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When All Is Shred and Done – A Guide To What Not To Shred


Why not clear the decks at home and shred all that old paperwork you’ve been hanging on to “just in case”?

It’s great to have the extra space, and a tidy uncluttered house has a calming effect on the mind.

So which documents are important to keep, and what can safely go into the shredder?

Let’s begin with the papers you need to keep forever. Here’s a list you can check off:

  • Birth, adoption and death certificates
  • National Insurance and NHS cards
  • Pension plan documents
  • ID cards and passports
  • Marriage certificate and certificates of divorce
  • Business registration documents and deeds
  • Educational certificates and proof of professional qualifications
  • Any insurance policy
  • Wills and powers of attorney
  • Vehicle documentation
  • Bank loan documentation
  • House deeds and mortgage documents

You might find other documents which you know will be hard to replace without a lengthy and time-consuming process, so use your common sense and keep them as hard copies.

There are also some documents which need keeping for a number of years, including:

  • Tax records and receipts (keep for six years if self-employed, two years if employed)
  • Pay slips and bank statements (keep for a year)
  • Home purchase, sale, or improvement documents (keep for six years after you sell)
  • Warranty documents and receipts (keep as long as you own them)
  • Council tax bills and utility bills (six months for ID purposes).

Finally, there are documents which get updates every year, and it’s a good idea to keep the most recent version for reference. These include annual insurance policy statements and annual pension statements.

That’s probably covered all of your really important stuff. So shred the rest, and organise all of the papers you want to keep in a nice neat filing cabinet. We have shredders and filing cabinets here on our website if you need them.

Good luck for a stress-free, organised life!


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