What to Shred and What to Keep

When it comes time to separate the “to shred” and “not to shred” at your Virginia home or office, it can be a bit difficult to tell what exactly goes where. You certainly don’t want to belatedly realize you had something you needed, but now it’s gone for good! But you most certainly can’t hold on to literally everything, or you’ll soon find yourself drowning in unnecessary paper.

What do you shred? What do you keep? Don’t worry! At TrueShred, we work hard to ensure we’re providing you not only with top-class document destruction services, but that we’re giving you the right service to suit your needs. As a home or small business owner, it can be rough to pick out the shredables and keepables, but our team is here to help you out.

Is it time for a shred session for your business, or home office in Gainesville? At TrueShred, we recommend that you follow conventions for record retention and document destruction for your business and personal documents. When it’s time to securely purge your files, call TrueShred—we come to you!

Business Information to Be Shredded

Most people err on the side of caution when it comes to holding onto personal records and paperwork. After all, no one wants to be caught missing a critical piece of information—like a doctor’s bill, a credit card statement, or an invoice. It is important to keep certain documents for recommended periods of time.  However, retaining too many, for too long, can defeat the purpose of proper record keeping, leaving your files disorganized with many unnecessary items.

Government agencies, large businesses, and corporations typically have guidelines and requirements regarding how long to keep certain documents.  However, small businesses and households generally do not. It can be confusing to determine what you can dispose of and what you should retain.

These are documents that should be shredded:

  • Account Records
  • Audits
  • Bank Statements
  • Bids and Quotes
  • Business Files/Records
  • Client Lists
  • Competitive Information
  • Computer Records
  • Correspondence
  • Credit Card Information
  • Drivers’ License Numbers
  • Employment Applications
  • Estimates
  • Financial Statements
  • Health Insurance Forms
  • Injury Reports
  • Insurance Records
  • Intellectual Property
  • Internal Memos
  • Inventory Records
  • Invoices
  • Legal Documents
  • Market Research
  • Medical Records
  • Obsolete Contracts
  • Payroll Records
  • Personnel Files
  • Phone Records
  • Photographs
  • Price Lists
  • Purchase Receipts
  • Sales Forecasts
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Tax Records
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Training Information

Client Data to Be Shredded

  • Bids and Quotes
  • Checks
  • Computer Records
  • Price Lists
  • Proprietary Information
  • Receipts
  • Invoices
  • R&D Files

Personal Information to Be Shredded

  • Addresses
  • ATM Receipts
  • Brokerage Accounts
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Debit Card Numbers
  • Credit Reports
  • Paycheck Stubs
  • Insurance Policies
  • Investment Statements
  • Medical/Dental Records
  • Passport Numbers
  • Resumes
  • Tax Forms
  • Used Airline Tickets

Media to Be Shredded or Destroyed

  • Hard Drives
  • CD-ROMs
  • CD-Rs
  • DVDs
  • Computer Backups
  • Microfiche
  • X-Rays
  • Videotapes
  • Cassette Tapes
  • Product Samples
  • Prototypes
  • Uniforms
  • ID Badges

Not Sure About What to Shred?

If you have any doubts about shredding certain documents, but still want to streamline your files, consider scanning those documents and keeping them on a hard drive. That way, you will always have access to the information without cluttering your space with hard copies of files that you might never need.

Emergency Kit Documents

For citizens affected by natural disasters or other sudden catastrophic events, guidance is provided by the United States government, with the assistance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  FEMA has put together a plan called the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, or EFFAK, to use as a guideline for determining which documents should be readily accessible, should an emergency arise. Documents to keep in the EFFAK include:

  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Social Security cards of household members
  • Will and/or trust documents
  • Powers of attorney
  • Recent income tax returns
  • Passports and/or other identity documents
  • Military discharge papers
  • A list of your prescriptions and those of your family members

Putting together an EFFAK can provide you with some peace of mind and save valuable time in the case of an emergency.

If you have questions about shredding or document destruction/ retention protocol, call TrueShred at 888-322-3218.

Why Is Document Organization so Critical?

Why not just shred it all? Well, in a nutshell it’s all about relevance. There are countless situations we encounter in our daily home and business lives that require documentation. You need certain papers to properly do taxes, to update a license, as proof in a legal or business dispute—and what do these all have in common? They need certain paperwork, and for some problems, you can’t always be sure what you’re going to need.

By formulating a shred/no shred system in your space, you ensure that you always have access to critical files at any time, so you can avoid the headache of retrieval or duplication, which often requires huge amounts of time, and sometimes a fair bit of cash, as well.

In light of the above points, why not just keep it all? A similar answer: relevance. Keeping outdated, old, and useless paper, we complicate our homes and offices. We generate absolutely huge amounts of paperwork and documentation every single day. A year’s time from now, that neat little pile is now an insurmountable mountain, and it only gets worse from there. Secure shredding services from TrueShred help you to stay organized, safe, and informationally secure!

Secure Document Shredding Services in Virginia

No matter if you need a one-time shredding service, or ongoing secure shredding for your business, TrueShred can provide! We’ve been offering secure, safe, and reliable shredding to home and business owners across Maryland, Virginia, and DC for years, and we can ensure your needs are totally met.

If you are unsure what receipts are safe to throw away and what receipts you can throw away, check out our blog.

Contact a TrueShred professional online today to learn more about our service, or to schedule the handling of your “to shred” documents and papers!

Upcoming Events

10:00 am Monthly Community Shredding
Monthly Community Shredding
Oct 12 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Recycling Event To accommodate residential and small business clients, TrueShred offers a paper shredding drop-off option. Bring your medium sized boxes (Regular Bankers Box) of sensitive papers and for just $10 per box watch the
Dennis R. Akers, Audit Supervisor - Virginia Department of Taxation

”TrueShred was prompt, efficient, clean and extremely professional. I plan to continue to use your service and will highly recommend TrueShred to other businesses.”