Shredding your documents, what to keep and what to get rid of

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Consumers need to protect their identity, particularly in the wake of data breaches that have exposed millions of electronic records in recent months.

On April 18th, four Connecticut state agencies are teaming up to help consumers shred unneeded documents and further protect their personal information.

Spring cleaning is an excellent the time to go through your files and properly dispose of documents containing your personal financial information.

Document shredding helps the environment as well, by recovering tons of paper that can be recycled into paper towels and other products, and we appreciate that DEEP is allowing us to hold our events at two of the state’s beautiful State Parks.

Of course, most people already know the importance of shredding, and have been doing it at home for years. If you have an older shredder that cuts paper into long strips, it’s time to find a deal on a newer cross-cut paper shredder.

Thieves can and will re-assemble documents if they think there could be a big payoff for them!

Cross-cut shredders will turn your documents into small bits and pieces that are much more difficult to patch back together.


Shredding event

Saturday, April 18th

10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.

Black Rock State Park, Route 6, Watertown & Mansfield Hollow State Park off Rte. 89, Mansfield

Consumers can bring to three large trash bags or cartons of documents for shredding at either of the two locations.

Documents that should be kept permanently in a fireproofbox or home safe:

  • birth certificates, marriage certificate
  • college transcripts, diplomas
  • credit card agreements, loan agreements
  • divorce decree and property agreements
  • mortgage documents
  • home inventory
  • insurance policies
  • passport (current)
  • pension-plan and retirement-plan documents
  • Social Security cards
  • stock purchase agreements
  • tax returns
  • will and living will

Things to Keep / Things to Shred

  • Canceled personal checks - 1 year, then shred unless needed for tax,warranty, or insurance
  • Pay stubs - 1 year, then shred unless needed for tax,warranty, or insurance
  • Credit card, debit card, ATM receipts - Until you verify transactions against statements, then shred
  • Health plan statements - Until bill with provider is settled, then shred
  • Statements that bear your signature,credit account number, phone number, social security number, or medical or legal information - Shred as soon as possible
  • Warranty cards, instructions, and receipts for high-ticket items- Keep for as long as you own the items.
  • Store receipts for non-warrantied items - Keep receipt until no chance of return or exchange, then shred.
  • Cancelled checks, contracts, invoices and receipts for any permanent home improvement- Until you sell the house
  • Vehicle purchase or lease documents,warranties and maintenance records, title - Until you sell the vehicle or return leased vehicle to the dealer.  Give documents to the new owner when transaction is final.
  • Stock, bond, mutual fund purchase/sales records - Keep for IRS reporting then file for as long as you own the financial funds.
  • Documentation for federal and state tax filing, including W-2 forms - 3 - 7 years after filing tax return
  • Federal and state income tax filings - Forever