Back in March, I decided to do some spring cleaning in our office. After sorting through and organizing our bookshelves, closet, and desk, I was left with several hefty binders full of documents and papers that still needed to be cleaned out. Even though we're pretty much paperless now, we had a ton of old documents, receipts, pay stubs, etc. stashed and filed away. After going through everything and deciding what we needed to keep and what we need to toss, we were left with this:
Two gigantic piles of paper, every bit of which could be thrown away. In comparison, the pile of things we needed to keep was tiny; everything important now fits nicely in one small accordion file folder. It's so much better than having six huge notebooks stuffed with paper.
For a while, this pile of paper just sat in a bag in our office closet. A lot of it contained personal information and needed to be shredded, but we didn't have our own shredder at home. And then I read this blog post from IHeart Organizing where Jen mentioned that she took her papers somewhere to have them shredded. And a light went off. Of course there would be stores that would have shredding services! After a quick Google search, I found out that most home office stores - like Staples and Office Depot - offer shredding services for a small fee.
Staples is closest to us, so that's where we decided to go. According to their website, any Staples with a Copy & Print Location will offer shredding services. We called ahead and were told that they charge by the pound (79 cents/lb of paper). We went through our two big piles of "to-be-shredded" paper and pulled out anything that didn't have personal information in it. That was tossed into our regular recycling bin at home. The rest we hauled to Staples.
After weighing our bag at the store, we came in around 8 lbs, which cost us about $6.50. Not bad for the huge stack that we had.
The biggest thing I was worried about was how secure the whole process would be. Identity theft isn't exactly my favorite thing in the world. But - good news! The process is entirely secure. The employees take your paper and put it into an already-locked trash bin that they can't get into. And they do it right in front of you so you can see for yourself that all of the paper goes into the bin.
Staples partners with a secure shredding company to perform their shredding services. This company will come in during regularly scheduled times to shred all of the paper in the bin. The offices I've worked in have partnered with similar companies to shred documents and materials, so I'm pretty confident in the privacy and security offered with this method.
So - handy tip in case you've got a bunch of paper you need to have shredded and you are short one personal shredder at home! I was this close to throwing a bonfire... I'd get rid of the paper and have a party all at the same time. It was a win-win scenario in my mind.
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