The idea of storing all your documents can seem challenging. Knowing how long to keep those documents and when to get rid of them can be downright overwhelming. Here’s a list that can help you know how to cycle through your documents so you don’t end up with a document as old as the Magna Carta cluttering your files when you don’t need it. This guide is only meant to be a quick reference, so before you go throwing documents away, be sure to consult with a professional.

1 year:

Receiving sheets
Stenographer’s notebooks
Bank reconciliations
Duplicate deposit slips
Purchase orders

3 years:

Correspondence (general)
Employment applications
Insurance policies (expired)
Internal audit reports
Saving bond records
Physical inventory tags

7 years:

Purchase orders (purchasing dept. copy)
Accident reports and claims (settled)
Accounts payable ledgers
Accounts receivable ledgers
Contracts and leases
Employee personnel records
Expense analyses
Invoices to customers
Invoices from vendors
Vouchers for payments to vendors and employees
Notes receivable ledgers
Option records (expired)
Payroll records and summaries
Sales records
Scrap and salvage records
Stock and bond certificates
Subsidiary ledgers
Time books


Audit reports of accountants
Capital stock and bond records
Cash books
Contracts and leases in effect
Correspondence (legal matters)
Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale
Depreciation schedules
Financial statements
General and private ledgers
Insurance records, claims, policies
Property appraisals
Property records
Tax returns and worksheets
Trade mark registrations
Computer records, backup of all business records