My shredder, how I love you.

We are in the midst of “The Great Clean Out” or TGCO, of 2011.  Phase 1: Files.  You know, paper out the wazoo that goes forth and multiplies.  We got a cardboard box, filled it with with papers to shred, and shredding became a family affair.

As we had our shred fest, I had an epiphany.  There were more uses for ye ole shredder than just shredding old tax documents and the like.

Example: newspaper ads. My oldest loves the newspaper newspaper flyers and junkmail. We find this stuff everywhere. His backpack, dresser, closet, and who knows what else are packed with old newspaper ads– grocery stores, pharmacies, pet stores, department stores, hearing aids, expired coupons, and flyers from used car dealerships.

If he just kept a few, it would be okay.  But we’re talking weeks worth of ads and junk mail, which leads to his increasing frustration that he can’t afford what he’s wanting or he can’t get rich quick by going into the lawn care business.

Then there are previously recycled papers that “mysteriously” reappear on the dining room table. Some of these reappearing papers are “important” reminders back from weeks past (Remember, candy orders due Thursday!). The announcement ends back on the dining room table just so it can give me a panic attack because I mistakenly think I’ve missed something important. (Note: when writing those alarmist announcements, please date them.)

The paper takes on a life of its own as it spawns more and more paper. Then walks out of the backpack and bedroom to taunt me in the dining room.

Arrr, foiled again!  So much for TGCO!

So I got an idea.  I had a secret weapon in the paper war.

I started shredding our recycling.

It does add “one more step” to our routine.  However, I found this lovely lady who has a ceramics business and ships her fragile wares all over the country.  She is glad to take the shreds for packaging.  I figure it helps her out, it’s good for the environment, and I win one more battle in the war against multiplying paper.

When I shred the ads immediately, no one notices that they are gone.  It’s out of sight, out of mind. It’s win/win.  Take that!

Alas, my shredder now seems to be dying of old age or over exertion.  So I’m looking for a new and improved model that will also shred old credit cards, drivers licenses, and gift cards with nothing on them that we seem to hold onto “just in case.”

TGCO continues.

3 responses to this post.

  1. My son does the same thing! I constantly have to hide my grocery store sales papers before they get shoved into a back pack. He used to be our shredder as well taking the papers and cutting them into strips and then into squares. No machine needed LOL!


    • Wow, thanks for telling me. Now I know we’re not alone. What’s the deal with ads, I wonder? Do they think we’re not going to feed them? 🙂


  2. Fun post to read! I love that you found someone who could actually use the shreds – that’s awesome. 🙂


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