How to sort out your paperwork

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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