My Papers, Part 1

I have a ton of paperwork in my house, and although it’s organized, there’s just so much of it! A major project will be deciding what to keep, what to digitize and what to toss. I can’t say I’m a minimalist when it comes to personal records, either. I really do use them to check things like my average winter heating costs, when the warranty on the fridge expires, and what year I saw the redwood forests!

I keep this photo in my office for inspiration.

I will list my household records first. Any suggestions for keep/toss/reorganize or digitize are welcome!

For anyone who has digitized their records: did you scan them or photograph them? What settings or lighting conditions worked for you? Did you OCR them?

Category 1: Priority

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Social insurance card
  • Copies of above for adult child in case lost 🙂
  • Criminal records check (required for job)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Chequebook
  • Immigration/Sponsorship records

Category 2: House

  • Purchase
  • Home inspection
  • Annual property tax assessments/payments
  • Home insurance policy
  • Maintenance records (receipts for labour and materials)
  • Home inventory from 2002, updated once

Category 3: Car

  • Purchase
  • Insurance
  • Safety inspections
  • Maintenance

Category 4: Stuff. Mostly manuals, warranties and receipts.

  • Major appliances (fridge, washing machine)
  • Major electronics (TV, DVD)
  • Computer-related (includes user name/password list)
  • Camera-related (have 2 plus accessories)
  • Small appliances (coffee maker, toaster)
  • Furniture (assembly instructions)
  • Yard stuff (lawn mower, etc)

Category 5: Financial

  • Bank accounts
  • Credit card
  • GICs (low-interest investments)
  • RRSP and LIRA (retirement funds)
  • Annual income tax returns
  • Current year charity receipts, if printed
  • Rewards cards accounts
  • Print-outs of previous years’ budgets
  • Cash receipts for items recently bought (purged regularly)

Category 6: Utility bills

  • Heat
  • Power
  • Water
  • Phone/Cable/Internet bundle

Category 7: Health

  • General
  • Eyes
  • Dental

Category 8: Vet – 1 folder, where cats are filed 🙂

Category 9: Work

  • Resume
  • Benefits info
  • Retirement info
  • Current year pay slips (now get electronic)
  • Performance evaluations
  • Courses, certificates, publications

I used to have another category for my kid’s school records, day care receipts, summer camp registrations, etc. They do grow up 🙂

All of these records take up two lateral file drawers – 1 cabinet.

Next time I will confess to all of my personal, non-household papers which are a much bigger assortment!

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