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If everyone procrastinates in cleaning out old files of utility bills, bank statements, etc., like I do, it becomes a huge job. The container that comes with your paper shredder is so inadequate at this stage, that I put a clean trash bag in my kitchen trash basket, and shred away. You don't have to worry about emptying it every 5 minutes. When the bag is full just fasten the top and drop in the trash or the incinerator. The original container makes a neat wastebasket for the bathroom.
Harlean from Arkansas
I get sick of shredding so sometimes I put papers in the sink with hot soapy water and let them soak while I do other things. When I come back to them, they are easy to tear and mix into tight balls. When dry, these balls will be impossible to break apart for any information.
For those who still have diaper duty at home and shred their sensitive documents. Throw some of that shredded paper in the diaper before you wrap it up and toss it out. No one will be willing to try and piece that info back together.
Source: Just thinking of uses for shredded paper after my daughter and I had a blast throwing it at each other after shredding 2009's old documents.
By Kris from Bladenboro, NC
I do not have a paper shredder but I have found a very effective, inexpensive way to protect my identity. I just tear anything with personal data on it once and then put in with the household garbage. I gets so messy, no one would be able to retrieve it!
By Mildred from Daytona Beach, FL
When shredding paper you only have to shred the parts with your personal info. Recycle the rest or use the blank side as scrap paper.
By Patti from Oak Ridge, TN
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I know we all need to try to protect our personal info from information theft. But, I've just had it with my 3rd paper shredder. They're noisy, they jam, they take too much energy and time to use and maintain, and the result isn't commercially recyclable. What are some good alternatives to shredding paper?
By nhe from Denton, TX
I've soaked important documents and papers that needed to be destroyed in a sink with a bit of warm water until they fall apart when taken out of the sink. I just keep pulling the soaked papers apart until they are unreadable or the ink runs completely, then ball the pieces into a ball or several small individual balls and dispose of them in the trash.
For credit cards I've used heavy duty scissors, cutting across the numbers and name crosswise several times, then cut those pieces into slivers the opposite way, making sure no full name or numbers are present before disposing of the pieces. Should you throw these into the garbage, it would be a good idea to only throw a few pieces away at a time.
Anything can be burnt in a fire if you are allowed to have a fire where you live.
I have a wood stove. Not as much fun in the summer but a daily ritual in the winter.
Cut up the cards as theroadrunnerla mentioned.
I soak mine also and then pull them to piece after the ink is all unreadable. I soak them with the cardboard I tear up to use less trash bags!
I ask my kids to shred them for me. We have a shredding party. I put them in a box, and let them shred them up and put them in 2 different trash cans. After they are done I just go through to make sure every thing is torn pretty small. They have a blast doing it and I don't spend of my time doing it. They feel proud to have helped me.
I just use a permanent marker to block out name, address and any account or code numbers appearing on sensitive paperwork, rip 'em in quarters and put them into the recycling bin.
Also agree with theroadrunneria on disposal of credit cards.
We accumulate our files and then take huge bag fulls to the Goodwill Store to be shredded. The price is very reasonable plus all your items go into one large sealed container. I asked about 'Security' & was told that there are TV cameras all over the shredding area plus a supervisor who monitors all the shredders.
Also, Office Depot has a shredding system which is done while you wait near the machines. They also are quite reasonable priced.
Handmade paper from bills is a beautiful idea (I have not put in practice yet), just as several folks say they have soaked papers, the next step is to mush it up in a blender and then spread it out to dry into new sheets, adding whatever fun things you like to add to paper.
There are some mail order companies that offer "shredder scissors" -- Miles Kimball is one of them They are scissors that have five blades on each side to use for shredding documents and credit cards. Good luck finding what you want.
I have switched to paperless billing on nearly all bills. I mostly get ads and and junk mail (usually with my name misspelled) and the occasional letter or package. I sort through the mail and deposit most of the junk in the recycle bin on my way back in the house. I just hand shred or mark out sensitive info but there is rarely much anymore.
Sometimes I will tear things up really well and put them in the trash with the coffee grounds poured over them and maybe some grease and then throw in a poopy diaper for good measure!