How To Manage & Destroy Sensitive Documents

image with dark grey background and text that reads how to manage and destroy sensitive documents

Do you have a filing cabinet, drawer or safe full of old documents? It’s important to organize and properly dispose of any outdated documents containing personally identifiable information (PII), and also properly store the documents you want to keep. Here’s a quick guide to safely managing and destroying sensitive documents.

Identifying Important Documents

Important documents can range from your yearly tax documents, passports, birth certificates, and health records, to name a few. It’s important to note that the IRS only has three years to perform an audit, so once that time passes, you can get rid of that year’s tax return forms. Other important documents may include:

  • Adoption Papers
  • Citizenship Paperwork
  • Health documents
  • Immunization records
  • Receipts for major purchases
  • Vehicle registration

Securely Store Important Documents

For documents you’ll want to hang on to, like birth certificates, wills, and property deeds:

  • Use fire-and-burglar-resistant safes
  • Consider safety deposit boxes for high-value items
  • A locked filing cabinet can suffice for less critical papers, such as tax documents or receipts

When To Get Rid of Important Documents

  • Shred tax documents after three to seven years
  • Dispose of outdated records like household inventories promptly once updated versions are created

How To Safely Destroy Documents

You’ve done your annual spring cleaning, and now it’s time to get rid of those documents that have been lying around a little too long. Here are a few safe options.

Following these steps ensures proper document management and protection of sensitive information.

More To Explore

Zero Down Payment Offer

To make the process as simple as possible with our Zero Down Payment mortgage offer, we encourage you to speak with a mortgage expert so they can explain the requirements and guide you through the process!

Find An Expert Near You

Need Help? Contact us at 800.442.2800 and we will help you get started with the application process.