On Deferring Documents

How to handle documents that you may not be sure of what to do with.

We all have lots of paper documents that come to us. Often it's receipts or statements that maybe we'll need, but probably not. But you never know, so you archive them. And forget about them. And then five years later, you try to clean up your document archives and you are awash in old documents that you remember nothing about.

What I've been doing lately is I tickle these documents twelve months into the future. A year seems like a good amount of time that if I need them, they'll still be around, but mostly likely, a year will go by, I won't need them anymore, and I can discard them then. When the current month rolls around next year, I'll be forced to deal with these documents as I check that month's tickler folder. I'll be able to know if this stuff was needed. If I need it sometime again in the next twelve months, it shouldn't be too hard to find in my tickler.