To Shred or Not to Shred?

Many people affiliate document shredding with businesses, but did you know that you should be shredding your personal mail and documents when you discard them? Personal information such as name, address, phone number, bank account numbers, social security number, etc. can find its way into the wrong hands if not disposed of properly. Hand tearing documents is not effective, because they can easily be pieced back together.

We accumulate so much paperwork it’s hard to decide what we need to hang on to and what we can dispose of. Here’s a list of things you need to keep for a lifetime:

  • Social security cards
  • Birth and death certificates
  • Marriage license
  • Business license
  • Insurance policies
  • House deed
  • Mortgage paperwork
  • Vehicle titles
  • Any loan documents
  • Wills and power of attorneys

Obviously all of these are important documents and they need to be stored in a safe, accessible place so that they can be reached easily when needed. Some of the documents cluttering your home do not need to be kept forever, but how do you know when to throw them away? Here’s a list of things that you only need to hold on to temporarily:

  • Tax records need to be kept for 7 years
  • Home purchase, home sale or home improvement documents need to be kept for 6 years after the sale of your home
  • Medical bills need to be kept at least 1 year after payment
  • Warranty documents and receipts need to be kept for the life of the warrantied item

You also need to keep the most recent version of your annual insurance policy, social security statements, and retirement plan statements. Once you receive current ones in the mail you can discard the old ones.

Everything else you have can be discarded or shredded. Remember, anything with personal information of any kind needs to be shredded, that includes airline tickets, all receipts, all bills, old check books, or any expired ID’s or credit cards.

Tristar Document Shredding provides safe, secure and affordable shredding services to commercial and residential locations. Visit our website here to schedule your free online consultation.

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