Destroy Those Unneeded Documents – PaperFree Day 7

Shred papers for security } #PaperFree #happysimpleliving #decluttering #organizing


Dear friends,

Today is the last installment of our PaperFree challenge. I’ve enjoyed sharing this week-long focus on tackling papers with you.

In this day and age of identity theft and hacking, it pays to be thoughtful about how we discard our unneeded papers. Here are 7 tips to help you safely dispose of documents you no longer need:

1. Tear up credit card offers. I was once the victim of identity theft by a crook who completed an “already approved” paper credit card application removed from my mail.

2. Recycle junk mail. Day 2’s post “Stop the InFlow” offers tips to help you drastically reduce unwanted mail.

3. Shred anything with personally identifying information. Keep the shredder near where you sort the mail so you can deal with papers right away. If you have large quantities of papers that need shredding, some banks, credit unions and office stores offer secure on-site professional shredding.

4. Check with your recycling company about shredded paper. Some companies want it boxed or bagged, and some single-stream recyclers can’t accept it.

5. Use shredded paper as packing material. Down with styrofoam peanuts! Some gardeners also compost shredded paper.

6. Reuse plain envelopes. I clip them together with a binder clip and use them for grocery lists.

7. Reuse non-sensitive papers printed on one side for scratch paper.

How About You?

Do you have tips to add to my list? How are your paper decluttering efforts coming along? I have a few more stacks to tackle, so I’ll be continuing the 20-minutes-a-day challenge through the weekend.

Thanks for joining this #PaperFree experiment, and I welcome your thoughts and comments on this post and over at the Facebook Money Diet Community Group.

Best always,

The signature for Eliza Cross

P.S. If you liked this series, you might also enjoy “A Decluttering Snowball Plan.”


About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

3 thoughts on “Destroy Those Unneeded Documents – PaperFree Day 7”

  1. Good tip. I never thought about those pre-approved credit card offers. Since I live way up north in the middle of nowhere, I burn personal papers in the wood heating stove. At our “waste transfer station” (dump), we can recycle sorted plastics, paper, cardboard, metal, and wood. It’s a good system for us here. However, my husband is “too busy”, so I am always fishing cans and plastics out of our garbage can!

  2. Thank you for this series! I’ve dedicated a ton of time to decluttering our home over the last few years, but the paper stuff is the last big hurdle! These are great tips. You’ve given me the motivation to finally get going on organizing/tossing all that paper!



Leave a Comment