Storing paper that has to be kept for a certain length of time
On Friday’s post, Julia asked …
I would love to know your favourite storage solution for things that can’t be tossed aka things that need to be filed for at least 2 years. Do you use an actual file? A box? A concertina thing? What’s your favourite and why?
and then Patty said on Facebook that she can’t decide what she needs to keep and what she can toss.
First of all, I keep very little paper … and I could still throw out some more (I’m eyeing you, old workshop materials!).
The only things I think you HAVE to keep are tax records for 5 years in South Africa (please check with your accountant though – who knows if your situation may be different) and the obvious important documents like birth and marriage certificates, deeds to your house, car, etc.
And of course, I keep everything from the City of Joburg
A quick aside about the tax records… my colleague received a letter from the South African Revenue Services last year wanting to audit her from 2003. I would go into a flat panic but she picked up the phone, told them they’re only allowed to ask for the last 5 years, so were those years in question, they said no, and that was that.
So while I’m very tempted to let it all go, I personally keep about 7 – 8 years (depends how many years fit in my lever arch file) of tax records.
I have a lever arch file for all my tax and another file for all the other stuff but that’s it. My receipts for BIG purchases also go in that second file.
I don’t think there’s anything other than these types of documents that HAVE to be kept for any period of time.
For regular accounts like Telkom/ Cell C, I keep one til I see my payment appear on the next one. So I really only have 1 – 2 at any given time.
And concertina files, boxes and such are way too “loose” for me – the loosest I get with my paper is stapled together and kept in a plastic project sleeve for a few months (like the Great Pre-school Search of 2012) until such project is complete.
Have I missed anything?
If you’re thinking about something specific, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer there for everyone to see.
Tags: organising paper