Post is fluttering into the house every day and the private paper mountain is growing and growing.

Post is fluttering into the house every day and the private paper mountain is growing and growing.

If you do not want to lose track, you can get organized in a few steps. CosmosDirekt explains what to look for and which documents should not be disposed of prematurely.

Whether birth certificate, social security card or materials for home contents insurance: you rarely have to take these documents to hand and it is so wonderful easy to make them disappear in the desk drawer. The subsequent recovery is then but the more difficult. Good if you know where to look in urgent cases.

Tip 1: End the paper economy
All documents should best be sorted and filed so that they are readily available. Individual folders separated by topics provide a good overview. Related documents such as birth certificates or marriage certificates should be kept together. In addition, the documents can be collected around the house or apartment and bank or insurance documents in appropriate folders.

Tip 2: In duplicate
It is advisable to make copies of important documents and to deposit them separately from the original. To secure yourself in the event of a burglary or fire, you can use a safe or a safe deposit box for the originals. Well kept should also be a list of all valuable furnishings. “The installation helps the household insurance in the event of damage, to quantify the costs,” says Sabine Kreutzer-Martin, expert at CosmosDirekt.

Tip 3: Regular document check
So that the mountains of paper are not too large, you should take a look every three or five years in the folder and sort out, for example, old bills or account statements. It should be noted that some documents should be kept longer than others (see table). So look carefully, what can and can not do.

Tip 4: Dispose of properly
Documents with sensitive data such as bank account numbers or credit card information should not simply be disposed of in the wastebasket, but shredded beforehand. Time and again, identity thieves use private information for their scams. Therefore, always be careful.

Tip 5: Use digital document storage
With the growing importance of the Internet, documents are increasingly being made available digitally. Documents received by e-mail, such as invoices, should be stored in specially designed thematic folders. It is safer to always store important documents in two separate locations – for example, on the internal hard disk and additionally on an external hard disk.

Even more practical are online platforms, such as banks and insurance companies, where bank statements and letters are deposited. So CosmosDirekt offers in the personal insurance folder my CosmosDirekt the possibility to save quotes and contracts and to manage data. The advantage of the digital document storage is that the documents are available at any time – whether at home on the computer or on the go on the smartphone. In order to optimally protect the data, the password must be kept as confidential as the account PIN.

Recommendation for private households: In general, it is sufficient to comply with the following retention periods * :

A life long
  • Civil documents (eg birth or marriage certificates, death certificates of relatives)
  • School and university certificates, professional qualifications
  • Medical reports
  • Evidence of home ownership
At least until the pension
  • Documents documenting the professional career (eg employment contracts, dismissals, salary statements, social security certificates)
For the entire term
  • Insurance documents for any policies
  • Documents on financial and pension products (eg overnight money, life insurance or savings plan)
For the entire service life
  • Documentation for household insurance (eg documents about furniture, electronics or jewelery)
30 years
  • Court judgments, dunning notices, credit documents
4 years
  • Bank statements or bank transfers
3 years
  • Old leases, transfer protocols, deposit receipts
2 years
  • Cash receipts (warranty period usually two years)
  • craft bills