Maybe your desk is overflowing with utility bills and bank statements, or your wallet is filled with receipts. Or, maybe you have old bills and documents shoved in the corner of the room. Let’s face it: paper clutter is the worst thing ever! Paper clutter may happen due to various reasons. But, the end result is the same — you have piles of paper lying around the house. And the worst part — you don’t know when and how to tackle it.
So, to help you navigate through this never-ending mess, we have come up with the fundamentals of handling paper clutter like a pro. From utility bills, bank statements, to expired credit cards — here are the documents that need to go to the paper shredder, for good.
1. Bank Deposit or Withdrawal Slip
When to Throw Them Away: After you have checked your account balance.
Let’s be honest. Most of us have a drawer filled with month old bank deposit or withdrawal receipts which are not even relevant, anymore. To keep a tab on this: make a habit of checking your account balance every week to ensure the withdrawal and deposits show up, and then discard all the irrelevant slips.
2. Credit Card Statement
When to Throw Them Away: After you have checked the bill online and paid them off.
Just like the bank statement, your credit card statement should be shredded once you have checked the bill online, for accuracy. So, unless you need the statements for tax declaration, it is always better to throw them away after you have paid them.
3. Credit Card Receipts
When to Throw Them Away: After you have checked the monthly expense.
Once you compare your credit card receipts with the monthly statement, the receipts get worthless (unless you need them for tax filing). Hence, get rid of them as soon as possible.
4. Expired Passport, Visa, and Other Photo ID
When to Throw Them Away: Once they expire.
Many of us have the habit of keeping expired credit cards or any other photo ID proofs. But trust me, they add no value other than making your home messy. So, if you are hoarding any of these, it is advised that you destroy them in a shredder.
5. Utility and Phone Bills
When to Throw Them Away: After a month
Turns out, utility bills like phone bills, WiFi, and electricity bills are nothing but just a piece of junk in the drawer. Hence, make a habit of discarding the bills once you pay them (and receive a confirmation).