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What to Move and What not to Move

What to move relocation guideWhen you decide to move, it can be a great motivation to simplify your life and leave behind the things that are weighing you down, whether you are moving your home or your office. However, your spouse, your kids and your boss will eventually find you if you leave them behind. Let's face it, there are items you need in your new place, and possessions you're better off without: the key to a successful move is knowing the difference.

Purge the Clutter

If you don't watch it, wear it or use it, you probably don't need it. For a business move, the same logic applies--if you haven't used the 2-hole punch since you stopped using 2 ring binders in 1973, you can safely leave it behind. Keep in mind that some larger pieces are cheaper to buy new than to move.

Get a Scanner

A security manager once showed me his file cabinet, wherein there was an invoice for a flag that his predecessor's predecessor's predecessor bought in 1978. The flag was retired 30 years ago; the invoice was not. Part of the reason for this is that he never really had to move his office. Moving can be an excellent time to organize corporate documents that would otherwise take over our workspace.

Of course it's hard to know what can be tossed and what must be saved. That same security manager had 30 years of incident reports that he accessed regularly to create trend data, answer safety questions, or respond to legal inquiries. Just because he had to save the forms, though, doesn't mean he had to save the hard copy. That cabinet full of notebooks filled with forms would probably fit on a single DVD or flash drive, or better yet, they could be saved with online cloud storage. If anything, it might make his data analysis easier. There are a few forms that would be absolutely necessary to keep in his case, at least for a year or two--specifically those dealing with medical records or criminal acts, but even those could be scanned and destroyed after a few years.

Make Digital Copies

Most experts agree that you only need most financial documents for seven years; which is the length of time during which the IRS can legally notice all the illegal deductions you've been taking and call for an audit. Even for those documents, however, the IRS doesn't necessarily need the paper copies--a scanned copy will be just fine for the IRS in most cases, according to MSN Money. A digital copy takes up less space and can be password protected, while a printed copy could easily be lost or stolen--it could even be plucked from the garbage if you fail to shred it when you throw it out. Again, with online storage you could completely remove these documents from your home or business for safety.

A move can be stressful, whether it's a residential or business move, but it can be a great opportunity to streamline your life, too. Being judicious about what you bring with you and using modern technology to turn paper documents into digital files can make your new space less cluttered and more efficient.

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