If you're like many people, you may have way too much paperwork in your home office. It's obviously important to keep track of certain documents that you might need later on, but it can be easy to keep too much paperwork and to allow your office to become overly cluttered. After a certain point, it's time to shred these documents and throw them away. These are three things that can probably be found in your home office and that should more than likely be shredded and tossed out.
1. Tax Records
It is a good idea to keep tax records for a few years after filing. They can come in handy in the event that you get audited by the IRS, and you may need them for things like proving your income to secure a mortgage or other loan. However, you do not have to keep them forever. According to the IRS guidelines, most people only have to keep their tax documents for three years. This is the case unless you have unreported income on a tax return, if you have filed a fraudulent tax return, or if you have not filed your tax return at all. In those cases or if your case is otherwise unique, contact the IRS and ask if you should keep your old tax returns or consult a tax professional.
2. Paycheck Stubs
Keeping your paycheck stubs can be smart if you want to keep track of your income or if you need to prove your income for a loan. However, don't let your stubs pile up forever. At the end of the year, use your paycheck stubs to compare with your tax forms from your employer, then toss them out. Your tax forms can generally stand as proof of your income beyond this time period.
3. Junk Mail
It can be easy to let junk mail pile up on your desk. However, it can contribute to clutter, and it can also put you at risk if you throw it away without realizing that it has your name and other sensitive information on it. Make it a point to shred junk mail regularly to get rid of it.
These are three items that you just might have in your home office and that you should shred and toss out to get rid of clutter. You can shred these documents yourself, or you can use the shredding services of a company like Document Demolition LLC that works with individuals as well as businesses.