Day Two: 40 Bags in 40 Days Decluttering Challenge

It is day two of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.  Were you able to accomplish one small area yesterday?  Did you find you were able to decide on objects really quickly or are you getting stuck?  Remember to keep your goals small each day as you start so you don’t immediately become overwhelmed by the process.

For the challenge today I worked on purging old records in my office.  While I own a shredder, I find for larger purges of paper I love to use the Shredding Source.  You can pick up bags at their office and fill them up (one bag holds one banker’s box worth of paper).  When the bag is full simply drop it back off for shredding. It costs around $15 per bag.

Considering one bankers box can take about an hour to shred by hand, even with the fastest shredder, I believe it is well worth the time savings.  Not to mention the fact that high volume shredding usually ends up in a difficult shredder jam or frequent overheating.  We keep one going in our home year round so it is easy to segregate the papers we no longer need but can’t just trash.

To save money on bulk shredding keep an eye out for free shredding days in the area.  They come up a lot in the Spring.

You can find contact information for The Shredding Source below.

The Shredding Source

2 Saw Pit Road

Guilford, CT 06437

Phone: 203.458.7667

TOLL FREE 866.875.8779




We all hold onto more paper than we need in our lives.  Here is a quick cheat sheet for how long you need to hold on to most household paperwork:

Tax returns: (6 Years): The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has six years to challenge

your returns. It is important to retain original copies of the return as well as supporting

documents such as receipts.

Investment Records: (2 Years: You want to compile records of your trades. If your

investment company or stockbroker sends you year-end summaries you can discard your

monthly statements and reduce paper. In addition, you want to save records of all non-

deductible individual retirement accounts to prove that you have paid taxes on that money.

Credit Card Bills: (1 year): Once you have reviewed the monthly statement it is

permissible to shred it when the next bill arrives. However, if you are self-employed, you will

want to keep your statements and file them with your tax records.

Bank Statements: (3 years): Be sure to attach your pay stubs and canceled checks when

you file them.

Charitable Deductions: (6 years): Most likely you will be retaining these records with

your tax returns therefore similar rules apply.

Medical Records: (6 years): Items to keep are receipts and insurance payments for

dentists, doctors, hospitals and prescriptions.

Home Related Records: (Duration of home ownership + 7 Years) It is important to save

real-estate records, transactions, property tax paperwork, warranties as well as the title and deed to your house. In addition, retain documents identifying home improvements such as contracts and receipts.

Vital Statistics: (Permanently): Passports, birth certificates, marriage and divorce papers

must never be thrown away.

Thank you for all of those people who shared their photos and progress with me via Facebook or email.  I love to hear your stories of accomplishment!


Happy Organizing,



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