Organising the Office: Creative uses for shredded paper

Today I am having a fight with the paper shredder while I am multitasking.  Apparently I have taken a few too many pictures on my phone and its saying my memory is full. While I upload all the photo’s to my computer, I am shredding paper while the computer is busy.  I was on a roll, happy with how clever I was using my time.  And then the shredder stopped working.  With torch and kitchen skewers in hand I’m trying to see what I have done, there is a little bit of paper caught, but surely that can’t be the issue.  I have googled and it appears I have excessively used it and it has automatically switched off.  Well at least I hope this is it, because it is a fairly new shredder and I won’t be impressed if it has stopped working.  Note: After an hour the shredder started working again, yay!

We are trying to streamline our home office to become paperless such as having statements emailed, however we still end up with a lot of paper.  It’s very important that you dispose of your personal documents properly.  Most of the information found on your documents are confidential, to protect yourself from identity theft you must dispose of these documents properly.  We use a cross-cut shredder as it’s more secure than the strip shredder.  We shred items such as:

  • All documentation with our full name and address
  • All documents with account numbers (bank account, membership accounts etc)
  • All documents with our date of birth
  • All documents with our signature
  • All bank/credit card statements
  • Pay slips
  • Old credit cards
  • Medical records, prescriptions
  • Tax records
  • Basically anything that has your personal information on it
I will go into further detail this month about which documents you should keep stored and for how long.

There are services which will destroy and dispose of all your documents securely, which is very important for businesses.  However for your home office you could put your shredded paper to use, below you will find a few creative uses for your stock pile.

Creative uses for shredded paper

Use for craft activities  |  Make and Takes

Shredded Paper Bowl Tutorial  |  The vintage dresser

To line chook boxes  or other pet cages |  Civil Eats

Cross-cut shreds (more secure than strip shredding) can be used for packing when moving or posting items {image credit}

Recyled paper  | Carolyns Homework

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HomemakersDaily May 11, 2012 - 5:31 AM

Awesome ideas.  Everytime I throw away a bunch of shredded paper I wonder what I could be using it for.  Seems like there should be something! I did shred some specifically the other day to include in my husband’s b/d present. I put a note in a box and need to fill it with something – used shredded paper.

Also, when my daugher got married, we shredded colored paper and put in glass bowls on the tables.  It looked really pretty!  It was new paper though – not recycled.

Max May 11, 2012 - 12:58 PM

If you can’t find a use at home for your shredded paper a lot of pet shops will happily take it to line their cages. Check with each individual shop first, but I used to take the bags from our workplace to our local and they loved it!

Leish May 11, 2012 - 6:25 PM

 Fantastic idea Max!!! I am sure the pet shops would love this and it is kind of like recycling it in a way lol.
We have guinea pigs and shredded paper makes a nice and warm bed for them so even if you know others with animals…

Nicole Grant May 12, 2012 - 6:53 AM

We also take ours to the local pet shop. They always seem grateful.

KateGi January 11, 2013 - 10:51 PM

The Brisbane City Council Animal Shelters (if you’re in Brisbane, look them up on the BCC website) – which are run by the animal welfare group The Lost Dogs’ Home incorporating The Lost Cats’ Home – will take shredded paper. We shred a lot of paper; anything with personal information on it gets cross-cut shredded and that ends up in the recycling (but being cross-cut it takes up far less volume than strip-cut) and anything else is used on both sides and then strip-cut. Every so often we take the strip-cut shredding to the BCC Animal Shelter at Willawong. FYI they also welcome old towels.

Katrina January 12, 2013 - 3:18 PM

This is really good to know, thank you for sending through this information.

Karen T May 11, 2012 - 7:32 AM

Shredded paper can go into your worm farm or compost too 🙂

Harriet Archer May 11, 2012 - 3:03 PM

I have a shredder. It doesn’t like shredding more than a dozen or so pieces of paper before it has to have a bex and a lie down. Why I expected more for my $20, I don’t know!

The Bloke has a Man Cave with a pot belly stove. It generally takes a few bits of paper to get going. It also doesn’t need a rest after it destroys a few pieces of paper so we’ve taken to calling *that* the shredder and he uses anything with personal information in it as a fire starter. Or if he’s feeling more pyromaniacal than usual – I hand him a wedge of papers on a cold day and voila! Fortunately, end of financial year culling time coincides nicely with Fire Time!

Lisa Warren May 11, 2012 - 9:24 PM

I don’t know if you’ve noticed Katrina, but shredded paper fills your recycling way quicker than just regular paper! I love the ideas you’ve shared for repurposing the shreds. Way more fun than shredding and throwing it away.

Carole Fitzgerald December 17, 2013 - 11:10 AM

we use a shredder at work and bag the shreddings and give it to the local pet shop for the pets’ cages…..

Katrina December 19, 2013 - 5:06 PM

great idea Carole!

Karen Edwards December 17, 2013 - 11:22 AM

You can also use shredded paper in compost bins its great, or if you are starting a new garden bed dig a little bit deeper and place in some shredded paper it will help with water retention and worms love it

Katrina December 17, 2013 - 12:13 PM

that’s a fabulous idea!


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