Problem: When is it safe to throw out a tax record, pay stub or bill?
Time Involved: Three hours to sort and toss
"If you keep what you need, you'll sleep well knowing if the IRS selects you for an audit, you can prove anything," says attorney Barbara Weltman, author of "J.K. Lasser's 1,001 Deductions and Tax Breaks." The IRS has up to three years from when you file to look for errors on your return and up to six years to audit you if it suspects you underreported income by 25 percent. (There's no limit if fraud is involved.) Hold on to what you must. (Check the table on page 6.) And the rest? Buy a shredder and turn those papers into confetti to celebrate all the newfound space in your closet. Just be sure to clean up.