Removing the ‘work’ from home paperwork

home paperwork – We may be coerced into a paperless society – but how can we manage paperwork when a hefty volume still falls through the letter box and comes from other sources? Our lives are increasingly hectic.


home paperwork

home paperwork – There's the temptation to dump it in a pile, hoping it will naturally compost down and return to Mother Nature.

  Thankfully, nowadays we have to deal with significantly less paper due to documents sent by email and other forms of online communication – but paperwork needn't be a pest.

Get less…   When you sign up to or buy something online an idea could be to opt out of receiving ‘bumf'. If you do you may be surprised at how much less post you receive. A ‘no junk mail' sign on your front door may help dissuade ‘doormat droppers' from leaving unwanted material – but may still not be a grand solution to saving rainforests.  

Go for online statements   Bank statements, bills and junk mail are arguably the bane of most postbags. Switching from paper to online may cut a considerable volume of material, and also the risk of pieces of paper going astray or filed in the wrong place.

  Proof is in the…   It might be satisfying to see old paperwork go in the bin or shredder – but what about the items that need a stay of execution? Obviously, binning your passport or birth certificate is going too far – but what about keeping important receipts? Household insurer, the St Andrews Group (Corporate Partnerships), confirms that, in the event of any home insurance claim, each one is looked at on its own merits, and all cases proof of ownership is required.

Bin irrelevant material immediately   ‘I know, I’ll leave it on the floor, hoping the tooth ferries will take it away'. Bag it and bin it if it’s useless – for example yet another catalogue. Take care with donations – although they might be for a good cause there is a limit on the amount of reading material we can process and hence causes we can to donate to.


Rank and file   Have a look round your home. How many places can you count that collect odd bits of paper and envelopes? It may resemble a home to birds rather than humans, with nest-like clutches of paper hanging around all over the place. An idea could be to go through those pieces of paper; bin those outdated or meaningless, and archive those of importance in a file or folder and clearly label it.  This might include bills, insurance certificates, warranties, Aunt Mable's birthday wish list, whatever!

Keep the files in one place   How many times have you hunted round for that important document only to find that it's lost and gone forever? An idea could be to store the files in a filing cabinet or in a box where everyone in the home can access it. Clearly label, date and store the files – and don't forget to tell others where they are. Up in the loft, behind the water tank might not be the most accessible place. Keep the files or folders handy. Like keys, the may have a habit of disappearing into thin air!   This guest post was written by Andy Moore on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury's Bank blog. 


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