paperwork I never use for anything aside from the "important documents" folder. I pay most bills online and bank online. I only write a check for preschool tuition and I only have one more payment since he will be going to public pre-K in the fall.

Should I have a safe deposit box at the bank or something? I used to have a fire proof lock box but the lock broke and I no longer have it.

Share your organizing of paperwork!

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#2 of 2 Old 07-04-2010, 12:41 PM
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We have a safe deposit box for things like passports, SSN cards, and the like. I would have kept the fireproof lockbox - we leave the key in ours. That way if someone breaks in, they'll see that there's nothing of value to them, and leave the box behind because it's too bulky to take. I keep sentimental things in there, and things like credit cards that can be easily cancelled when stolen.

For paper filing, I use a system called "Freedom Filer." It's pricey at $45, but for me, it was a good investment. It is color coded to tell you what to shred after a year (CC bills, utility statements, etc), what to shred after a new copy comes in (insurance policies, health policies, etc), and what is permanent (medical records, school records). It takes the guesswork out of what to keep. 95% of the paper we keep will never be referenced ever again.
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