Home Documents –What Do I Need To Keep?

SFYRKERH4NLast month we talked a little bit about the piles of business paperwork we can accrue, and which documents you needed to keep and which you could throw away. To follow on that theme, we realised that paperwork doesn’t just pile up in a business. We all get piles of junk mail come through our letter box at home every day, from credit card applications, insurance documents or a financial report from that company you worked for 10 plus years ago. The trouble is that for a lot of people this all just piles up and results in a paperwork disaster. So this month we focus on the domestic side of what you should keep and what you should shred. Depending on what type of document you are dealing with they can be split into 3 categories, you need to store some of them for certain periods of time, others you can digitise, some you can throw away and others you need to keep forever.

Keep Your Physical Copies Forever 

  • Birth and death certificates
  • National insurance numbers
  • ID cards and passports
  • Marriage licenses
  • Divorce certificates
  • Business licenses (if applicable)
  • Insurance documents
  • Wills, living wills and powers of attorney
  • Vehicle titles and finance documents
  • House deeds and mortgage documents

As a general rule you want to keep anything that relates to a legal matter, including certifications, licenses or deeds. There are 2 reasons for this. The first is that you want to have easy access to them in case you need them for any reason, but they are also a nightmare to try and replace, often taking up a lot of time and money. If you’re not quite sure of what to do with these documents once you have gathered them together, we recommend putting together an ‘in case of emergency’ kit and keeping it in a safe, so that you always know where they are and that they are secure.

Storage Or Digitise

  • Tax records (keep for 7 years)
  • Pay slips & bank statements (keep for 1 year)
  • Property purchase, sale or improvement documentation (should be kept for at least 6 years after sale or purchase)
  • Medical records
  • Warranty documents (keep as long as you own the item)
  • Insurance policy statements
  • Pension plan statements and documents

This second set of documents need to be kept around for a while but not indefinitely. You can either store them in a segmented filing cabinet or scan and digitise them for you if that is what you prefer. Things like bank statements are usually available online, so as long as you have them recorded you can shred the paper versions or request that the bank stop sending them. A good rule of thumb is to think about how hard that document is to replace. If you need to stand in line at a government office or spend hours on the phone applying for a replacement, you should probably keep it. If you can easily pop online to see or download a copy, you probably don’t need a physical copy.

Shred It!

There is no need for a bullet point list here, because pretty much everything else can be safely shredded or thrown away. When deciding whether a piece of paper belongs in the bin or the shredder, check what is on it. If it contains personal information like your name, address, bank details or any other personal identifiers, it should be shredded for security reasons. This might include things you don’t even think about, like the receipts you find in pockets or when you’re emptying out your wallet, old airline tickets or paid bills. You should also shred expired personal documents like passports, driver’s licences or NI number cards as soon as you get replacements for them. Make sure you use a decent cross cut shredder for these, or bag them up and drop them into a collection centre to be shredded professionally.

Hopefully this post has helped you sort through the pile of paperwork at home and create some easy to find piles for your essential documents. If you aren’t sure whether a document should be shredded or if you aren’t able to shred a document yourself, get in touch with one of our advisors for your free consultation and shredding advice.

Get Shredding In
3 Easy Steps

1. Order Online

Choose the amount of shredding sacks you require, place your order on our website and we’ll deliver

2. Fill

When you receive the shredding sacks, fill them with all the documents that need to be shredded, then contact us

2. We Collect

Contact us to arrange the collection of your full sacks. One of our team will collect the sacks on the pre-arranged date

Why Paper Is Bad For Productivity

Why Paper Is Bad For Productivity

In such a hectic modern world, businesses are always looking to find that perfect recipe for ultimate productivity. How to get the most work out of an employee in the time they are there, in the most efficient way possible, without causing burnout or reducing the...

Top 5 Documents You Might Not Be Shredding (That You Should)

Top 5 Documents You Might Not Be Shredding (That You Should)

Most of us like to think we’re very careful with our personal data. A lot of us now have a small personal shredder at home, so that we can get rid of our bank statements and bills properly. Or even better, we do everything online to avoid the paper trail altogether....

Why Shredding Can Help You Meet Your Productivity Goals

Why Shredding Can Help You Meet Your Productivity Goals

It’s a new year, which means new goals! For a lot of businesses we talk to, 2020 is the year of productivity. Of taking a business model that works, but making it work harder. There are lots of ways to make that happen, but one of the most often overlooked ones is...

Our simple and secure document shredding services are designed around you, to make light work of confidential document destruction.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon