Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 18, 2007
At what point is keeping a record of something holding you back? Is it really useful to keep your bank statements for the last seven years? If so what for? Are we getting too much insurance for ourselves with our paperwork which will likely never use again. Ever.
I thought of those questions a while ago and I’ve started a program to reduce the amount of paperwork in my house that requires me to do anything. First most of my bills now come automatically out of my account. Then I signed up for electronic bank account statements and Visa bill statements.
So far I would estimate I have eliminated about 1/3 of the paperwork I used to deal with at home. The more interesting fact is I have yet to need one single piece of paper that I am no longer keeping a hard copy of.
Now I’ve been thinking of taking it to the next level and stop keeping Visa slips and bank slips for longer than one month. One month should give me enough time to check that the slip in question did show up in the account. After that they will be shredded and tossed out. The only exception to this rule will be any slip that could be used in taxes. Those slips will stay on file regardless until seven years have passed.
I aware I might run into a situation where I would wish I did not get rid of some of this paperwork, but in the end I feel the risk is well worth getting my time back.
Once this phase is done I’m not sure what is left to reduce. Does any one have any ideas on how to further reduce paperwork at home? If so please share.