At Salal, we’re strong believers in spring cleaning—especially of your sensitive documents! So we’re once again offering our free, annual Shredathon so our members and the public can “spring clean” that pile of personal documents securely and easily. And we’re accepting donations of non-perishable food for Northwest Harvest. Please see their website for details on donating: northwestharvest.org.
So save the date: Saturday, April 28, from 10 am to 2 pm at our Northgate Branch, 11023 8th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98125. Please limit your shredables to no more than two paper grocery bags’ worth.
What should you shred?
- Tax information and returns. You should keep documents that support declarations on your tax returns for at least three years, then shred them. The tax returns themselves you should keep forever.
- ATM and credit card receipts. Once you’ve verified these against your statement, you can go ahead and shred.
- Paycheck stubs. If you’re planning to apply for a loan soon, you should have at least three months’ worth of these available to prove income. Otherwise, the most recent stub is plenty, but you should definitely shred the rest.
- Financial institution statements and cancelled checks. These are great for checking for fraud on your account or for establishing a family budget, so you may want to hold on to these for a few years. After that, though, these are definitely shredables. Keep cancelled checks if they have bearing on your taxes; otherwise, shred.
- Homeowner info. Deeds, mortgages and home improvement receipts and information should be kept for as long as you own your home plus three years after the sale. Then into the shredder they go!
- Utility bills. If your home is also your office, you may need to keep these as part of your tax records. Otherwise, these are good candidates for the shredder.
- Insurance info. Keep the information and documentation for as long as the insurance is in effect, then shred.
- Miscellaneous. If it contains personal information (Social Security number, PINs, financial institution account numbers, etc.), and you don’t want or need to keep it, SHRED IT! Don’t make your garbage can or recycle bin a fraudster’s dream!
Never shred wills, marriage licenses or divorce documents, birth certificates, powers of attorney, child care orders, trust documents, military records or business agreements. Be sure you have a secure place to store these in case of home intruders or disasters such as fires or flood.
Bring us your sensitive documents, and we’ll shred ‘em for free. You can watch your documents be fed directly into the machine and enjoy the peace of mind such a sight can bring.