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Paperwork! Shredding Your Sensitive Documents

So far, we’ve talked about incoming paperwork: Mail, Bits & Pieces, and Handouts/Flyers. All three categories of incoming paperwork can be divided into Actionable Items, Reading, and Filing. But before we move on let’s have a little fun. Paperwork management creates an inevitable amount of paper shredding, so let’s look at ways to make that part of your routine.

Typically, if you are shredding as the paper comes into your home or office, you’ll be able to utilize a small office shredder. These short bursts of shredding won’t jam or overheat a small shredder. If you are concerned about identity theft, shred it now. If you don’t feel that urgency, you can let it accumulate for a week or so without getting overwhelmed.

Once you start dealing with shredding paper that has accumulated in stacks, piles, and storage areas, you’ll have to be more careful about how much and how long you use the shredder. I recommend shredding while you watch television – let commercials, opening credits, and closing credits play and shred while you wait for programming to resume.

Other shredding options are fee-based shredding services or free community wide shredding events. Both shredding services and free events can usually be found via a simple Facebook search. Some employers will allow you to bring in small amounts of shredding but be sure to ask for permission before you start filling the shred bins at work.

Shredded paper can be added to your recycling – or you can check the internet for some unique ways to reuse your paper shreds. Snappy Living has a list of more than 20 ways you can reuse paper shreds – some are clever and crafty, and others are more environmentally minded. Check out these ideas at

1. Packing material

2. Scented sachet

3. Pet bedding

4. Extend kitty litter

5. Make your own paper

6. Make papier mache

7. Use with mulch

8. Make seedling pots

9. Use in potting soil

10. Use in your fireplace

11. Make simple fire starters

12. Make fire starter bricks

13. Make fuel bricks to replace wood

14. Use as stuffing

15. Nesting boxes and hutches

16. Confetti

17. Stuff costumes

18. Make paper clay

19. Fill gift bags

20. Easter Basket grass

21. Raised picture art projects

22. Sensory bins

23. Artificial floral arrangements

24. Kneeling pads or firm cushions

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