Today’s world is a digital one. With the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices, you can quickly access all of your important information. Whether you want to check your credit score or submit a job application, you can do a variety of tasks with the click of a button.
But despite the latest and greatest technology, paper documents still have an uncanny way of piling up. You may have a stack of bills in the corner of your living room, a handful of receipts in your kitchen, and almost a year’s subscription of magazines in your bathroom.
While you can certainly pack some of these hard copies and take them with you during your next move, remember that the more you bring, the higher your moving costs will ultimately be. Most moving companies charge by weight and volume than by the hour, and the extra paper quickly adds up.
So which files and documents should you ditch to save money on your move?
1. Utility Statements Older Than a Month
In general, many utility companies and municipalities allow you to pay for their services online. In fact, you can easily set up an automatic bill payment system so you never have to worry about your water or electricity shutting off due to a late bill.
However, if you still prefer the paper method, feel free to toss the statement as soon as the company processed your payment. On the other hand, if you are self-employed, scan digital copies of your utility statements so you can calculate your write-offs come tax season.
2. Pay Stubs Older Than a Year
Plenty of companies alike recognize the ease that direct deposit brings. With the right system in place, they can pay all their employees on time, and you can enjoy instant access to the money in your bank account. You don’t have to worry about the hassle of depositing your check yourself every week.
But to verify accuracy, some companies may issue a regular pay stub to their clients. These stubs break down the number of hours you work, federal and state withholdings, and any fringe benefits you may have acquired during the pay period. These stubs can also help you calculate how much you earned throughout the year, and when your W-2 arrives, you can use them to double-check for errors in your statement.
However, after you’ve verified and submitted your tax information, you don’t need to hold onto these stubs any longer.
3. Tax Documents Older Than Seven Years
Gone are the days when you have to gather an entire year’s worth of files and papers and calculate your taxes by hand. Now you can submit your tax information through a variety of online computer programs that will do all the math and find all the deductions for you. Better still, many programs will keep track of your submissions year after year, so you don’t have to worry about an audit.
However, the IRS recommends that if you file any loss claims or bad debt reductions, you should hold onto supporting tax documents for up to seven years, and as a general rule, you should store records of your employment taxes for up to four years.
After that time has passed, feel free to throw away the old hard copies.
Take Your Documents to a Secure Shredding Facility
When you throw away the above files and documents, you can often lighten your moving load by several heavy boxes. But keep in mind that these files often contain important personal information that thieves could steal, so do not throw them in your garbage can with the rest of the trash. Instead, take them to a secure shredding facility to protect your identity.
And for more moving tips call a local moving professional. They can help you find more ways to lighten your load.