I have a HUGE box of papers from our old houses. We owned two houses ( House 1 - purchased 2003, sold 2006; House 2 - purchased 2006, short-sold 2009) and I have every single paper from the closings. Do I need to keep these? If so, for how long?
For businesses in the U.S., the typical requirement (depending on what state you reside in) only requires that entities retain their financial and other records for a period of seven years (some states require more, some less). I've always been told this is good practice for individuals too.
I tend to hang on to stuff much longer simply because there may be situations down the road where I'll need to refer back or need them for something else (this is mostly financial stuff like tax returns). One thing that I would suggest is converting everything to digital form and recycling/shredding the paper after a period of seven years (or whatever is the standard in your jurisidiction). Save everything to disk, instead of your computer, as computers crash, data is lost, etc.
I sold a condo about 6 years ago and I threw away the closing paperwork almost immediately. I had no idea I was supposed to save it! I guess I take my need to declutter to a crazy level sometimes. I do like the idea of scanning it so you aren't stuck hanging on to the papers for so long.
mama to and and
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