Angie's List: Shredding do's and don'ts

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 02, 2015
and last updated 2016-04-07 18:27:00-04

Your personal information is everywhere: bills, bank statements, blank checks.  

So it's a good idea to start shredding.

If you are in the Cincinnati area, and you missed the 9 On Your Side 2016 Shred Day Saturday April 2nd, you have another chance.

The Cincinnati Better Business Bureau is holding another shred day Saturday April 9, from 8 - 11 am, at the university of Cincinnati Blue Ash college.

What to Shred

Doing it yourself can be a time consuming, frustrating job, according to our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List.

"If your new year's resolution is to get your house organized, getting rid of old documents can be a great approach," said Angie Hicks. "But using your own individual shredder can be time-consuming and it can constantly jam."    

So Angie's List suggests start by Googling for local shredding companies if you cannot make any of the local shred events.

Cincinnati area shredders include:

Or go to stores like Staples that will shred in the store for a small fee.

And the good news is you don't have to do much preparation.

Shredding pro Chris Shepherd said "a lot of questions are "do you have to prepare the paper?" and you really don't. That's what we're all about. You don't have to take out the staples, the paper clips, all that stuff out of the paper."

Angie's List says look for a company that allows you to watch your items being shredded.

And ask the price upfront: A typical bankers box should cost $10 to $15 to shred.

Shredding Don'ts

But a caution about some things to not do.

Hicks says always double check what you are shredding.

"Be sure you look through all your document pile very carefully before you shred. Otherwise, you could end up shredding something important," she said.

For instance, make sure you are not shredding tax documents until 7 years have gone by. The IRS may want them if you are audited.

And don't shred old car titles:  it is proof that you sold the car, in case the second owner gets into an accident or commits a crime in it.

Finally, even though this may sound silly, make sure you are not shredding any checks or cash. "Make sure that there's not money in there. We do shred money," Shepherd said.

Shepherd says if you shred a $20 bill, as he has seen some people do,  there is nothing you can do to get it back.

That way you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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