Spring is officially upon us and that means it's time to start cleaning house. As you begin to sort through older documents to kick off your spring cleaning checklist, you might not know which documents to hold onto and which to shred.
While it might be tempting to hold onto every piece of paper with important information, it can be far more beneficial to shred these documents. Not only will this save space in your home but it will also prevent prying eyes from getting ahold of your important information.
If you're struggling to shred, here's a quick guide regarding which papers you should shred, hold onto temporarily, or keep forever.
Documents you should never shred
Even though home and business filing can be a pain, there are certain documents you should never shred or throw away. Here are some of the top documents you and your business should store for safekeeping:
- Academic records, including transcripts, diplomas, and certifications
- Birth certificates
- Death certificates
- Adoption papers
- Social security cards
- Marriage or divorce papers
You can also create e-files of these documents on a secure external hard drive. Store the original copies of these documents in a safe or other secure location.
Documents you should keep temporarily
Before you invest in an industrial shredder, you should organize which documents should be kept, shredded, or held onto temporarily. The latter documents could cause a bit of a headache, especially when it comes to storage. However, it's in your best interest to hold onto these documents in the event legal action is sought against you. Here are some of the most common documents you should keep -- then shred later:
- Tax returns and records should be kept by a person or organization for seven years before they are sent to secure paper shredding. This is to ensure you have the necessary information available for an IRS audit or other legal action against your home or business occur
- Bills should be kept for up to a year to prove that the proper payments have been made
- Any home renovation or home improvement receipts should be kept until the home is sold to a new owner. This way, you can prove the proper renovations were performed
- Paychecks and pay stubs can be kept for up to a year or until you've filed your taxes for the year
- Vehicle receipts and records should be kept for as long as you have the vehicle. Once it's sold or destroyed, you can use your industrial shredder machine.
Just remember to run these items through an industrial shredder instead of throwing them in the trash. After all, nearly 30% of people fail to shred important documents with sensitive information before tossing them to the curb. This might mean your important information will fall into the wrong hands. Prevent this from occurring with the help of an industrial paper shredder.
Documents to shred
If you get your hands on these documents, feel free to send them through a commercial paper shredder anytime you want!
- Bank receipts
- Sales receipts
- Luggage tags and travel information
- Any unnecessary items with your signature or social security number
- Credit reports
When you want to ascertain your documents are properly disposed of, rely on high security paper shredders to keep your information safe.