When I first heard “shred till you’re dead” I laughed. Then I really thought about the amount of paper we are all drowning in daily and the truth is most likely we will be dealing with this nuisance for a long time in this information overloaded society we have entered into.
This is why everyone must shred. It is not just about identity theft — although that is of vital importance too. This is about ELIMINATION.We have to constantly and ruthlessly keep taking action (that’s you and me) to purposely and routinely eradicate papers from our homes. As a professional organizer, I always put systems in place for my clients to liberate themselves of paper clutter.
Where Should I Keep A Shredder & What’s Your System?
You want to keep a shredder where you will use it the most. I know they are not the prettiest thing to look at, but put function before beauty if you want to be organized.
I had a client who set up his shredder in the garage under a table next to the interior door to his kitchen. He put the shredder next to a paper recycling can as well as a garbage can so all three “homes” sat together underneath this table. The way his system worked was that he would collect his mail after he returned from work, walk in through the garage, sort his mail and briefcase prior to coming into his house utilizing the surface of the table. He would then shred all his junk mail and unnecessary corporate correspondence daily.
He then only entered his home with important papers that needed action or filing such as a bill, bank statement or the like. After that he would go directly to the home office and place those papers into either “follow up” or “to be filed” bins. Weekly, he would take action on those two subjects and monthly when he would reconcile his financials, again he would shred anything (yes, he had a second shredder in his office) with any personal identifiers or account information. Viola! A paper processing system that worked for him.
Tax season is a breeze for this gentleman because there are no non-important papers to wade through. He takes little steps daily, weekly and monthly taking action, filing and shredding to keep his office and household paper in a balanced state.
After tax season, this client puts all his labeled 2012 archival papers into a banker’s box in his attic labeled “taxes and record retention.” He then pulls out his 2005 files and guess what he does with them? That’s right, he shreds them!
If you are unsure about how long to keep papers and what to keep, go to: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p552
Do You Need To Dig Out?
So, let’s say you haven’t been as diligent (as habitual, as determined) as the client in the above example. Start today. Decide now that you are going to set up a shredder and a system using this lovely piece of machinery.
And if you need to consider a shredding truck or having drums dropped off at your house, please give me a call at 201-406-9643 and I’ll be happy to give you the names of some reputable shredding companies.