UNITED STATES—I only do this about TWICE a year, but I have discovered that I should do it more often so it does not pile up. It’s shredding paperwork. I like to have paper documents of things because it allows me to actually see what is transpiring with my bank statement, my credit cards and my bills in general.

I want to SEE what is being charged to my accounts and what is being taken out of my accounts, so I can catch those discrepancies. So many of my credit cards want me to go electronic, but sorry that is NEVER happening. I want to see my actual statement and there is a reason I will not go electronic. There is a big reason for that: you don’t look at electronic statements as much as a paper document.

Trust me you might tell yourself otherwise, but I know people for a fact that as soon as they signed up to receive electronic documents, they stopped looking at their statements and charges that should not have transpired being overlooked. People don’t want to always log onto a computer and the reason this matters is because of security. People are not always comfortable logging onto a computer to check things related to their bank account because of potential identity theft concerns.

With paper documents you don’t have to worry about security concerns and you can actually see things that you did not spot on first glance. When you’re at a computer screen you can be distracted and when you have something in your hand you tend to look at it with more detail, let’s just be honest. However, with that said, when you have paper documents you can only store them for so long. When it comes bank statements keeping them on hand for at least 3 months is fine, not 3 years. I would argue the same with credit card statements. Taxes I’m more inclined to keep those in tack for at least 10 years as a precaution. That just makes me feel comfortable America.

The problem with paper documents is they can accumulate fast in just a week. We get so much junk mail a lot of the time we just toss it to the side and before you know it things need to be shredded to count down on the clutter. So here are some tips that I use. For starters, create piles, JUNK vs. IMPORTANT. If it is junk you can shred it with ease, if it’s important you have to determine what you want to keep and how long you want to keep it. Once you have your piles organized, it is time to start shredding. It could take much longer depending on how many documents you have to shred.

Be patient, take your time and you’ll be able to breathe lighter knowing things that were stressing you out or causing a headache has been taken care of. It might not happen overnight, but the key is that you got it down and that is all that matters.

Written By Zoe Mitchell