Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shredding Our History

I am alive! My husband didn't have to shoot me when he got home last night. I won the battle (not the war -- just the battle)! I managed to get through the two filing cabinets. The job would have gone much faster if it had been as I expected. I thought I could just toss cancelled checks, bank statements, tax documents from 1967-onward; but noooooooo. Did you realize that almost EVERYTHING of a business nature that was generated before 1990 (or thereabouts) included the person's Social Security Number? Well, I didn't either.

As I began to toss old business, educational, and professional records (6 filing cabinet drawers' worth), I discovered that our Social Security Numbers were on virtually everything. Every credit card application, every credit union and bank statement, every job application, every job contract, every graduate school application (and I must hold the record for the number of graduate schools attended to achieve only a master's degree!), every grade report and other communication from graduate school, every document related to our children's college finances --- do you get the picture? I had to dig back through the bag of trash and pull out almost every envelope to see exactly what info was included on the document. After finding our SSNs on almost every communication, I decided it would be less time-consuming to just assume that every document contained some personal information begging to be stolen by some identity thief.

Everything had to be shredded. I shredded our entire financial, educational, and professional history from about 1967 through 1995 (I kept the last ten years' worth of financial records.) At one point the shredder complained and refused to work any longer. After a rest, though, it agreed to finish the job. Anybody need shreds for packing breakables? I have about 10 bags full!

But rejoice! Both the shredder and I are alive and cutting up today!


Carol said...

I burned up a shredder a few years ago doing the same thing. I need to get my new shredder going again. Congratulations on winning the battle.

Jane said...

Bravo!!! When you finish would like to come to MY house....I'll give you a job!

beth said...

LOL - 1967?? Lol

This is an inspiring story - I'm going to start doing away with the ever increasing piles of useless papers.....

I have a fireplace :)

Ruth said...

So glad you survived. I am proud of you.