This weekend we’re going to attack some old paperwork. You don’t need to spend all weekend on it – you can spend as little as 15 minutes and make a difference!
Find some old filing in the home and take a handful of it out of the files. Assess each piece of paperwork one at a time and ask yourself if you need to keep it or not.
Reasons to keep papers include:
- It was used as supporting documentation on one of your last five (seven in the US) tax returns (invoices, receipts, superannuation)
- It has historical significance (your grandfather’s migration documents)
- You need to keep it for legal reasons (your car registration papers or your Will)
- You need to keep it for warranty reasons (the receipt for your vacuum cleaner)
- It’s useful when something goes wrong (your dishwasher user manual)
- It’s a hand-print of your daughter when she was a baby
- It proves something (residency, that you paid for something, that you did a certain qualification, medical records etc)
- You’re going to use it soon (a gift voucher)
- It makes you very happy. VERY.
Reasons to ditch papers include:
- It’s a document you can obtain online whenever you need it
- It’s a user manual for an item you don’t have anymore
- It’s a bill that was paid 2 years ago and you didn’t claim it as a tax deduction
- It’s one of 3,000 drawing of stars your daughter drew (a handful of the same drawing from the same age is sufficient)
- It’s one of 50 payslips from 1987 (again, keep one for nostalgia, sure – but you don’t need them all)
- You took it out of a magazine several years ago because you thought you might make that stool/soft toy/cake/party decoration one day (you can get SO MUCH online these days)
- It’s memorabilia that makes you sad/angry/guilty
You can spend as little or as long as you want, as long as you ditch as much as you can in that time!