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Decluttering paperwork

(15 Posts)
attheendoftheday Thu 18-Apr-13 19:13:29

So, my quest for an organises house has finally reached the dumping ground spare room. I have 8 box files of paperwork and the most enormous pile of stuff yet to be sorted threatening to avalanche on the unwary.

So, I want to chuck as much as I possibly can. How long do you keep bills for? And payslips? And car documents like MOT certificates and insurance docs?

Any other tips on organising paperwork gratefully recieved!

attheendoftheday Thu 18-Apr-13 19:41:16

And bank statements? How long do I need them for?

mrspaddy Thu 18-Apr-13 19:48:43

Hi I bought a folder with 50 clear A4 pockets and keep the most important documents in it.. TV license, Car Insurance, Marriage Cert, Mortgage Documents etc. This cut down massively on paperwork as it is in a neat folder. I would advise changing bank statements to online statements.

I now shred my payslips as soon as they come in and I know they are correct as would get a duplicate from my employer (though never needed to yet).

Annually, as insurance etc changes I replace documents. HTH

mybelovedmonster Thu 18-Apr-13 19:52:04

Bills and statements - just chuck them all in a box fIle with the year marked on it. If you need to find a single document it only takes 5 mins and it saves all that time filing. Shred the entire box when its over 3 years old.

paneer Thu 18-Apr-13 19:54:40

Do you have a regular shredder? I am finding mine cannot cope with the volume. Means old papers a building up. I have started burning them in the barbeque, but makes me look like a loon.

specialsubject Thu 18-Apr-13 19:54:46

for the car:

MoTs are now all computerised so strictly speaking, you needn't keep anything - but I would keep the copies if I was ever planning to sell the car. Keep all records of work done on it, and correspondence relating to any insurance claims for three years after the incident. I think you only need to keep the information for your current insurance, as they will have proof of previous no claims.

once you have sold a car, keep only a copy of the V5 bit that said you sold it. This protects you if the next owner or the ones after that don't tell the DVLA and start racking up fines.

bills and payslips - anything relating to your tax return needs to stay for 7 years. (scream...) so put each year in a box file, stick it in a plastic box in your attic if you have one. Each year put up the previous year and shred the oldest.

StrangeGlue Thu 18-Apr-13 19:54:57

Get a file or box and put the stuff you'll need for ever in it - passports, birth certificates, driving license counterpart. Go paperless with the bank, if you ever need anything from them you can go in branch and they'll print it for you. Insurance etc I keep till it expires - what are you going to do with an old policy? Anything else I keep for one year.

Hth

attheendoftheday Thu 18-Apr-13 22:28:19

I am in awe of everyone's organisation. Thank you for the replies.

I love the idea of sticking everything together for the year, have implemented this now. At the moment my 'keeper' docs are spread through several box files, think I need to condense further.

DinoSnores Fri 19-Apr-13 14:35:24

"bills and payslips - anything relating to your tax return needs to stay for 7 years. (scream...) "

That's not the case. For most people, it is only a year after. See the HMRC website for how long you need to keep your records:

You must normally keep your business records for another five years after the online tax return deadline of 31 January, in case HMRC decides to check your return. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/rec-keep-self-emp.htm#5

and directors: You must normally keep your records for another year after the online tax return deadline of 31 January, in case HMRC decides to check your return. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/record-keeping.htm#3

DinoSnores Fri 19-Apr-13 14:38:15

"bills and payslips - anything relating to your tax return needs to stay for 7 years. (scream...) "

That's not the case. For most people, it is only a year after. See the HMRC website for how long you need to keep your records:

Self-employed?

must normally keep your business records for another five years after the online tax return deadline of 31 January, in case HMRC decides to check your return. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/rec-keep-self-emp.htm#5

Individuals and directors?

must normally keep your records for another year after the online tax return deadline of 31 January, in case HMRC decides to check your return. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/record-keeping.htm#3

(Sorry, links didn't work quite right first time there.)

undercoversahm Fri 19-Apr-13 14:44:47

Tax: remember that for capital expenditure on capital assets you have to keep your records for as long as you keep the asset plus a year or two eg if you own a buy-to-let property and spend money on it in Year 1, then you can deduct it from the gain in the year of sale but need to be able to provide records even if donkey's years later. So keep those invoices (boring as it is).

LBsBongers Fri 19-Apr-13 14:47:46

I would only keep the current up to date MOT and car insurance documents ( keep cover letter from last insurance renewal as proof of any no claims). You don't need evidence that it passed its MOT 3 years ago.

DH takes paperwork into his office to shred on their industrial size shredder

specialsubject Fri 19-Apr-13 15:05:50

Dinosnores - thanks, didn't know that. Out with more paperwork!!

Jan49 Sat 20-Apr-13 11:18:06

I keep a lot more than some people mention here.blush I have a suitcase type box with dividers for things like bills. Things that take up a lot of space have a separate folder, either cardboard A4 folders or the A4 plastic envelope type. Bank statements go in a ring binder and when it's full, after about 4 years, I shred the oldest ones.

As for insurances, someone could claim against your personal liability insurance (part of your motor and household insurance) for something which happened before your current policy was in force and the current insurers might refuse to pay, or you could get a letter after renewal date to advise of an incident you didn't know about but which happened before the renewal date, so I'd definitely keep the old records or a note of the company and policy number. I just put all these things away in folders so I could find them if I needed to. At the moment they're on high shelves but I'm planning to buy archive boxes so I can keep stuff boxed up when moving house and not unpack them.

I have a tiny shredder as I don't need one that often, and it's quite slow to use but I only shred when really necessary. Some utility bills have all the important details on the top (your name, address, ref no.) so I tear off that bit and shred it and recycle the two-thirds which just shows the meter reading and bill total.

DewDr0p Sat 20-Apr-13 15:06:03

long term stuff eg passports, tax stuff, some mortgage docs etc go in filing cabinet.

Then I have two of those divided files things and all short term filing (utility bills, cc statements etc) goes in that. Each one is for a year - so atm I am filing into 2013 and have a full set from 2012. At the end of this year I will bin everything from the 2012 box and that will become 2014 iyswim? I realised that filing the stuff wasn't that hard but I never got round to then binning it later - this makes it very easy.

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