It Doesn’t Have to Be Chaos
Whether you’re conducting a thorough house cleaning in anticipation of holiday guests or you’re clearing out the old office files to make way for the New Year, end-of-year cleaning should include annual shredding prep. The end of the year is a great time to go through filing cabinets and paper stacks to remove items you no longer need; organizing your financial information at the same time also gives you a head start for 2014 tax season.
Annual Shredding Starts with Knowing What to Shred
You can purge old credit card and banking statements, but hang on to a few months’ worth of data so you can compare bills and watch for incorrect charges or fees. If you have online access to statement histories, you can shred all paper copies. Don’t ever shred divorce, retirement, or life insurance papers or the last three years of tax documents. For more information on what to shred, check out our document disposal FAQs.
Use a Shredding Service
While a home-shredding machine is handy for the one-off documents you might want to dispose of throughout the year, such machines are usually unable to handle the bulk annual shredding requires. Even shredded documents in your garbage can give identity thieves the information they need to commit fraud. Use a one-time or annual bulk shredding service to easily dispose of a pile of pages at the end of the year. Such services offer secure shredding, so your information will be safe.
Multitask While Compiling Paper
While you’re getting paper together for the shred pile, skim statements and other information one last time. Check to make sure you aren’t being charged incorrect fees, look for questionable charges on cards that could indicate identity theft, and create folders for information you want to keep. Once your annual shredding prep is complete, you should feel more organized and be able to access a single page quickly.
Using an annual bulk shredding service allows you to enter the New Year with a clean filing cabinet and the assurance that you have acted to protect your personal information and identity.