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Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Organizing Tip: Don't Shred?

Even though I am not too optimistic about completing my declutter/re-organize project (having failed many times in the past), I have made more progress this time than ever before. Perhaps it is because we have no kids at home at the moment and we are working against a deadline--our trip to Nantes. Boundaries--temporal or spatial--are, of course, the key to organizing, and that goes for finances too.

Every time I get dispirited with my project, I turn to a LIBRARY book for some adrenaline: yes, that Susan Pinsky book once more. SP is anti-stockpiling, however. I don't let that area of disagreement keep me from getting what is good from her book.

Here, though, is a somewhat controversial recommendation: DON'T BOTHER SHREDDING. SP says that most identity theft occurs electronically. And a lot is perpetrated by someone you know. SP notes that shredding takes time, electricity, and so on. It also creates a "SHRED" pile next to the shredder.

OK. SP says: If you are worried, tear your bank statements and the like through the name and account number. Put each half in different places: one in a waste basket and one in another garbage can.

She also says the only thing you must be careful with is your social security number, which appears on very few documents, mostly tax-related. She recommends a black permanent marker for that.

Our problems with stolen credit card numbers have all (only two instances,actually, and easily resolved) been electronic: at a gas station and a restaurant.

So what do you think? Do we dare give up shredding?


SewingLibrarian said...

I think it takes more time to carefully tear papers in half and deposit them in different trash bags than it does to shred! I will continue to shred.

Duchesse said...

Never shredded but take the Pinsky Precautions. Theft only at gas bar and once PC stolen (break in), and info lifted. They did not get far as we reported everything.

Shelley said...

I've done the big job of shredding ten years of bank statements, but now I just have a box where I drop financial info I want to discard. I shred it all when it gets full, maybe a couple of times a year. Whenever I'm tackling a really big project and my enthusiasm is waning I make myself do it for 15/30/60 minutes each day and eventually I get there. I've just unearthed a chest full of photos when I thought I was pretty much done scanning, so this will be my daily project work for a while. I'd rather use that space for something else and have my photos electronically available as they are far more easy to share that way.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Sewing--You may have a point!

@Duchesse--Same as our experiences.

@Shelley--You're more organized than you let on--v. impressive.