We spend a lot of time talking about your business records. But everyone also has personal records that they need to maintain. You should follow the same disciplined process for these records as you do with business records.
The threat is not from privacy law requirements (HIPAA or FACTA) but from identity thieves. There is also a need to keep records for tax returns and insurance reasons. A well maintained system allows you to get the records you need with very little effort.
How Long to Keep Personal Records
The biggest issue for most people is how long to keep records. It is never good to fall into the save everything forever camp or the shred everything right away camp. To take a more disciplined approach here are the basics of personal record retention in one sheet.
Always check with your lawyer and accountant to make sure no special rules apply to your information. Plan an annual file clean out where you shred all the expired documents.
How To Protect Personal Records
Most identity theft is done by people the victim knows. Keep all of your records under lock and key. The inconvenience of keeping a key is worth it when compared to the pain of correcting a stolen identity. An unlocked file cabinet will also be a target if someone breaks into your house.
Keep a Backup
As fires rage across the west this summer, tornadoes hit Oklahoma last spring, and hurricanes devastated New Jersey last winter it reminds us that your home is always under the threat of a natural disaster.
Keep a copy of all important records in a second location. You can keep an electronic copy at a friends house a reasonable distance away or use an online backup service. The worst thing you can do is have the copy sitting next to the original.
With a bit of work you can have a streamlined record keeping system at your home. Take the few minutes to file or shred all the mail that comes in and you won’t be left with a daunting task. When you realize there is no more space in your file cabinet it is already too late. The bonus is when you need any record for an audit or to refinance your home it is all at your fingertips.
Need Quotes on Personal Records Storage? Record Nations Can Help!
If you would like to free up space in your house, or want your important records securely stored in a secondary location, our records storage experts can help you maintain your records storage needs regardless of format. We can help you manage your hard-copy records, and even guide you through the transition to a paperless office.
Record Nations has been providing document management solutions for over a decade. Let us help you find the right document storage solution for you. To get started, fill out the form on the top right of this page, or give us a call at (866) 385-3706. Within minutes, you’ll have several companies in your area to choose from.