Millennials are the least ‘paperwork happy’, according to app fyio’

New research to mark the launch of the first Paperwork Happy Week shows personal paperwork stress and anxiety hits younger Millennials and Gen Z hardest, while older generations are reaching paperwork cruise control.

  • More than 4 in 5 Gen Zedders (81%) and Millennials (84%) said they are stressed when they can’t find important personal documents when they need them compared to 3 in 5 (62%) people aged 55+

  • When asked if they were very confident they could find their passport quickly, only 3 in 5 older Gen Zedders / younger Millennials (61.5%) said they could, as opposed to more than 4 in 5 aged 55+ (81%)

  • Less than half (42%) of people surveyed said they regarded their personal paperwork as important and there to protect their interests (a third: 36% of Gen Z, rising to almost half of Millennials: 46% and Gen X: 47% , and falling back to less than 4 in 10: 39% of Boomers).

Paperwork Happy Week is a purpose-led initiative to reduce paperwork stress, especially in younger generations already dealing with high levels of anxiety. Its aim is to encourage people to establish healthy personal paperwork management skills and habits as early as possible in their adult lives to reduce later life stress driven by lost and forgotten paperwork. The Week is a collaboration between the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers (APDO),The Clean & Tidy Home Show (CTHS) and the personal paperwork management app, fyio.

MoneyWeek reported last year that an estimated £50 billion is currently unclaimed in the UK alone due to lost and forgotten paperwork while the Office for National Statistics estimates that savers have, on average, lost access to between £20 – 30k spanning various types of financial accounts including SIPPs, workplace pensions, Isas, savings accounts, and premium bonds.

The Week has been scheduled ahead of APDO’s Spring Clearing Week (18-24 March) to encourage people to review and streamline their paperwork ahead of the annual declutter and spring clean. Advice and guidance on how to manage personal paperwork including what must be kept in a physical format, and what is safe to store and share digitally, will be delivered throughout the Week through a variety of channels.

To launch the week, research was carried out using a sample of 2,000 people from the British public to ascertain people’s attitudes to paperwork and organization. The survey found that more people (45% overall, rising to more than half (54% in the 25 – 34 age bracket) believe a clean and tidy home leads to organised paperwork rather than organised paperwork leading to a clean and tidy home (19% overall, rising to more than a third: 35% in the 18 – 24 bracket).

Sian Pelleschi, President of APDO, Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, a not-for-profit volunteer-run organisation, said: “Paperwork is a real struggle for people of all generations but what this research shows us is that peak paperwork stress hits younger generations hardest. At one level, this is unsurprising as early adulthood is a time of many ‘firsts’, but it doesn’t have to be onerous, or confusing. We know from our order-restoring members that helping people declutter and take control of their paperwork is one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety and enhance mental wellbeing, and especially when dealing with major upheavals in life like bereavement, it really helps to already be in control of life’s paperwork.”

Penny Moyses, founder of the Clean & Tidy Home Show, an event and community supporting tens of thousands of people to make their home work better for them states: “The Clean & Tidy Show is incredibly proud to be a founding partner of Paperwork Happy Week because we’re passionate about functional living and happy homes, and it’s so interesting to see that most people believe a clean and tidy home is key to organised paperwork. As a Millennial myself I can totally  relate to the anxiety younger generations are experiencing. My paperwork pressure intensified when I bought my first home, when I got married and again when I had children, so fyio’s decision to launch at our first Show in 2022 gave me great pleasure. It’s helped me make sense of my life and thousands of others in our community.”

Sarah Wrixon, co-founder and CEO of fyio, a digital filing app and life navigation tool to store and share personal documents, said: “How I wish I’d had access to support and guidance from the wonderful Clean & Tidy community and invested in an APDO professional paperwork management course when I was younger. Taking control of our paperwork is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and to start doing that in early adulthood is a gift for life. It’s amazing to think this Week could grow year on year and help millions of today’s young people avoid staring into a £50 billion black hole. fyio was designed not just to help make that happen, but also to turn paperwork drudge into paperwork happiness.”

Featured Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

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