After I began shredding sensitive snail-mail regularly, I noticed how I felt. Some satisfaction with relief about not allowing dumpster-diving identity thieves victimize me. I felt good about protecting my personal data. There are also feelings of calm and lightness after a good shred.
Alex Kuczynski writes in the October 7 New York Times about her shredding experiences after an identity theft incident:
"But by then, I was shredding every identifying piece of paper that came my way. Not only did I purchase an Identity Guard 24-sheet strip-cut shredder for about $100, but I also disposed of the spaghetti-like strips in different garbage bins."
"I discovered that the impulse to shred is twinned with the impulse to sort, cleanse and divest. The more I shredded, the more I came to look upon my shredder as the vehicle that would return me to a state of simplicity in which my natural power would be restored. This is the Tao notion of Pu: perceiving all things with a clear and unbiased mind, as if they were a block of uncarved wood."
I started shredding years ago when I first realized the dumpster-diving-identity-thieves problem and just how valuable pre-screened snail-mail credit offers are. However, I still haven't pruned old paper files.
So a couple weeks ago, I started to shred old bank statements which I should have shredded years ago. Experts advise you to keep key documents about 7 years. Since I have paper bank statements back to 1990, it's shredding time!
How often do you shred documents? How do you feel after a good shred?