Call Us Today (661) 397-3193

What To Shred

Learn More

Given the overwhelming amount of paperwork flooding our homes and businesses, it’s often a challenge to determine which documents should be shredded and when. From everyday receipts to crucial contracts, the flow of documents seems never-ending. However, it’s crucial to remember a fundamental principle: any document containing personal, financial, or confidential information should be promptly shredded after it has fulfilled its purpose. By committing to this practice, you ensure the security of your sensitive data, safeguarding it against potential threats or misuse.

Why Shred?

The importance of shredding extends beyond mere organization and space management. It’s a key measure in safeguarding your privacy and fortifying your security. With data breaches and identity theft becoming increasingly common, shredding plays a crucial role in preventing your valuable information from falling prey to such threats. Furthermore, for businesses, shredding isn’t just good practice; it’s often a legal necessity to stay compliant with various data protection regulations.

When To Shred?

Once you’ve grasped the importance of shredding and its pivotal role in safeguarding your privacy, the next step is to pinpoint the perfect time to shred.


Certain documents like utility bills, credit card statements, and other monthly financial records have a relatively short lifespan. Once they have served their purpose and are no longer necessary, typically at the end of each month, they should be sent to the shredder.


Some records demand a longer retention period. Documents like tax returns, pay stubs, and annual insurance policies should be securely stored for a year before they are deemed ready for shredding.

Seven Years

There are also documents that require an even longer shelf life. Documents tied to real estate transactions, business contracts, and certain financial records should be kept for at least seven years. Once this period has passed, it is advisable to assess whether they are still necessary. If they are deemed unnecessary, it is recommended to securely shred them, thereby ensuring compliance with legal obligations.

Keep your data secure and contact us today for a quote!​

Examples of Documents To Shred

Managing your documents effectively involves knowing what to shred and when. Here’s a handy list of documents that should be shredded in both home and business settings to ensure your personal, financial, and proprietary information remains secure.


When it comes to residential document management, several types of documents should be on your shredding list:

Old Utility Bills: Once they’ve served their purpose, these can be shredded to prevent any personal information from being exposed.

Expired Credit and Debit Cards: These should be shredded to protect your financial information from potential misuse.

Outdated Medical Records: Protect your private health information by shredding medical records that are no longer needed.

Unsolicited Mail With Personal Information: Junk mail often contains personal details. Shred these to prevent identity theft.

Old Bank Statements: Once checked for discrepancies and no longer needed for tax purposes, old bank statements should be shredded to prevent financial fraud.

Expired Passports and IDs: These contain sensitive personal information and should be shredded to prevent identity theft.

Old Tax Returns: After the recommended retention period, old tax returns should be shredded to protect your financial data.

Receipts with Credit Card Information: Any receipts bearing your credit card information should be shredded after they have been reconciled with your statements.

Pay Stubs: Once you have received your annual W-2 and confirmed its accuracy, shredding pay stubs helps protect your income information.


Some records demand a longer retention period. Documents like tax returns, pay stubs, and annual insurance policies should be securely stored for a year before they are deemed ready for shredding.

Old Employee Records: Shred these to protect the privacy of your employees and comply with data protection laws.

Outdated Customer Databases: These often contain sensitive customer information that should be protected.

Expired Contracts: Once contracts have expired, they should be shredded to protect any proprietary or confidential business information.

Documents With Sensitive Business Data: Any internal documents containing sensitive or proprietary information should be shredded to prevent leaks or misuse.

Financial Reports: Old financial reports can contain sensitive financial data that should be kept secure.

Marketing Plans: Shred outdated marketing plans to prevent competitors from gaining access to your strategies.

Old Bid Documents: Previous bid documents can contain pricing and strategic information that should be protected.

Obsolete Product Information: This could include product designs, manuals, or specifications that are no longer relevant but still contain proprietary information.

Expired Business Licenses and Permits: These documents may contain sensitive business information and should be shredded once they are no longer valid.

Training Manuals: Outdated training manuals can contain operational processes and procedures that should be kept confidential.

What Not To Shred

While shredding is essential for documents containing sensitive information, there are certain documents that should be spared from the shredder. These are typically irreplaceable documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, social security cards, and current legal documents. Before deciding to shred a document, consider the difficulty and cost of replacing it. If it’s likely to cause significant inconvenience or expense, it’s better to store it securely.

Protect Your Information & Contact Us Today

Securing your sensitive documents is more than a precaution; it’s a necessity. Shredding isn’t just about organization – it’s a vital step in ensuring the privacy and security of your personal and business information. At Advanced Data Storage, we specialize in providing top-tier shredding services tailored to your needs. Don’t leave your information security to chance. Take the first step towards enhanced data protection and let our team of experts guide you through a secure document disposal process. Contact Advanced Data Storage today now for all your shredding needs because your peace of mind is our priority.