How to sort out your paperwork

Organise all your correspondence and important documents

white colour hanging storage and letters
(Image credit: TBC)

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

office with organized shelf with files and table with chair

(Image credit: TBC)

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

important documents kept in fireproof box or cabinet

(Image credit: TBC)

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
Holly Walsh
Holly Walsh

Holly Walsh has been Content Editor at Ideal Home since 2021, but joined the brand back in 2015. With a background of studies in Interior Design, her career in interior journalism was a no-brainer and her passion for decorating homes is still as strong as it ever was. While Holly has written for most of the home titles at Future, including Livingetc, Country Homes & Interiors, Homes and Gardens and Style at Home, Ideal Home has always been her ideal home, and she can be found sharing her expertise and advice across both the printed magazine and the website too.