Why Should You Shred Your Mail?

posted this on May 31, 2016

Do you receive a lot of mail? Are you aghast at the number of credit card offers, brochures, and catalogs you receive? And what should you do with those pesky bills once they’ve been paid? While it may be tempting to toss them or just let them pile up, running them through a paper shredder is a better idea. Here are three reasons you should be shredding your mail….

1.)    To reduce clutter. Whether you receive a lot of mail or just a few pieces a week, it can really add up over time and make your home or office extremely messy. All those fliers, credit card offers, and such can take over your desk or kitchen counter which can be really frustrating at times. Shredding the mail is a great way to reduce the clutter so you can reclaim your space. Just insert the item(s) into your shredder and it will be off your work surface. Depending on your shredder, you may be able to shred an entire piece of mail at once since some devices can shred non-paper items such as credit cards and staples. Be sure to take a look at your shredder’s instruction manual to find out if it can do so.

2.)    To make use of the shreds. Once your mail has been shredded, there are several things you can do with the paper scraps. For one thing, you can be environmentally responsible and recycle them. (This may not be possible if there are plastic or metal pieces mixed in with the paper. If that’s the case, check with your local recycling center to see if they’ll accept the mix.) You can also reuse the shreds. You could use them as free padding the next time you send a package. Or you could use them as filling for your pet’s bed. (If you do this, just be sure to change the shreds regularly.)

3.)    To prevent identity theft. Finally, the best and most important reason to shred is to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. This has become a very common crime and it can be devastating. It can drain your bank account, tarnish your credit report, and even damage your reputation. Your mail contains a lot of information that criminals can use to take advantage of you including your name, address, banking information, and so on. If you start shredding, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of being targeted. You should shred any mail you don’t need to hang on to including bills, notices from the DMV, IRS, and Social Security Administration, etc. In fact, anything containing any personal information should go into the shredder if you don’t need to save it. While this may seem a bit excessive, it isn’t really. It’s merely a safeguard and one that will benefit you both now and in the long run. And if you don’t have a paper shredder, you can easily find one for under $100.00. It’s a small price to keep your identity safe.

Shredding your mail is something you should do on a regular basis and there are three reasons you should do so. Make sure you start doing so today!

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