At this point, you’ve gathered your receipts, filed your receipts for items under warranty, developed a system for organizing your receipts, decided on a cut-off date for shredding receipts, sorted through your receipts by date, found and filed away the receipts you need to keep, and even bought a shredder if you did not already have one. The time has come to started shredding. And yes, I have a disclaimer on all of these posts, one you’ve seen a lot this week and that looks like this:
DISCLAIMER: We are shredding today. I will link you again to A pack rat’s guide to shredding on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer Information pages. I would also like to point out that I do not classify as receipts any of the following: pay stubs, receipts for home improvements, bank statements, credit card statements, utilities bills, and particularly anything to do with any kind of taxes including canceled checks or receipts from federal, state, or local taxing authorities, even if these are receipts. We will organize all of these later! If you’re wondering whether you should shred something, call your attorney or accountant. I am neither.
If you’ve researched and talked to your accountant and/or attorney and feel comfortable doing so, today is the day to start shredding “unimportant” receipts dated before the cut-off date you decided on. As I’ve said before, don’t shred pay stubs, receipts for home improvements, etc. (See the list above). Not yet.
As I’ve said before, my husband and I had over three years of accumulated receipts that we ultimately decided to shred: gas receipts, grocery receipts, hobby receipts, etc. I shredded all of those approximately six months ago, and I feel good about the space I freed. (I freed three Sterlite containers, for inquiring minds.) There have thus far been no negative repercussions from shredding those. 🙂
Time required: An hour for three years of receipts, but as I said previously, I have an industrial shredder. If you are like my parents and have decades of receipts to shred, start the task today and spend a little time each day knocking this task off your list.
One more thing: Someone asked why I don’t recommend outsourcing shredding if you have boxes and boxes of receipts. Because identity theft has been on the rise in recent years, I think you should keep anyone else from seeing your information if possible. But your story is different from mine. You decide for you.