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DON’T waste your time with FILING!
I recently helped a student find her Vital Documents. She knew her important papers were “hiding” in different piles. Wanting to be efficient, she suggested, “While we look for those, let’s file all the rest away.”
She was surprised when I said “NO!” Finding her important papers was essential. But WHY should she file away her electric bills or manuals? As we went through them, I’d ask her, “When was the last time you REFERRED to those documents?” Usually, the answer was “NEVER!” So, if that’s the case, do you really need to file it?
When faced with your own filing, I encourage you to ask yourself, “What is the EASIEST way for me to get this information, if I ever need it in the future?” Often, the answer is just a quick online search or a phone call—NOT rifling through overstuffed files tucked away in a cabinet in your dark basement.
Don’t get me wrong; paper files absolutely do have a place, as long as they are being REFERRED to. So unlike Marie Kondo, I don’t believe almost ALL papers should get tossed. And, of course, some papers must be saved for legal reasons. But I am suggesting an end to the mindless filing!
For example, if there are no tax ramifications, WHY are you filing that investment statement, utility bill, prospectus information, or travel brochure? If you’re never going to REFER to it, save yourself some time and effort, and pitch the papers that you thought you “should” file but never really need!