Downsize that paper!

downsice your paperA couple of years ago a friend gave me a stack of decorating magazines. She was doing the right thing by letting them go from her surroundings, but I foolishly accepted them. I never got around to reading them, and they’re finally gone to happier homes.

At about the same time as I was getting rid of those magazines, I realized I had a pile of my own that I hadn’t read. So I took an evening and went through them, pulling out what I really wanted to read including recipes to try. This reduced the pile significantly. The recycle bin was heavier, but that’s OK. The paper can be processed into something else. And I have a smaller pile of reading material.

Now that income tax season is over for another year, I’ve been purging all the extra paper from my files. Anything that doesn’t pertain to my business can go into the shredder. The only file I keep intact is the one for my vehicle so I can refer to it when I need to know when the last time a particular repair or servicing was done. It will also be useful when I sell my car. And the business paperwork goes into a file to be kept for the requisite time in case of an audit.

And speaking of shredding, that machine will also eat:

  • credit card statements
  • last year’s expired insurance documents
  • utility bills
  • old bank statements
  • medical claim forms
  • and so on.

Other items that I shred include store receipts (unless they pertain to a warranty) after I’ve checked them to the credit card statement, bank deposit records when they appear on my bank statement. And if any credit cards, driver’s license, health card or the like have been replaced, they go into the shredder as well.

Paper with confidential data always gets shredded as well as anything with my signature or other identifying information on it. I’m doing my best to protect my identity from theft

Speaking of shredders—it’s important to use a cross-cut shredder. This type will cut everything into small pieces and further contribute to your privacy.

Do you have paper you could get rid of but haven’t? Do you have a shredder at home or one at work that you can use? Plan a day to do this then let us know what you experienced from the process?

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© 2013 Moreen Torpy

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