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National Organize Your Files Week: How Long Do I Need to Keep This Document??

We learned the method of organizing based on categories of length of time we will need certain documents. Now, what are those documents that go into each category? How do we know to keep something for 1 year versus 7 years?


Why do I have to keep this?

You may ask yourself, why would I have to keep something for 7 years? Or longer? This article not only explains what to keep and for how long but also explains ‘The Why’ of keeping some documents for an extended period of time. Yes, 7 years is a long time, but its necessary for some items in this list!

I printed this list and paper clipped it to my accordion file to remind myself. This is one of those things that in time, will come naturally to you. You will know when a certain document comes across your desk that you will need to file it away for long term, or if you can shred it relatively quickly. Practice makes perfect!


Personal Tip:

The psychological principle of the Familiarity Effect states that humans will become more familiar with and have a preference towards something due to exposure to it. If you can increase your exposure to staying organized and the process, you will have a better familiarity with it and can generate a preference to staying organized.

(Bonus tip: this works with dating and relationships too – if you want someone to like you…make sure you’re around a lot for them to be familiar with you! We’re not saying be creepy but you get the idea!)

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