Need ideas for more attractive storage of old paperwork

peabody1September 5, 2013

I would like to find a more attractive way to store old paperwork. In my closet I have those cardboard boxes with lids containing old paperwork: tax papers, statements, doctor related paperwork, credit card statements, etc. I have gone through and thrown away alot, but some things I think I still might need. I have these boxes sitting on one of those metal shelving shelving rack.

I saw someone's closet the other day that had cute baskets for organization. I just can't picture anything cute for all my manilla envelopes full of paperwork.

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You could cover the boxes with attractive contact paper. Or buy decorative boxes.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 8:53AM
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I don't particularly like cardboard boxes in my home because bugs love to nest in the tunnels. I have plastic drawer sets that hold mine. I don't have much but do have folders for each trip I have taken and tax statements for the last ten years. I throw monthly bill away after a year.

You could just keep the closet door closed.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 10:45AM
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I would never spend good money on attractive storage for old paperwork like you describe!
My things are in ziplock bags by year, tossed into a plastic bin.

Why do you keep CC statements?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 11:32AM
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I bet you need way less than you have!!

No credit-card statements need to be kept longer than a few months. Only long enough to help you if you want to return the item, etc. They aren't "primary" records; they're just a list that's sent to you as a snapshot of where your account is right now. Once you look it over and decide that all the charges are legit, you can toss them.

Doctor info can be consolidated in a lot of ways--docs keep the primary records. You do NOT need to keep insurance statements--again, that's just a list the company makes for you to be helpful *this month*. Just keep any info that tells you which doctors you saw and what the diagnosis was, and maybe what the date was. Copying that into a notebook, or pulling just one sheet here and there is really all you need. 'Few of us actually have detailed info--it's only recently that doctors have started giving me a computer printout that has the diagnosis, the date, the treatment plan on it. THOSE, I'd say punch holes and put in a binder.

I took cardboard boxes and misted them with a glossy paint. It took a few coats (since I didn't want to saturate them), but they look very nondescript and glossy.

Another option is to get decorative boxes like photo boxes (I think you can get document boxes that are covered in a colored paper, and lay the papers flat inside them. You can divide up by type of paperwork, and then stack the boxes.

Here is a link that might be useful: document boxes and other storage boxes

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:26PM
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These are nice!

Paper is usually 8.5x11--you should go with a slightly larger size, since you want some wiggle room. 10x12, or a tiny bit bigger.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:29PM
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I save all of my bills including the CC bill for a year and a couple of times I was very glad I did.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 3:08PM
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The reason I keep so much old paperwork is because I went through a divorce. My ex made me provide every bank statement, tax paper, I had to account for any money I spent, etc. It was my money that I earned, but he wanted to be difficult. We were married many years and I had to spend a lot of time and money trying to retrieve all these documents for all the years we were married. And it all didn't mean a thing. It was just to make my life miserable. So now I have a fear that somewhere down the line I will have to provide proof of something that happened 15 years ago. By the way, he didn't provide anything.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 8:16AM
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You could spend a nice chunk of change on adorable baskets, but why? They probably won't hold as much as the boxes you're using, and you'd be spending money on something that represents a miserable period in your life. Why not put that money toward something that would bring pleasure in you life?

But, you want ideas, so: Contact paper, or any of the storage boxes at Ikea -- maybe there's one near you, or at least not a day's drive! If you just don't like looking at the off-white boxes, you could find a fabric remnant at Joann's and similar stores and wrap the boxes with it, just tucked around them as if you were making a bed, so you have a pretty color or pattern to see when you open the closet door.

(My cardboard boxes of old papers are tucked in the back of the closet; occasionally I go through and toss stuff. I understand the niggling feeling that makes us not want to shred everything -- just in case!)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Cover the boxes in duct tape--like this lady did!

Here is a link that might be useful: Scotch duct tape, in lots of colors, etc.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:02AM
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Hi everybody. I'm Tricia. I don't usually post on this forum, just lurk, but mustangs can (I hope!) vouch for me.

I just wanted to say that it IS a good idea to keep CC statements if you use CC for major purchases. We were flooded out from Sandy. I used my CC statements in lieu of receipts in many cases for the insurance company. Having those statements saved us thousands.

Back to your regular programming...


    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:04PM
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Yeah.. that is why I don't keep the CC statement - - - because I DO have all my receipts.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:22PM
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We bought our daughter a TV/DVD player. . Several (maybe 4?) months later it stopped working. We had thrown out both the warrantee/guaranty card and the credit card bill, but we were certain it was still under some sort of warrantee. I phoned the CC company, they sent us a copy of the paid bill which we then submitted to the TV manufacturer. Within a few days a new TV was delivered to her.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:59AM
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An example of what I meant was my Clavinova piano. I'm handicapped and do not get out to stores frequently. I purchased my Clavinova over the phone and arranged to have it delivered. I never received a regular receipt like I would have gotten had I physically been in the store. The ONLY record of purchase was on the CC I'd used over the phone. Same thing with quite a few overseas etsy purchases I've made since the flood. My primary receipt is my CC. All listed neat and tidy. Instead of 500 receipts for after flood purchases - I've got just 5 monthly CC statements. No need for boxes of stuff. I have one CC that I use for household "stuff". Really convenient and easy.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 11:55AM
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But would your credit-card company be able to provide that? It might take longer, but wouldn't it be available?

The statement is simply a temporary report drawn up by the credit card company using their records.

And most vendors will not accept a credit card statement as a receipt, because of that. It's not *their* paperwork.

Of course, having date, etc., etc., makes finding their own records easier, etc.

But I still say: most statements are only "snapshots in time" drawn from the primary records. And most of the time, those primary records are accessible. Perhaps not easily, but they are.

Maybe check w/ your credit card company if you're worried.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:21PM
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For those who save all their receipts, do you scan them? I scan some -- for items, say, $30 and up (not clothing) -- and attach them to my photo house inventory, when I think I need to. But many receipts use ink that is meant to fade after a while, even when you keep them in a box tucked away in a closet (I don't know why some stores do this, but it is not unintentional).

I still have my computer receipts, receipts from housing projects (wood floors, carpeting), some other electronics items. But I just can't imagine saving so many, physically!

(Altho I do admit looking at an old credit-card statement and not having the vaguest idea what a $50 purchase at Best Buy was for. It took me a while to remember it was a gift card for one of my nephews.)

A few times, Amazon purchases came without receipts. Not Marketplace vendors, but direct-from-Amazon purchases. Annoying.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 12:39PM
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Pandan shirt boxes!

the Container Store has them, sometimes on sale. They are woven from pandan leaves (screwpine) and originally were used to deliver laundered shirts (my dad had some from his time in the south seas in WW2). They are wonderful, stylish and natural. I've had about a half dozen for 15 years. They look brand new.

I've stored paper, office supplies, camera, iPod and computer attachments. They just keep everything out of sight but are much better looking than plastic or cardboard.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Here's a how-to for covering boxes in fabric. Or, use wallpaper instead (or contact paper).

Here is a link that might be useful: how-to for covering boxes in fabric

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Here's another example of how to cover a box with fabric.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:01PM
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