What should you shred?

Depending on how many papers you want to shred, you may need to set aside time to sort out the papers you need to shred from the papers you need to keep. To begin, sort paperwork into three piles:

1. Keep: Taxes less than seven years old, pay stubs (one year), legal documents (contracts, licensing, awards and achievements), insurance paperwork, workers’ compensation paperwork, rent or mortgage paperwork, medical bills (one year), auto titles and home deeds (for as long as you own the vehicle or property. 

2. Shred: Old taxes (seven or more years), bank and credit union statements, credit card offers, canceled credit cards, old photo ID’s, old pay stubs (one year or more), canceled checks, business documents, travel itineraries, airline tickets, utility bills, medical bills (one years or more), passwords and PINs, junk mail (any that include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses). In addition. anything that includes account numbers, signatures, birth dates and Social Security numbers.

Examples of documents you should always shred

ATM receipts

Bank statements

Employment records

Insurance documents

Legal documents

Medical and dental records

Pre-approved credit card applications


Travel itineraries

Used airline tickets


3. Maybe: Personal items that may have emotional value, old address books, luggage tags, transcripts, old calendars.

See this year's schedule

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