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Hang On To A Few Documents But Don’t Get ‘Buried Alive’

Hoarding
feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Cable station TLC has begun to run new episodes of its popular show Hoarding: Buried Alive, a show that lets the vast majority of us say, yeah, my house is cluttered but at least I’m not as bad as THAT guy.

But, if watching other dysfunctionals has convinced you to tidy once and for all, you might want to know what documents you should be keeping.

There are some documents with which you should never part – your birth certificate and social security card, your marriage certificate and divorce decree as appropriate, all of which should be kept in a secure location.

Some recommend you keep tax returns forever; at the very least you should be safe if you’ve kept them for seven years. Some documents you should keep for as long as you own the property – the deed to your house and title to your car, and it is a good idea to keep warranty information about products for as long as the warranty (and the product) lasts. And insurance information should be kept for the life of the policy and life of the person if it’s for life insurance.

The dust bunnies and newspapers from 1972 can be safely trashed before you’re buried alive.

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