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Shredding papers Sign In/Join 
Picture of pinecone476
Linderhof's 100 item challenge reminded me of the huge amout of papers that I have shredded from my dad's house. I realized that I tend to hang on to old bills, for no reason. I am now just keeping them for one year then shred. Keeping only the ones with info on home improvement so I know when the X was replaced and receipts get stapled to the instruction booklet for things. Anyone else? Medical bills and financial papers kept for 7 years. I guess income tax filings are kept until I no longer walk the earth.

Posts: 3240 | Location: New England, U.S.A. | Registered: May 21, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I keep up with the current stuff pretty well, but I have several bags of old stuff that really needs to be sorted and shredded. I don't know why I don't do it sometime when I'm watching television or something, but I never think about it.
Posts: 2043 | Registered: Aug 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tax stuff can go after 7 years with the exception of those papers that have to do with house sales, or capital gains that may be needed.

I see no reason to keep financial records or medical bills that long. Bills I keep about a year incase there is a dispute. Stock brokers records I shred every month unless there is some buy or sell involved.
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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With no shredder at home, we burn stuff in the BBQ grill...well I use the grill, DH uses a barrel.

Annually, I go through all the files and pull out things like year old insurance and tax receipts. I keep the initial statement so that we can see how costs increase over the years. Same thing with utilities. I enter dates and amounts in a file on the computer and everything gets tossed.

We have a four drawer file cabinet in DHs office. The top drawer has owner's manuals with receipts stapled in them. The drawer is divided into two and shop. Although I KNOW DH has some manuals in the shop so that I don't know how much he has purchased over the last time he told me that he had everything he needed. LOL Like I can't see with my own eyes. Wink The back of that drawer has a box of new checks that are lasting forever because I do so much online banking now as well as check copies that I go through ever so often to add to the burning.

The second drawer is files for everything from camper to Visa. Even with my annual cleaning, on occasion DH complains about the amount of stuff in that drawer so I pull out his three inch thick shop file for him to sort (that one I don't mess with). I don't think he throws anything away. But I wonder just how many receipts for saw blades and drill bits does he really need to keep?

What's in the third drawer?.... OH! Our lives before each other. Our school records and some of our school work our mother's saved - you know those stone tablets take up a lot of space! Wink My college papers because I just can't part with them...further proof that I attended (started at 39) and got a 2-year degree. Smile Retired dentist DH will make a disparaging remark about 2-year degrees on occasion forgetting (maybe?) that that's what I have. I remind him that is what I have and it helped me accomplish my goal - to get a job when first DH was terminally ill. He generally hushes...for awhile.

Fourth drawer...junk.
Posts: 17371 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Spanish Revival
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I was going to ask a similar question on this board the other day. What do you save and what do you through away as far as bills, bank statements, and investment papers go. I have a 2 drawer plastic bin type thing that I put all receipts in, one drawer for medical (tax deductible) and one for general store, restaurant receipts. But electric, water, cable, mortgage, etc... how long do you keep those?, my 2 filing cabinets are quickly filling up and I don't want to buy a third!
Posts: 1024 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't keep any paper bills after I've paid them- I pay most online and never receive a paper statement. My bank statements and investment statements are all on line. I do have paper copies of our taxes which are filed online as well as paper copies of money spent on investment rental properties. I keep copies of major home repairs for time frame reference. My husband and I are both old enough for the one time capital gains exemption on a principal residence so I no longer keep all the receipts for ongoing repair or renovation.
When I cleaned out my parents' house, I found random paperwork going back 40 years- not going to happen here.
Posts: 135 | Registered: Apr 17, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I keep medical bills in with the paperwork for the tax return. Though we don't itemize that keeps them in one place and easy to find. General receipts are shredded every month.

Monthly bills are kept till the next month bill comes to confirm payment received and then shredded. Actually I get few paper bills anymore. I can verify online that payment was made.

However, I have one bank that only makes 3months of statements available on line. I wanted to be able to go back further than that so I still get paper ones from them. Try to shred them every two years but sometimes that doesn't happen. At least they are skinny and take very little room.
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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I keep very little by way of paper. I used to have an elaborate system for keeping track of what category of item we spent our money on: food, entertainment, travel, gifts etc. Then I realized that since we pay all those sort of thing by credit card, all I need to keep is the credit card statement.

I toss other bills (which I pay by check) as soon as I pay them. the amount and check # are recorded on our statements from our credit union.
(which I also toss)

We have medicare and medigap and very little by way of medical bills so I don't keep those bills or statements either (although DH keeps his)

We don't have a shredder. . . If something particularly personal should pass by we burn it in the fireplace or stove. As seniors living on a fixed income we have no investments nor do we pay any income tax. We probably live as paperless a life as it is possible to live!
Posts: 13080 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My goal for August if to find out when free shredding events will happen, load up car with unnecessary stuff and start fresh.

KYIS... wish BURNING was technically ALLOWED, but it's not!?! At least not in most suburbs. Not paper, but my township puts out a schedule to su ck up leaves once they start to drop and grind up branches... up to something like 6" diameter, but NO bamboo. When they take leaves, they use this big vac thing on a truck that shreds... that RUNS ALL THE TIME. Same with the chipper... never turned off until truck needs to be emptied before continuing. Which is worse... pollution from HOURS of gasoline powered engines running or smoke from an old-fashioned leaf burning?? Bet it's close to a toss-up??

You're allowed to burn wood in one of those firs pit thingies... what's the diff? That's how my sister gets rid of her paper trash that doesn't get recycled... but she's in the middle of the woods. Obviously, there has to be a certain amount of fear of setting s fire, but a big old spark could come out og your chimney from a fireplace or wood stove, right?
Posts: 5661 | Location: mount holly, NJ, USA | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thatchairlady: An in-home shredder is economical (mine was under $50) and so useful. I use mine at least five times a week.
Posts: 135 | Registered: Apr 17, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love the home shredders. I shred credit cardstatements, the few paper bill we receive, brokerage statements, all CMS and medigap statements after 2 months. After all most of it is online.Also shred tax returns after 10 yrs. above poster is correct, one can be has for $50 or less.
Posts: 3162 | Location: Michigan and sw Florida | Registered: May 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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I live in the country in Texas in a small county. The only time we cannot burn is if we are in a drought and the county commissioners court declare a fire burn.

And you're right, if you can have fire pits, grills, fire places or wood heaters...some things just don't make sense.

Now burning leaves in town can cause vision problems due to smoke drifting across the road especially if several are burning at the same time. I'm not sure residents in the town closest to me can burn leaves in town...maybe but not sure.
Posts: 17371 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of lady of shallot
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KYIS... wish BURNING was technically ALLOWED, but it's not!?

Well of course burning in a fireplace or wood stove is perfectly legal. Never heard of a community where it isn't. In fact a considerable number of people in Maine heat with wood.

When I speak of burning a piece of paper (other than the newspapers with which DH starts all fires) I mean only a sheet or two.

No burning of leaves in our town. That is a wonderful memory from my childhood. What a sweet fall smell! Also the whir of a hand lawn mower. What a wonderful sound compared to todays loud disruption of neighborhood quiet!
Posts: 13080 | Registered: Jun 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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