How often do you shred?

Or should I ask, do you shred at all?

We deal with lots of private information all day long and while more and more of it is handled electronically, how do you deal sensitive paperwork?

I have a fantastic shredder that I picked up at a local yard sale.  It is heavy duty and does a great job, the only drawback is that it is not a cross cut shredder.  It is also an older model, so I have to be careful not to shred too much in a single session, it will just stop if it gets overworked.

My husband and one of his good friends also like to have bonfires outside burning fireand I am happy to let them use my already shredded paper or to be shredded paper to help get the blaze going.  Do you ever use burning as an alternative to shredding?

What do you shred?

I worry that I am shredding more than I need to and I could just throw away or recycle some of the items I spend my time shredding.  Anything that has my social security number is a no-brainer, and I like to make sure to shred anything that has my date of birth also, though I know that information is pretty easy to find.m

I try to also shred anything that has account numbers, better safe than sorry.

And client information.  Client notes and of course and financial information, though it is rare that I have direct access to financial information.  When I am working 1-on1 with a client, I am always taking notes, sometimes they are worth reviewing and sometimes they are random words and ideas that really weren’t all that significant afterall, but I do keep them for a period of time and it does help me as I prepare for each session.  The big question for me with client information is how long to hang on to it, or when to shred it?

So am I putting too much thought into shredding?  Do you struggle with any of these issues or other shredding related issues? I would love to hear your  thoughts in the comments below.