There are likely billions of pieces of paper in our country, from personal papers to business accounts to archived documents. Not only does this mean fire hazards and clutter, it’s unclear to many which documents need to be legally kept. And getting confused means that people end up collectively paying millions of forgotten direct debits to insurance companies and gym memberships. Sorting out your paperwork really does make life simple, from making a simple legal Will to digitising loved photos (and getting rid of the rest) to sorting out what papers to keep, what to recycle and what to shred.
The Paper Solution is about what to keep, what to shred and how to stop paperwork taking over your life. We are drowning in paper and keep stacks of it on the kitchen counter, stash it in drawers, and stuff file cabinets with 18,000 sheets each. Lias Woodruff shows how to declutter and organise to remove the heavy chaotic mess and reclaim time to do what you love.
A driving license or passport is a good idea, as today it’s needed for nearly everything as a form of ID. If you don’t drive and don’t want a passport, then get an ID card. Not having one of these will make life stressful and longwinded, to do anything from opening a bank account to setting up a business.
- Keep all your car documents in one place.
- Insurance documents in one place too .
- Birth certificates. Marriage and divorce and death certificates.
- A living will and a Will, including a pet trust for companion animals. And power of attorney.
- Your business documents including a business bank account.
- Your bank account details with any other savings and financial documents.
- Your house documents including the deeds and mortgage documents.
- National insurance numbers.
- Business licenses and insurance. and tax info.
You have to keep tax records for 7 years, payslips and bank statement for 1 year. Keep all home documents after the sale for 6 years.
- Medical records.
- Warranty documents.
- Pension details
You can recycle and shred nearly everything else. If you are only doing this once or occasionally, you don’t have to buy a shredder. You can shred it by and or if not glossy, put it in the compost bin. Shredder scissors do the same as a shredder, but without the bulk and electricity, so ideal if you regularyl have to shred small amounts of paper. They have 5 sets of blade to easily prevent fraud. Use them to instantly shred confidential documents and photos and credit cards into unreadable confetti. You can also use them to shred salads, vegetables, herbs and pasta (but be sure to wash them first, to avoid any ink going on your food!)
How to Prevent ID theft and fraud
The simpler your life, the better. If you live simply and shop locally, you are not as much a target for tsomeone who shops online all the time. Don’t take out credit cards or loans, and get out of debt and go with a green ethical bank.
- Keep all your numbers in a safe place and also see how to get rid of junk mail. Don’t fill in surveys or play international lorries.
- Safeguard your physical mail. If you don’t feel safe, then use a virtual business address or po box number (more expensive and you have to check it regularly, or they will shut it down).
- Secure your mobile devices, always update software and get off social media or secure settings.
- Enable SSL on website sand blogs, never click email spam links and avoid public wi-fi, isntall Nord VPN, a bonus at just £10 or so a month. and it is as secure as military.
- Cup your hand when entering pin numbers.
- Never buy from salesmen, even if they have a special offer only available today. That’s a common scam.
- Report anything suspicious to Action Fraud.
- Never give banking details or passwords to people you don’t know. Genuine ones will never ask over the phone.
- Don’t be embarrassed. Clever people get scammed. Ask for help.
Keep Online Passwords Secure
Last Pass is an online password manager trusted by millions. the basic version is free, or upgrade for more options. Logging in fast and easy once secured, and all payment and shipping details are filled in for you. You get passwords to protect against hackers, and you can also store digital records and notes like insurance cards, memberships and wifi passwords, all safe but easy to find.
DinoPass is an easy password generator for children. Children can choose from simple or strong passwords. They are generated from a large set of preselected words, and ensure there are no offense words nor offensive combinations. If one gets accidentally generated, just let them know.