Marie Kondo has inspired many to declutter their lives, whether it’s through her writing, or her wildly popular Netflix series. Her KonMari method can also be applied to all those personal and financial documents that are scattered around your home.
Tony Steuer, financial literacy advocate and author, has come up with a system to get your paperwork organized.
“A good starting point is to become educated about each part of your financial life as you organize it,” Steuer told Yahoo Finance Canada.
“This will help you connect with each component and decide if it’s working for you.”
There are some documents you’ll need to hold on to, but you don’t need to keep all of your paperwork forever, so a periodic purge will go along way. For example, student loan records should be kept indefinitely as proof of payoff while rental agreements should be kept for six years after the agreement is terminated.
Steuer has created this handy guide to keep track of it all. The same principles can be applied to electronic documents, which can be placed into folders you can create on your computer.
“It’s easier to get organized when you follow a system and do it in an orderly fashion,” says Steuer.
“As with the KonMari method, you would want to approach this by setting up categories for your financial organization system and organize in a methodical way.”
Knowing which documents to keep and where to find them when you need them will save you a lot of stress.
“When everything has its place, you’ll be able to easily find an item when you need it such as filing taxes, applying for a mortgage or submitting an insurance claim and at major life events,” says Steuer