How to sort out your paperwork

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  • Organise all your correspondence and important documents

    Narrow down paperwork to the essentials that must be kept and sort into relevant categories.

    • Bin all old leaflets, catalogues and junk mail that isn’t of interest.
    • Check shopping receipts and cash machine slips against your bank/credit card statements, and shred any that you don’t need to keep.

    What to keep in your files

    Select a mixture of boxes and trays to suit your requirements

    Have a file for each of the following – some may need to be sub-divided into plastic sleeves

    • Statements from banks and building societies, credit-card bills
    • Car – MOT certificates, registration and insurance documents (separate files for each vehicle)
    • Employment records, payslips, pension information and tax returns
    • Family – one file for each child with health and school records, etc
    • Property – mortgage papers, building warranties
    • Instruction manuals and warranties for appliances (bin any for items you no longer own)
    • Insurance policies – separate into buildings, contents, health, travel
    • Medical cards
    • Bills – separate into gas, electricity, water, telephone and broadband, council tax, TV licence, etc
    • Miscellaneous correspondence – keep an extra A-Z file for this

    What to keep in a fireproof box or cabinet

    Minimise the risk of losing important documents

    Hard-to-replace documents should be stored securely, such as:

    • Certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, custody/adoption and death
    • Diplomas, qualifications and examination certificates
    • House insurance policy details – key information in case of emergency
    • Your will – keep a copy at home
    • Passports and visas
    • Share certificates and savings books

    What to keep at your solicitor’s office

    • House deeds
    • Original copies of your current will

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