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Is it time?

“So… how long do I need to hold onto these documents?”

This question, and general confusion regarding what is safe to shred vs. best to store, is the main reason people tend to:

A) Err on the side of caution and just keep the docs AND

B) End up living and working in cluttered spaces

Here’s the scoop:

The Federal Trade Commission has developed a pretty infographic on what to shred or store.

BUT remember, we have slightly different guidelines here in Canada. So please take a look at our quick and easy breakdown.

1 Month:

  • Bank withdrawal and deposit slips
  • Receipts (unless you purchased something with a warranty: keep it until your warranty expires or you no longer own the item).
  • Internet, Telephone & Utility Bills: (Keep until they’re paid and then shred.)

1 Year:

  • Monthly Bank/Credit Card Statements
  • Monthly Brokerage/Mutual Fund/Mortgage Statements
  • Pay Stubs: Reconcile with your T4 and then shred.

7 Years:

  • ANYTHING TAX RELATED: Tax Returns (Starting from the end of the tax year relating to the records.)  and receipts & statements (donations, RRSP contributions, child care receipts, mortgage interest, medical expenses, property tax payments, alimony/child support paid or received, etc.)
  • Annual Mortgage Statements

Forever:

  • Adoption Records
  • Auto/Home/Life Insurance Policy Information: Keep as long as the policy is still active and then shred.
  • Auto Records: Keep as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Death Certificate(s)
  • Divorce Agreement/Child Custody Orders
  • Investment Records
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Medical Records
  • Military Records
  • Pension Plan Records
  • Receipts for major home improvements: Keep until you no longer own the home.
  • Will and/or Power of Attorney