We've lived in our home for 15 years now and have done a fair amount of work on the place. Everything from new roof, siding and insulation, to new mechanicals and landscape improvements. I have a large file drawer absolutely crammed with receipts for everything major and minor, the latter spanning from tree pruning, Roto-Rooter calls and handyman repairs to new perennials and evergreens, caulk tubes and window paint. I also have spreadsheets documenting the expenses.
It is a modest house, old and prone to needing frequent repairs. When we sell we won't see megabucks in capital gains. In fact looking at this stuffed file drawer I can't imagine seeing any sort of gains at all. So I'm wondering, do I really need to keep all this stuff? On the one hand when my husband wanted to find out the kind and quantity of stone that we bought for a project 13 years ago it was easy to pull out the receipt. Well, o.k., it took about 15 minutes of pawing and digging. But really, do I need to keep all this stuff?
It is rather distressing to be reminded every time I open the file drawer of how much we've spent on the house. On the other hand there is consolation in having proof that we've been keeping busy and active.
What sort of bookkeeping do you practice, fellow homeowners? Should I be trimming my house's bloated paper trail?