Shredder to the rescue

By LISA PHILLIPS / Guest Columnist

While we know the importance of shredding sensitive documents, bank statements and credit card information, the confusion may come from not knowing which shredder is best for specific tasks. Here are a few tips to help you understand the basic features of shredders.

-Size: Shredders come in a variety of sizes from tabletop and lightweight to a floor model that is heavier to relocate. The smaller varieties are good for use in the kitchen, where you process the mail and discard receipts, whereas the larger ones are more suited for offices with abundant files and papers.

-Sheet size: Most shredders come with either an eight- or 12- sheet option. This refers to the number of sheets of paper that can go through the shredder at one time without getting jammed. The price increases with the number of sheets the shredder can handle. Anything less than eight sheets is not recommended.

-Plastic feature: Check to see if the model is made for credit cards, CDs and staples. This is a desirable feature and worth the money.

-Safety feature: Some shredders offer the feature of automatically stopping when the paper intake is touched. This safety lock is especially important and, again, worth the extra few dollars.

-Recycle: Use the shredded paper for packing material in moving, to cushion delicate glassware and for filler in gift baskets. It is more economical to make your own shred by using plain-colored paper and running it through the shredder rather than buying small packages of pre-made shred. The first step to shredder success is to understand the features you are looking for and then make sure you have the shredder conveniently located so you will actually use it. Paper is the number one source of clutter. By having a shredder at home and at the office, you will conquer the paper clutter eight or 12 sheets at a time. Happy shredding!

Lisa Phillips is the owner of SimpleWorks. She can be reached at lisa_phillips@bellsouth.net or 981-7733.