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Decluttering the Files

July 11th, 2016 at 11:14 pm

I thought I did a really good purge of paper about a year and a half ago. Turns out I could have done better! I started looking through the main files in our desk, and found dental Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) going back to 2008. The orthodontic ones are interesting because I did forget what we paid for my oldest to have braces: $4100, with insurance paying $1500. But I don't need these. At least I can't imagine that I do. The only thing that may be helpful is keeping a list of the dentists we have seen since then. We are on our third dentist since that time in three different cities. If I ever needed records that information would be most important. So I'm thinking of shredding most of the EOBs.

I also have years of 5498s for the girls investments. I don't know why these get mailed when everything else is sent electronically! I need to see if I can update that. I figured I can scan in these documents, rather than keeping the originals.

I'm considering scanning all the vehicle maintenance receipts as well. Or maybe just a chart showing what work we had done and where would be just as good. I've noticed that is what I'm looking for when I browse through those. We have had our current vehicles for 6 and 8 years, so there a quite a few receipts!

At least when I went through my daughter's school files they were pretty easy to toss out (recycle) the notes and extra papers. I don't think most of that needs to be scanned at this point, all though I might like having that information stored virtually for the long term.

Paper is quite the project!!

Do you keep EOBs, or vehicle maintenance receipts?

5 Responses to “Decluttering the Files”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    I keep EOBs for a couple of years. I keep vehicle maintenance receipts as long as I keep the car. But I don't know if that's even necessary.

  2. snafu Says:

    I'm not nearly as diligent at purging paper as you. I keep vehicle records in a 3 ring binder and leave it in the trunk when I sell the car. I've been able to get a premium price for our cars, identifying as 'cream puffs.' The new buyer can see all maintenance was carried out on schedule.
    I'm appealing a capital gains charge so glad I've all buy/sell MF slips. I too an guilty of retaining dental records that aren't needed except it's telling how much work has been done on a specific tooth. I've retired two dentists and now plan some extensive work overseas.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I really need to go through all my paperwork ... As soon as I get the thank you notes written (ten weeks+ later isn't too horrible, right??)

  4. househopeful Says:

    For that kind of paperwork - informative, but not necessarily needed, I use an app called CamScanner on my phone. You take a picture & it converts to a PDF, which I then email to myself and save in folders in my email. Super easy and convenient to get rid of paperwork.

    I also find myself mid-day at work, needing documents for the house closing and I can just pull up the email on some things & forward along to whomever needs them. Very convenient!

    And the app is free!

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Thanks for the tip, HH! I may try that. It's amazing what we can do with our phones these days.

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