Your new year’s resolution: get organized. January is a great time to go through files and boxes and purge – it’s too cold to venture outside anyway!

Paper can be a big source of stress when it comes to organizing; it’s hard to know what to keep and what can go. Maintaining your files electronically is a great option. Sign up for paperless statements from your credit union or bank and paperless bills through your utility suppliers or Canada Post. You can scan hard copies of anything else and maintain all of your files on your computer (remember to do regular back-ups!)If you don’t want to go totally electronic, start with a filing cabinet and appropriately labelled files. Your office supply store has lots of options and systems to help tame your paper.

Here’s a list to help you decide what to file and what to toss:


Tax returns The Canada Revenue Agency requires you to keep six years worth of tax-related documents, that’s six full calendar years, plus the current year. This includes all supporting documents in case you are selected for a review.
Bank statements Once you’ve reviewed your bank statements to ensure there aren’t any errors, statements don’t need to be kept. Sign up for online banking to review your accounts more frequently and have access to historical information.
Credit card receipts and statements Similar to bank statements, credit card statements can go once you’re sure they’re correct and paid.
Cancelled cheques For insurance purposes, keep cancelled cheques and receipts for large purchases. Everything else can be shredded.
Investment records Keep all purchase and reinvestment records for six years after the sale of the investment.
Utility bills Once they’re paid, utility bills don’t need to be kept. The exception is if you work from home and can claim a portion of home expenses on your taxes. These bills should be kept for seven years with your taxes. Receiving bills electronically is an easy option to reduce paper and keep records longer. If you’re considering selling your home, it’s handy to have a year of history for your home’s energy consumption.
Receipts Keep receipts for large purchases under warranty as long as the warranty is in effect. For debit purchases, ensure they’ve cleared your account correctly before shredding.
Pay stubs Keep your T4 slips with your tax return paper work. Your regular pay stubs can be shredded once you confirm they are correct.
House/mortgage records Keep all paperwork related to your home for as long as you own it, plus six years. This includes receipts for home improvements and expenses incurred when buying or selling a home.


Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc. My business story started a way back in 2001... …after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions. The latest addition to our family is the School Age Resource Guide to serve parents of children, 3 to 18 years!  This guide answers questions about: nutrition, bullying, curriculum, building self-esteem, and much more, as well as offering a full directory of local and national resources. The website offers an “all-in-one” spot for parents to connect, add their own blog, and find needed resources in their community.  It is a site that educates and entertains and if you can't find somthing just ASK me. I am here to serve YOU!  My hope is that you connect with our members, find comfort in their words, and share your own story. My goal is to see what I can do to help make life a bit easier for you.   You are why I do what I do! I can’t wait to get to know you!  Comment below to tell me about yourself – then start blogging so we can find out what makes you get up in the morning!  Check out my blog too and I am sure you will be surprised what gets me out of bed each day!!! Jennifer -  Mom and Publisher

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