Retention Schedules

How long should you keep old documents around your home or office? That’s a question most of us need to answer at some point. But, rather than answer it haphazardly, you can create a tool, called a “retention schedule,” to answer that question for you.

Retention schedules classify how long we should keep a document by what type of document it is. For example:

Checks should be kept for 7 years
Duplicate deposit slips 1 year
Expired insurance policies 3 years
Deeds and mortgages, permanently
Accounts payable and accounts receivable ledgers 7 years
Routine correspondence with customers or vendors 1 year
Other general correspondence and memos you create 3 years

Creating these retention schedules helps us systematically reduce clutter so we’ll be more effective and stay focused on what is most important.

One document that never needs a retention schedule however is the Bible. God said His Word would endure forever. That’s why staying focused on it is a sure way to redeem the time.

Rick Grubbs is best known as the host of “Redeeming the Time,” a one-minute radio program featured on hundreds of radio outlets around the world. He has spoken thousands of times on Biblical time management in all 50 states and 26 other countries. He is the author of the book “Morning Momentum: God’s plan for launching an unstoppable day”. He and his wife Carrie live in Salisbury NC with several of their 12 children.

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