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 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
- Birth certificate
- Social insurance card
- Copies of above for adult child in case lost 🙂
- Criminal records check (required for job)
- Marriage certificate
- Immigration/Sponsorship records
Category 2: House
- 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
- Safety inspections
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
- Phone/Cable/Internet bundle
Category 7: Health
Category 8: Vet – 1 folder, where cats are filed 🙂
Category 9: Work
- 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!