Document Build Up Leads to Clutter

Document trainingDocument reviews done regularly are a good way of  clearing out of records. But how do you know what to keep and for how long? Randy Ostreich, The Money Detective gives some guidelines to make order of financial paperwork.

Document lists ought to include  your bank accounts, stock and dividends.                                                                                                                                               Records any deposits you have paid – Cable, Electric, telephone etc. Get them back when you move.

Give a document list of all the professionals in your life to your POA or an Adult son or daughter.

Keep all warranty and receipts until expiration dates  or for 3 years for Tax purposes. ATM receipts for a month, till you balance your check book.

Hold for a Year, unless needed for Tax purposes – then keep for 3 years:

Paycheck stubs, Utility bills, Cancelled checks, Credit Card receipts, Bank Statements and quarterly investment statements.

Three years is recommended to hold onto:

Income tax returns, Medical Bills and cancelled insurance policies, Records of house and stock sales, annual investment statements.

Seniors can keep while active accounts:

Contracts, Insurance documents, Stock certificates, Property and stock records, Pensions and Retirement records. Property tax records, disputed bills and Home improvement records.

Which Document to Keep FOREVER:

Marriage Licenses, Divorce records, Military Discharge papers, Wills, Birth Certificates, Adoption papers, Death certificates, records of paid mortgages.

Another way to limit paper clutter is to use Online bill paying, if you are comfortable doing so. You may also have automatic deposits of Social Security checks and other investment monies.

Set up automatic bill paying with your regular bills: electric, cable, phone, maintenance and rent/mortgage payments.

Save a tree, save time, and limit needless clutter.

Boomers and Seniors can review such items to see how best to manage their monthly home and financial protocols.


We find in home care that one of the tasks the aide performs is to go through the mail with their client and to sort through piles or drawers of documents. It is good to have a second pair of eyes while sorting to make sure something of importance is kept.