How {And Why} To Use Paper Shredding Services When Decluttering Lots Of Paper

When you've got a lot of paper to declutter from your home here's why you should use document or paper shredding services instead of trying to shred it all yourself.

When you've got a lot of paper to declutter from your home here's why you should use document or paper shredding services instead of trying to shred it all yourself, plus tips for how to use these services {part of the Paper Organization Series on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

We talk a lot about decluttering paper here on the site, and a significant portion of the Declutter365 missions relate to getting rid of paper clutter in its many forms, including from file cabinets, strewn about on flat surfaces, junk mail, old bills and tax documents, and more.

If you're keeping up with your decluttering of old and now useless papers, and haven't accumulated very many of them between decluttering sessions, getting rid of those papers isn't such a huge or overwhelming task.

That's true even when you have to shred some of those papers, instead of just chucking them into the recycling bin, because the papers contain sensitive personal information.

When you've got a lot of paper to declutter from your home here's why you should use document or paper shredding services instead of trying to shred it all yourself, plus tips for how to use these services {part of the Paper Organization Series on Home Storage Solutions 101} #PaperShredding #DeclutterPapers #PaperClutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

If you only have a few papers that need to be shredded it's very convenient to own your own paper shredder, so you can just zip those papers right through the shredder, and complete your decluttering task.

On the other hand, if you've not gotten rid of paper clutter in your home for a very long time by now a large amount has most likely accumulated.

Then, all of a sudden, completing the task of decluttering paper clutter from your home seems much more daunting, because there is so much of it to sort through and dispose of, and most likely a good portion of it needs to be shredded which is yet another task to be completed before the project is done.

In those instances where you've got a LOT of paper clutter a home paper shredder isn't actually very helpful to you, because these small machines are not designed to shred large quantities of paper quickly or easily. Instead, they're made to shred a few papers, here and there, every day or two.

So when you get to the sections of the Declutter 365 missions where you begin to find and want to dispose of huge amounts of paper clutter that needs to be shredded I recommend that you use a document or paper shredding service for the process, instead of doing it on your own.

It will save you quite a bit of time and hassle, that will make the cost of the service worthwhile.

How To Find Document Shredding Services In Your Town

Perhaps at some point in the past it was hard to find anyone who'd shred your documents for you, but these days this is a pretty common service many companies offer to customers.

You can look in your local phone book or directory for "shredding services" (or do an Internet search engine search with this term) or check with stores such as office supply stores (like Staples), copy and printing shops, or shipping and packaging stores in your area, like the UPS Store, since many of these types of places provide this service.

Then, all you need to do is figure out which business is the most convenient for you to take your paper clutter to, and compare prices to see what you'd pay, and choose the best one for you.

Make Sure You Watch Them Shred It Or Trust The Company Doing The Shredding

Shred-It truck, for commercial paper shredding services

The one criteria you should have for whatever document shredding service you choose is that the company must shred the documents in front of you, or you must trust the company you pay to perform this service to do it without looking at the materials before shredding.

This is important because you want to make sure the papers are destroyed, and the employees of these places don't have a chance to snoop through the papers themselves. That's just common sense, since the reason you're shredding these papers is because they contain sensitive personal information.

Many of the businesses providing these services will go ahead and shred the documents right in front of you.

Fortunately, watching them shred your papers doesn't take too long since instead of a little home paper shredder like you or I would have, these services have large industrial machines which can shred large quantities of paper quite quickly and easily.

As a bonus, these more heavy-duty machines often will shred staples, paper clips and other clips along with the paper, meaning you don't have to be as careful when sorting out your paper piles that need to be shredded as you'd have to be if you were shredding them yourself with a smaller and less sturdy home shredder.

Other companies don't shred the documents in front of you, but instead have processes in place to show you, as a customer, that the material was properly destroyed without anyone looking at it first. These companies are typically those that focus on shredding documents as their primary business, so if you feel comfortable and trust their services you can use them as well.

Bonus: Most Of These Document Shredding Services Recycle The Paper For You

Here's another bonus when you use a paper shredding service, instead of shredding all your paper clutter yourself: many of them (not all) will recycle the shredded paper for you!

If you're concerned about the environment taking paper out to be recycled is yet another part of the decluttering process that you can avoid if you use one of these services, since they do this step for you as well.

(Obviously, not all of them do, so if you want the paper recycled make sure to check and see if the service you choose does this first, before paying them to shred your papers for you.)

Less Costly Option: Wait For Free Shredding Days Sponsored By Local Government Or Small Businesses

If you don't like to spend money unnecessarily, or are tight on cash, another option that still allows you to use one of these paper shredding services, but with less or no cost, is to wait for a free shredding day.

These are becoming more and more common, so keep on the lookout for events like this sponsored in your local community. They are often sponsored either by the local government, or sometimes by local small businesses (often banks).

When these types of events occur you have to show up on a certain day and time carrying your paper clutter to them, and typically they've got a huge truck where the paper is shredded right in front of you, or sometimes where the paper is stored and then taken to a facility for shredding.

Just as I mentioned before, if the materials are not destroyed in front of you, you have to feel like you can trust the company shredding, and the entity sponsoring the free shred day, to properly and securely shred the documents before you drop them off.

The draw back of these free shredding days is that they may not work on your decluttering schedule, since you might have bags and bags of paper clutter now, but the next free shred day isn't for months.

In addition, there are often also limits on how much paper clutter you can bring on each visit, so if you've got a whole lot they might not take it all at once.

On the other hand, it's free!

Plus, putting these free shredding days onto your calendar can act as a natural catalyst for you to gather additional papers that have accumulated since your last decluttering session to get them out of your home on a regular basis.

You Won't Regret The Expense Compared To The Time & Effort Saved

If you're the kind of person who really hates to spend money on stuff you may wonder if the expense of using a document shredding service is worth it. The answer is, most definitely.

You're going to save so much time and effort by paying someone else to shred those documents in mere minutes compared to the hours and hours you'd have to spend doing it yourself. It will speed up the decluttering process in your home considerably, and that's money well spent.

If you don't believe me listen to a reader, RS, who showed this picture of all the paper she paid to have shredded.

If you've got lots of papers to shred in your home after working through the #Declutter365 missions you won't regret using a paper shredding service to complete the job and get them out of your house {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

RS stated about the photo, "Tubs of papers to the shredder. Best $35 spent. Some of those papers were from 20 years ago! Moved from 6 houses! Not going to number 7 next month!"

You can really hear the relief in her voice, and I know you'll feel the same relief when you get all those papers out of your home too!

Additional Articles About Shredding Paper

Here are additional resources on the site about getting rid of your paper clutter by shredding it.

Paper Organization {Series}
Paper Organization {Series}
which documents to shred
What Documents Need To Be Shredded
Pear Budget
Decluttering Paper 15 Minutes At A Time

Photo of Shred-It truck courtesy of Mike Mozart






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