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Office Clutter: The Only Documents You Need To Keep

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Office paperwork in filing cabinet

Office paperwork in filing cabinet

Paper clutter is one of the major sources of clutter in any office. If you can cut down on this source, you’ll be one step closer to a more organized and less cluttered space. It can be tough to know what to keep and what to toss. Your Scottsdale and Phoenix experts at Closet & Storage Concepts are here to break it down by listing everything that you need to keep.

Mortgage and Lease Agreements

Keep mortgage and lease agreements on hand for easy reference. This will make it easy to reference what was agreed on. If you are a landlord, this document will help protect your property and prove what is your responsibility. If you’re a tenant, keeping the agreement can help you verify if something is your landlord’s responsibility.

Debt Tracking

Keeping statements about debt, such as student loans or automobile payments are good to keep on file. If you like to track your finances online, you do not need to keep monthly credit card statements. However, keeping a copy of these statements on hand can be beneficial if you use them to track your budgets. You should only keep your credit card statements for proof of purchase or tax purposes.

Tax Returns

In general, tax returns should only be kept for seven years, although in some cases they should be kept indefinitely. If you’ve submitted a fraudulent return or omitted information, you should keep the tax return as well as corresponding documents like 1099-DIV and W-2 forms indefinitely. Be sure to keep documents organized by year.

Employment Information

Keep contracts, insurance information, as well as anything else you may sign as you are on-boarded. This will help prove employment information if you’re job searching or need it for reference. If you own your own business, keeping contracts is important as this defines what you are liable for and the scope of work you have been contracted to do.


Keep social security cards, passports, driver licenses, and other forms of identification secured and locked away. Lockable drawers can be used to prevent identity theft and can be designed into a custom office system. Fireproof safes or a safety deposit box at a bank are other options to keep these important documents.

You can also keep marriage and birth certificates in this file. Having copies of birth certificates and identification can be useful in an emergency, especially if you are traveling.

Wills and Legal Documents

Wills and other legal documents should also be kept on hand. This includes life insurance policies and beneficiary information, power of attorney, and medical and burial instructions. Be sure to label folders to make it easy to find what you are looking for.

For any items not on this list, make sure to shred them to protect your identity! Explore office storage from Closet & Storage Concepts or come visit our showroom to find ideas for office machinery, supplies, and necessary paperwork.

Photo © jdwfoto.