Get to grips with your paperwork

When was the last time you were looking for an old bill or contract and couldn't find it? Many of us struggle to locate important information, such as account numbers, when we need them.

So while you're hibernating at home, trying to avoid the miserable February weather, why not give your filing cabinet an early spring clean?

1. Collate all your paperwork.

Once you've got everything together, divide it into categories - for example, birth certificates and passports; pensions and other long-term investments; household bills, etc.

Then go through each category and sort all your documents either by significance or by date. The main thing is to be consistent - otherwise your system  will turn into a mish-mash.

2. Review

Check that all your documents are up-to-date and review whether any policies or accounts are about to run out, or if the cost or interest rate has changed. If necessary, think about whether you need to shop around for a new deal or cancel an unnecessary policy.

3. Storage

Keep all your paperwork in a filing cabinet or a concertina file. Tesco has a two-drawer lockable filing cabinet for £37.49. Any legal documents, or anything that is difficult to replace or duplicate, should be kept in a safe or with your solicitor.

4. Allfiled

To add another layer of security, you could also use Allfiled, which is an online filing system. It allows you to file your financial information securely and you can access it from any computer at any time.

Registered Moneywise readers can receive five years' free membership, saving you £175 - click here to find out more.

5. Shred

Don't just throw away unwanted paperwork; shred it. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing types of fraud and chucking important papers in the bin could make you an easy target.

You can get a shredder from as little as £9.99 from Argos. Alternatively, take the documents you want to discard to work and use the office shredder.