How To “KonMari” Your Finances

Josh Cleveland and The Cedar Street Band

Borrowing from the wildly popular “KonMari method” of getting your life organized, getting your financial affairs in order may start with getting rid of any unnecessary documents that may be cluttering up your life.

While very few financial documents may spark actual joy to your life, I suggest saving only those documents that may have some value in the future. Shred the rest.

Shred It

On May 7th, Focus Financial hosted its 5th annual shredding event in which clients can bring their personal documents to be shredded by a professional shredding company.  Shred-it of MN provides “secure document destruction” services to over 300,000 customers around the world, as well as community Shred-it events like the one we are hosting.

To learn more about hosting a Shred-it event for your business or organization, read this blog post.

Some tips on what documents to keep and what you should destroy.

Keep forever. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but the following documents should be kept in a secure place forever.

  • Birth and death certificates
  • Social security cards
  • Pension plan documents
  • ID cards and passports
  • Marriage license
  • Insurance policies
  • Wills, living wills, power of attorney, and other legal documents
  • Titles to vehicles you own
  • House deed and mortgage documents

Tax returns. Most experts recommend keeping your tax returns for up to seven years. However, once your return is organized and stored in a safe place, I say keep it forever. Odds are your tax returns aren’t taking up that much space. Besides, there are some situations in which the IRS can go back and audit you indefinitely.

For a more detailed list of what documents to keep and for how long, check out this article by Consumer Reports.

Mike Branch with Tom and Carole Griffith, clients since 1993

The Focus Financial Shred-it event has also become a fun opportunity to spend time with clients in a fun and decidedly non-work atmosphere – Able Seedhouse + Brewery, in this case.

Food, beer, good music and the promise of a more organized financial life, is there a better way to spend a nice spring evening?