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The Guide to Decluttering Paperwork: It’s Not as Bad as It Sounds

Simple rules for arranging family paperwork: what to throw away, what to file and how long should I keep each document?

The romantic times when a person would be excited to see an envelope in his mailbox and expect to discover its contents are long gone. Today we know exactly what awaits us in the mailbox: advertising leaflets, letters from the bank, messages from the study fund and letters upon letters from state authorities.

At this stage, the population is divided into three types: those who pile up the letters without opening them and wait until Elijah the prophet comes to open them for them, those who open – stare at the documents and throw them in the trash, thinking that “everything must be on some computer,” and those who, in holy reverence, file each document in thick binders mottled with gray and black.

The mailbox is not the only place where annual reports accumulate, more and more of them reach our email. True, in the modern age it is possible to retrieve a lot of information even without keeping it. But the energy that needs to be corrupted on this is great and unnecessary. The solution: arrange paperwork smartly and thoughtfully.

Smart conduct in organizing paperwork

The family archive should be treated as an important information center regarding the family’s conduct. Archives should be managed according to clear and simple rules that must be followed regularly and responsibly. We recommend these basic rules:

  1. Sorting: When receiving a letter, we must decide whether the information contained in it requires our action or not. If an action is required, such as payment or updating details that do need to be updated, it should be placed in the “Documents for processing” location. If no action is required, it is necessary to examine whether the document is needed or not. For this purpose, you can use the table at the end of the article, which is recommended to print and save. For example, when receiving the monthly or bi-monthly electricity bill, we must make sure that the amount charged by standing order or credit card matches the charge on the bill.
  2. Filing : After sorting and handling the mail, it must be filed in an orderly manner: by subject, and within each subject – by date. Again, it’s a good idea to use the table to set aside a specific amount of time to save each document.
  3. Disposal: Once a year, say in the second half of every January, all documents that no longer need to be kept should be discarded.

What if most of my accounts are on my computer at all?

You can receive a large portion of invoices and quarterly and annual reports by e-mail, or self-service – access to a password-secured area on the website of the company providing the service. It is recommended to save digital reports in an organized folder on your computer and save paperwork and handling it in this way. This is subject to prior registration for the service to receive reports by email. Many entities encourage these actions in order to save the hassle and expense involved in handling the shipment.

At the end of December 2017, a new directive was issued by the Capital Market Authority, according to which new savers and policyholders will choose how to receive the annual report: by SMS, email or mail. The default for new joiners has changed, and if the financial institution has the saver’s email address or mobile phone number, the annual report will be sent through one of them.

If you want to manage all the paperwork on the computer, the documents that still arrive by mail can be scanned to the computer into the same folders (a photocopy is accepted in court as proper evidence), but it is advisable to keep the original document as well.

Table

In order not to overload the hash of documents and files, we specified in the working paper which document should be kept, for what purpose and for how long. The following is a recommendation for filing documents according to subjects (the statute of limitations establishes a period of 7 years during which a citizen can claim financial rights or debt repayments).

Current (current expenses)
Document name How long to keep? What to save for?
housing
Arnona A year back (some recommend 7 years) If there is an error in municipal tax charges, refunds can be claimed for the last 7 years.
water A year back (some recommend 7 years) If there is an error in the water charges, refunds can be claimed for the last 7 years.
electricity Change back Tracking and proof of payment.
gas Change back Tracking and proof of payment.
House Committee Change back Tracking and proof of payment.
communication
Mobile provider sign-up contract As long as you are connected to the provider. If you switch to another company, keep for another year in case they continue to charge. For clarification in case of overcharge.
Mobile Phone Account Change back Follow-up and proof of payment.Comparative analysis between months.
Landline bill Change back Tracking and proof of payment.
Internet provider onboarding contract (infrastructure and service provider) As long as you are connected to the provider For clarification in case of overcharge. If you switch to another company, keep for another year in case they continue to charge.
ISP account Change back Tracking and proof of payment.
Contract to join a cable/satellite company As long as you are connected to the provider. If you switch to another company, keep for another year in case they continue to charge. For clarification in case of overcharge.
Cables/Satellite Change back Tracking and proof of payment.
Subscriptions
Tami 4 and other water bar suppliers Change back Tracking the amount of the charge and the end of the subscription.
Newspapers, magazines and magazines Change back Tracking the amount of the charge and the end of the subscription.
library Change back Tracking the amount of the charge and the end of the subscription.
Fitness centre, theatre, etc. Change back Tracking the amount of the charge and the end of the subscription.

 

Car
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Route 6 Change back For tracking, control and proof of payment.
Annual Licensing (Test) Until vehicle licensing resumes Keep in your wallet.
Comprehensive or third-party car insurance Until insurance is renewed If only an addendum is issued when renewing the policy, keep the basic policy.
Car Book / Repair Receipts As long as you own the vehicle To prove at the time of its sale the servicing and repairs made to the vehicle.
Traffic fines 7 years back For tracking and proof of payment. After 7 years, there is a statute of limitations on transfer.
Parking fines Forever As long as notices are sent to the debtor, whether by mail or by manual delivery (e.g. by foreclosures) every period of time shorter than three years, the penalties for offenses do not become obsolete.
Accident documentation 7 years and/or until sale, whichever is later For protection against claims.
Buy/sell contract 7 years and/or until sale, whichever is later For protection against claims.

 

Bank, loans and credit cards
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Contract for opening a bank account As long as the account is active If you close your bank account, save for another year in case of inquiries or disagreements.
Credit card reservation contract As long as the card is active. If you cancel your card, keep it for another year in case they continue to charge. For clarification in case of overcharge.
Bank account statements 3 months (some recommend 7 years) Ongoing monitoring of bank accounts: cashed checks, accounts paid. Standing orders that went down and more.
Credit card printouts 3 months (some recommend 7 years) Tracking purchases and standing order charges.It is recommended to keep for 7 years proof of payment to the various authorities.
Appendices of checkbooks A year back (some recommend 7 years) For tracking and proof of payment.
Loans (bank, credit company, work, friends, etc.) Until maturity date It is enough to save the latest report.
Documentation on bank account closure/credit card cancellation Forever

 

Savings
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Investment portfolio opening agreement, deposits and savings plans (short- and medium-term instruments) Until redemption day To prove the conditions.
Periodic reports – deposits and savings plans Until redemption day It is enough to save the last report.
Agreement to join a pension fund, executive insurance, provident fund, financial insurance, study fund (medium and long-term financial instruments) Until redemption day Proof of joining, terms and beneficiaries.
Periodic Reports – Pension Fund and Executive Insurance Last quarterly report and last annual report to keep until redemption date. It is worth saving all reports from all years. If disagreements or problems arise with payments. It is important to keep all annual reports until maturity, especially in the case of transferring funds between tracks and insurance companies to prove continuity and eligibility.
Periodic Reports – Continuing Education Fund Last quarterly report and last annual report until redemption date. Proof of eligibility.It is important to keep all annual reports until maturity, in case of deposits above the ceiling that qualify for tax benefits.
Periodic Reports – Provident Fund Last quarterly report and last annual report until redemption date. Proof of eligibility.It is important to keep all annual reports until maturity. In the case of funds mobilization, route changes to ensure the containment of sequences and the preservation of tax entitlements and benefits.
Periodic Reports – Investment Portfolio Until the case is closed Ongoing monitoring of finances, investments and commissions. It is recommended to keep all reports during the year until you receive a summary annual report from the bank (Form 867).
It’s a good ideato add a summary table that includes your savings account number, bank details, and associate number.

 

Insurance
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Insurance policies of any kind (contents, structure, mortgage, life, loss of work capacity, financial savings, health, nursing, dental) Until the policy is canceled, renewed or fully redeemed, whichever is later. There are insurances in which eligibility is maintained even after the policy ceases to be paid (accrued entitlement).
Payment confirmation – home insurance (contents, structure) Until the policy is renewed To prove insurance coverage and check the cost.
Periodic Reports – Mortgage Insurance (Life) Until full repayment of the mortgage To prove insurance coverage and check the cost.
Periodic reports – life insurance, disability insurance, health, nursing, dental Keep periodic reports – the last quarterly report and the last annual report for as long as the policy is valid. It is worth saving all reports from all years. Proof of regular payment of premiums is important in the event of disagreements in an insurance claim.
Private health insurance and supplementary health insurance through an HMO Keep the latest report for as long as the policy is valid. Proof of eligibility.
It is recommendedto add a summarytablethat includes the policy number, insurance company, type of insuranceand name of the insured.
Table detailing digital referral channels for insurance companies

 

work
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Contract with the workplace Until the termination of the employee-employer relationship with the employer. The contract will serve as a legal basis in case of disagreement.
Salary slips 2 years (some recommend 7 years) In case there is a disagreement between the employer and the employee regarding wages.To examine the social contributions and compare them with credits to provident funds, pension funds and study funds.
Promotions and bonuses Attach to the contract with the workplace and keep together To check eligibility in the future.
Form 106 Forever(some recommend 7 years) As proof of payment to the National Insurance Institute, reporting to the Income Tax if requested, requesting tax refunds (after 7 years it is not possible to submit tax coordination or tax returns) and proof of contributions to pension instruments.
Termination documents (Form 161, 161A) It’s a good idea to save until you start receiving the allowance. Even when there is approval from the Income Tax Commission, sometimes it is required. to prove the certificate request.
Resume Until your resume is updated Serve quickly as needed.

 

housing
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Contract for renting an apartment 7 years To protect the rights in the property.
Apartment rental contract As long as you live in an apartment To monitor compliance with all terms of the contract and to protect against claims.
Contract for the purchase and sale of an apartment (including approvals for purchase tax payments) Forever Proof of ownership, payment and accounting for tax issues.
Land Registration Draft (Taboo) Forever To prove eligibility on the property.
Mortgage Until full repayment It is enough to save the last report.
Receipts (repairs, renovation) Year To make sure repairs and renovations are in order.

 

Taxes
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Income Tax – Capital Declaration Forever The previous capital statement will serve as the basis for preparing the new capital statement.
Income Tax – Tax Coordination End of fiscal year All accounting after the end of the fiscal year will be carried out through an annual report.
Income Tax – Approval of Sequences Until the beginning of receiving an allowance or until redemption, whichever is later. To prove eligibility for withdrawal conditions.
Income Tax – Tax Deployment Approval 7 years from the end of the deployment period To attach to the annual report.
National Insurance (maternity allowance, grants, allowances, unemployment benefits, etc.) 7 years To prove eligibility and to monitor changes in the amount of allowances.
Agreements with domestic workers (nanny, maid) 7 years Keep a document indicating the date of commencement of work and certificates signed by the employee confirming that he received payments from the employer for convalescence pay, vacation pay, pension contributions and compensation.

 

education
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Payments to educational institutions, trips, extracurricular activities and more. year Proof of payment.

 

Devices & Equipment
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Warranty Certificates As long as the warranty is valid It is important to attach the purchase invoice to the certificates (it is advisable to scan the invoices to the computer due to their tendency to fade over time).
Manuals As long as the devices are in use In case of malfunction.

 

Important documents
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Birth certificates Forever They need it throughout life.
Graduation certificates (schools, matriculation certificate, academic studies, courses and continuing education) Forever They are needed at various times throughout life.
Prenuptial Agreement As long as you live in a relationship To arrange the distribution of money when an event arises.
will Forever For obtaining a probate order after death.

 

Health (a buffer for each family member)
Document name How long to save? What do you need to save for?
Diagnoses, important test results and medical documentation Forever It is recommended to keep all medical records in case of a change in the medical condition that requires treatment.
Vaccination books Forever In case you are considering vaccination due to an event.

 

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