When spring is in the air, it’s hard not to get excited. But Spring time and tax time are also great opportunities to clean up and get organized. As cleaning experts like Marie Kondo profess, an organized home offers more than just a physical improvement. Organization can help transform your inner life as well.
Part of tax season preparation involves sifting through piles of paperwork and filed records, whether you file yourself, or hire an accountant. After filing, you have to decide how to get rid of your excess papers safely. Paper shredding is the smartest choice for the security of your personal information.
Why Do You Need to Shred Your Personal Files and Documents?
Safeguarding your personal information is crucial to prevent identity theft. We all worry about getting a banking account or credit card stolen (which of course is a headache you want to avoid). But truth be told: those types of thefts are easier to solve than the theft of personal data. While it’s a hassle to close banking accounts, it sure isn’t easy or even practical to change your social security, name, address or birthday.
Paper shredding is an essential part of your springtime cleaning because it’s critical to keep your personal information private. Once your personal information is stolen you will have to constantly watch your accounts or hire an identity/credit monitoring service.
Paper Shredding Options
Depending on your specific needs and personal situation you have the choice of either buying a paper shredder to keep in your home office, or using a paper shredding service. Here’s a breakdown of some considerations for both options.
Buying a Paper Shredder
- If space is no issue and you don’t accumulate a tremendous amount of paperwork then it may make sense to invest in a at home paper shredder. Small personal paper shredders won’t cost a lot, but there will be limits to how many papers you can handle at once, so larger jobs might be time consuming.
- Many types and sizes of paper shredders are available on the market, the more secure style shredders and larger capacity shredders will cost more.
- Paper shredders require maintenance such as cleaning the blades.
- You will be responsible for recycling the shredded paper.
Using a Paper Shredding Service
- The major benefit of using a paper shredding service is you won’t have to store and maintain the shredder.
- You can drop off your papers, schedule a pick up or have a mobile shredding service come to your home.
- No matter what the size of the job, shredding services will be easy, fast and will include recycling of the papers.
- You can sometimes find free paper shredding as well as plenty of paid paper shredding services.
The 8 Best Paper Shredding Services (and Their Costs)
1. FedEx Paper Shredding
How it works: Call your local FedEx store to confirm the availability of shredding services. Most locations offer a drop off service that will weigh your documents, then place them in a secure locked container until they are picked up by Iron Mountain for shredding and recycling.
Cost: $1.49 per pound.
2. Office Depot Paper Shredding
How it works: Office Depot partners with Iron Mountain to offer a few different paper shredding options. You can opt for a one time pick up or recurring shredding services where they will come to your home or office. For smaller jobs you can also call your local Office Depot to find out about their in-store shredding.
Cost: $.99 per pound for in-store shredding. One time pick-up of one to three boxes will cost $89.99.
3. The UPS Store Paper Shredding
How it works: You’ll need to go to www.theupsstore.com and find your local UPS store to check the price and availability of their paper shredding service. Typically the UPS store offers document shredding by weight. You’ll be charged per pound and your shredding can include office paper, receipts, notes as well as print outs. You don’t have to remove staples, paper clips or folders. When I called my local store for a price quote, the sales associate mentioned that sometimes the container gets full so call ahead to make sure there is room for your documents, especially if you are planning on dropping a large amount off.
Cost: $1.50 per pound, your documents are then placed inside the Iron Mountain locked shredding container.
4. Staples Paper Shredding
How it works: Staples offers in-store drop off of documents. Documents will be weighed and placed in a secure, locked bin until they are picked up by Iron Mountain. For questions and availability, you will need to call and ask to speak with the Staples Print & Marketing department.
Cost: $.99 per pound at my local Staples. Ask your local store for a quote.
5. Shred-it Paper Shredding
How it works: This online shredding company is a great choice for larger jobs, or the repeated shredding needs of a small business. You can opt for a one-time shredding job that comes with a guaranteed two or five-day service delivery. Shred-it will provide a Certificate of Destruction and guarantees the work is performed by security professionals. Regularly scheduled shredding service can also be set up.
Cost: You’ll have to go to www.shredit.com or call 1-877-542-3992 and get a quote based on the specifics of your project.
6. SoCalShred Paper Shredding
How it works: This regional shredding service operates in the Los Angeles and Orange County area. They offer mobile shredding service, one-time purge shredding service as well as off-site shredding locations.
Cost: There is an online quote calculator. To give you an idea, my request for three boxes of shredding with an in-home pick up was $175.
7. Shred Nations Paper Shredding
How it works: This website offers to connect you with regional shredding services. While I looked into my own area of Southern California, Shred Nations will connect you to various locations around the country. You will need to fill out an online request for a quote, or call the local phone number. Within minutes you’ll be connected to service providers that you can choose from. The providers will supply locked shredding bins and once they are filled, they’ll come back and shred the contents while you watch. You will also receive a certificate of destruction.
Cost: Varies according to region and job size. Call or go online for a quote.
8. ProShred Paper Shredding
How it works: This company services 41 metropolitan areas in 26 states. Go online to find out if they service your area. They offer a variety of services for larger businesses, as well as options for residential service and small businesses. You can stop by a ProShred location or arrange to have ProShed come to you with their mobile shredding truck.
Cost: Get your quote online at www.proshred.com or by calling 1-877-767-4733.
Are Paper Shredding Services Secure?
Knowing security is a major concern, all paper shredding services offer security procedures. Most commonly, your documents will be locked inside a container to ensure your documents stay private until they are shredded. Every company that provides this service will offer secure shredding and they will outline their specific security procedure.
Where Can I Find Free Paper Shredding Services Near Me?
Keep in mind that to celebrate Earth Day, which falls on April 22, 2022 this year, some companies, local businesses or cities/towns may offer free paper shredding and recycling. For example, the City of Torrance in California (where I live) is offering free paper shredding to honor Earth Day for its residents. Go online and search for this event in your area. It’s always smart to take advantage of freebies if you can.
How Can I Find Paper Shredding Services Near Me?
We’ve got a round up of eight of the best paper shredding services available below. In addition to the major companies included, you will likely find lots of smaller local paper shredding companies near your home city.
Most of the options below are widely available across the U.S., or in major metro areas. Terms might vary by location or franchise, so call ahead with any specific questions.
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