Your Guide to What to Shred and When

Living in the digital world, there’s something weirdly sacred about a piece of paper. It’s physical, tangible, and not always easy to get let go of — especially when personal information is involved.

When was the last time you left a mailed bill sitting on your desk despite having paid it electronically months ago? How often do you file documents away never to look at them again?

Paperless options aside, businesses still deal with paper-full conundrums. All of which could be easily solved with some organizing and shredding.

What makes sense to shred?

What to shred can be a matter of opinion. Some people might tell you to shred everything. And why not? With Staples’ secure shredding services, you can literally shred most things — from blueprints to magazines and photographs — all without having to remove staples, paper clips, rubber bands, or small binders.

If you feel separation anxiety with certain documents though, a good rule of thumb is to shred documents relative to the sensitive data they contain. For example, you should always shred items that include account numbers, balances, or credit card numbers.

This may include:

  • Sales receipts

  • Paid bills

  • Credit card offers

  • Deposited checks

  • Pay stubs

  • Tax and other legal forms

Essentially, if someone were to dig through your trash — and yes, it happens — what would you not want them to have access to?

When should you shred different documents?

Shredding sensitive information is all fine and good but the anxiety of letting go of documents is also very real. It might take some time and a shift in mindset to build better habits.

Before taking the leap to shred, it might give you peace of mind to create a digital copy. This is especially true for tax and legal materials, which are good to keep record of for at least seven years. Apps like Adobe Scan make it easy to turn anything into a PDF. Just make sure you’re storing digital versions in a secure virtual setting, like a password-protected external hard drive.

With digital copies on hand, paper versions become less relevant. Immediately shred materials with highly sensitive information and things you may need to reference in the near future — like pay stubs or deposited checks — and revisit shredding them within 30 days.

How can Staples Solutionshop simplify the shredding process?

One of the biggest barriers to shredding is the act of doing it in a safe and secure manner. Shredded paper thrown into a single trash bin doesn’t protect you from the dumpster divers of the world.

Our partnership with Iron Mountain removes this hurdle by offering in-store services that allow you to drop documents in our locked, in-store bins for responsible recycling. For bulk needs, we also offer one-time and recurring pick-up options with Certificates of Destruction available upon request.

Ditch the clutter for organized office space you’ll want to spend time in. Learn more about how our shredding services can work for your business needs.

By Staples Canada

September 13, 2021