How to Get Organized Before Sunmark's Shred Day

Some of the easiest targets for identity thieves are home trash bins. When you put a piece of paper in the trash it can be difficult to know what happens to it. It is likely that your trash passes through several stages on its way to a landfill and every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control, has risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm. One way to safeguard personal information is to shred it before it goes into the trash. 

Join us Saturday, October 19, from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm, for our document shredding day at our Latham branch located at 1187 Troy Schenectady Road. This is a great opportunity to safely destroy any personal information at no cost to you.

The Colonie Police Department will also join us to provide Halloween safety tips for children.

The Albany County Sheriff will also join us with Operation Safe Child. Operation Safe Child was created by the governor’s office to raise awareness about child safety.  Using digital fingerprint technology and high-resolution photography, officers produce a FREE Safe Child identification card.  Each card contains the child’s name, photograph, fingerprint images and biographical information (gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color and specific identifying characteristics).

What should you shred?

Tax information & returns

Investment records & statements

Bank statements & canceled checks

Paycheck stubs

ATM receipts

The next question, how do I organize all that stuff!  Eileen Roth, author of "Organizing for Dummies," recommends these quick checklists to get organized.

Use W-A-S-T-E to decide whether something's worth keeping:

  • W -- Worthwhile. If the item isn't worth saving, toss it. If it is, move on to the next four questions.
  • A -- Again. Will you use this item more than once?
  • S -- Somewhere else. Can you find it somewhere else or borrow it if you need it?
  • T -- Toss. Will anything happen if you throw it out? If you need it for tax or legal reasons, for example, keep it.
  • E -- Entire. Do you need the whole thing, the complete catalog, for example, when you only want to order from one page? If not, keep what you need and toss the rest.

Use R-E-M-O-V-E to clear off your desk:

  • R -- Reduce all the distractions on your desktop, such as knickknacks or this morning's mail. Put them on top of a file cabinet or bookcase instead.
  • E -- Everyday use. Only keep things you use often on top of your desk.
  • M -- Move items to the preferred side, whether you're a "righty" or "lefty." Put the phones, pens, pencils and pads within easy reach. Put the telephone on the opposite side so you can write with your preferred hand.
  • O -- Organize like items together so you can find them easily.
  • V -- View your time. Keep an organizer and clock on your desk.
  • E -- Empty the center. Clear off space in the middle of your desk so you can work on the project at hand.