Is your filing cabinet packed so full you can’t fit in another piece of paper? Is your desk buried? If so, your paper shredder and CD burner should become your new best friends. It’s time to cut office clutter.

Perhaps clearing out clutter has been on your to-do list, but it can be a hard task to start when you’re not sure which documents you should keep or for how long. Use the accompanying checklist to determine how to sort through your files. It was compiled with the help of John Grape, an AgStar Financial Services business consultant, in Baldwin, Wis., and Barbara Rowe, with Utah State University family consumer sciences.

Before you begin, do consult with your financial advisor to ensure that you’re keeping the right information. Then, convert as much data as possible to electronic storage and shred the rest.

You’ll need an office safe or a bank safety deposit box for your permanent files. Also, be sure to transfer data from your computer hard drive to disc or CD-Rom storage regularly to keep your computer performing at optimum levels. Finally, update your records’ storage plan as necessary.