Q: “Denise, although I have moved to a more paperless system for transactions, I still find that I have mountains of old paperwork and am not sure what to do with it. Suggestions?”
A: From your question, it sounds as if the new paperless system seems to be working and your challenge is your old files. That is actually great news as it doesn’t sound like you are generating new paperwork that doesn’t have a home – that is a different problem to solve.
In terms of your old paperwork, here is how I would tackle it:
- Make sure whatever method of disposing or storing your paperwork is in compliance with your brokerage, state laws, etc.
- If that paperwork needs to go to your brokerage, then box it up and take it over there. But if your brokerage already has what it needs and this is just your copy, get it out of your office. You don’t need to see it every day and it doesn’t get your mental energy if it is out of sight.
- Determine how long you have to keep the files for. If you don’t need to keep it, take it to a shredding facility. Did you know that you can take boxes of shredding to places such as Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples? Call your local facility first to find out their offerings.
- If you do need to keep the files put them into a secure location. That might be a storage locker or in a secure locked location in your home or office. But note on the box when the contents can be shredded.
Every January, I like to reassess my space and remove what is no longer working for me. I am glad to see you are doing the same thing!