I don’t need to tell you that you should be shredding all of the junk mail credit card applications and everything else that has personal info on it before you throw it out. You already know it! But hey, not everyone does something just because they know they should. So, if you’re not shredding your sensitive papers before throwing them out… consider this your kick in the butt to get a cross-cut paper shredder and get shredding!
(Before I had a shredder, we lived in a house heated by a woodstove. I would burn all of my junk mail!)
How to Shred Stuff for Cheap (or Free!)
Craigslist/Freecycle: These are great services for getting free stuff anyway, and a paper shredder is a perfect example of something you can get for free or cheap on one of these services. In fact, there was a free paper shredder listed just this Saturday on my local Freecycle mailing list. So you’ve go no reason not to look there!
Ask a Friend: In college, whenever I would off-handedly mention that I needed to buy a paper shredder, a friend of mine would just offer to let me use his. I think he underestimated the vast pile of stuff I had saved up to shred! But still, why not take advantage of such an offer while it’s on the table? If you feel like you’re taking advantage of your friend, just use their shredder to shred your most threatening documents.
Shredding Events: Keep your sensitive papers for shredding in a secure place (away from the prying eyes of roommates and dubious guests-of-roommates), and find out when there’s going to be a free, public shredding event in your area to take it all to. Your best friend in finding one of these events is Google! Search for “[your city] shredding event” and see what comes up. You can also check the Shred-It website to see if that particular company is sponsoring an event near you soon.
Ask for One: I got my shredder as a Christmas present from my brother and his fiancÃ©e. My family has gotten pretty used to the fact that I ask for super-practical things during the holidays! But hey, my brother was able to buy the shredder with his employee discount and I was more than happy to receive it!
Just Buy One: None of the above working for ya? Don’t be a tool — go buy a shredder* and start using it. Yeah, it’s that important.
*Affiliate link — I get like 4% if you decide to buy the shredder and it doesn’t cost you anything more. This is not the shredder I have, but it has good reviews for the price range. The shredder I have is not available online.