Friday, November 30, 2012

The Great Shredding Project of 2012

If you're a regular reader you know that I am an extreme organizer. I don't hold onto things that I don't need and am constantly trying to clear the clutter around my house (despite angry protests from my family to not touch and sort through their things).

I'm not entirely sure where I got this super organizing jean from- but it certainly wasn't my father. Recently, my mom and I decided to take on the bins in our attic that he has been storing up there for years. Want to know what was inside?

  • Every receipt he has ever held
  • Every paycheck stub he has ever gotten
  • Every bank statement he has ever gotten
  • Folders full of information, maps, receipts from every vacation we've ever been on
  • Envelopes for every Christmas full of receipts from the presents bought
  • Important papers that had gone "missing" such as birth certificates...
  • Information from when he coached a soccer team
  • Information from every business/ house he has owned
Want to guess how many BIG bins were up in the attic?

Go ahead take a guess...

Okay, anyone who guessed 30- you win! And that is in addition to the crates that were full of papers located behind them (probably at least 15 of those).

So we started bringing the bins down and shredding the insane amounts of paper, because really who needs bank statements from 1992? Yeah, no one.

He had so many binders full of THICK bank papers that needed to be shredded one at a time. Oh did I mention they are from a bank that no longer exists? Yeah, he really needed those...

See the bin in the background? FULL. All of those crates were full too. Insane amounts of paper!

Another picture of those bins in the background- all before it was shredded away!

Check out those empty bins! And one bag of shredding...Don't worry there were more bags then that!

This was at the end of the night when we finished the last few papers. Wait till you see what was already in the garage waiting to be recycled...

Can you believe how much shredding we came up with?! This is only from one 6-hr day worth of work. There is still plenty more to go in the attic and plenty that has already been sent out with the recycling during the last few weeks. I cannot believe that my dad has held onto so many papers for so long. The kicker however is that he not only collected these papers- but transported them during 2 different moves! It is crazy!!!

Do you have trouble keeping your papers organized? Wondering what to get rid of and what to keep? This might help you!

Document Storing Guide
Until Updated
Credit Card Records
Until Paid 
(if paid can shred unless you need them for tax purposes)
Bank Statements
1 year (or can toss if you use online banking)
Birth Certificates
Real Estate Records
Until you sell the property
Toss (unless returning item- or it is a BIG purchase)
Until Expires/ Get rid of Item
Vehicle Titles
Until You sell car
Tax Returns
Seven Years
Pay Check Stubs
Until you get your W2

 Please keep in mind that I am NOT a financial expert of someone that you should take your ultimate advice from a financial professional. Please do what works for YOU and your family. You also might have documents that we don't have in our house due to your own financial plan. The best way to find out what to do with them is to do a google search and do your own research or contact a professional.

Now I challenge you to conquer your own paper clutter! I will keep you updated on our progress over here!


  1. WOW!
    That is a LOT of stuff to be shredding!

    I think it's sooooooo good you're clutter-free and really organized. My mom likes to keep a lot of random things, whereas my dad throws everything out. Balance people! haha!

    I definitely like to take the time to clean out my stuff once in a while. Feels great!

  2. That document storing guide is definitely helpful! I think people should read your post, so they will have a clue on how to organize their files and documents. Over time, we lose track of our documents, which leads to clutter inside the space. By organizing your documents and shredding unnecessary papers, you are reducing the clutter and mess in your home.[Ruby Badcoe]