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Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Shredding?  What in tarnation (that word alone puts me in the virus warning group for sure) are you talking about Cranky?

If you are a guitar aficionado and you read this blog, you know I have been trying to play guitar for many years now.  You would also know that shredding refers to playing hot fast rock and roll licks on an electric guitar.

Well, that is not the type of shredding I am talking about.

I am talking about shredding papers. 
As we are holed up in the house for the time being, Mrs. C, miracle of miracles, has decided to clear out her office/hoarding room. 

She is going through boxes and boxes of papers; bank statements, appliance instructions, bills, and what not. 

My job is to shred said papers so that important valuable personal information can not be stolen when they are disposed of.

Now I really don’t think that if we toss bags and bags of papers un- shredded into the town recycle dumpster, that someone will dig through hoping to somehow raid our bank and brokerage accounts.  Is it a valid worry?  If my last name was Gates, maybe, otherwise I think we are pretty safe.

Still Mrs. C wants these papers shredded, and I am not about to discourage her de-hoarding project.  Besides, what the hell else do I have to do all day.  I Can’t bowl, I can’t play golf, the gym is closed.  I can only exercise so much at home, and I do get tired of the guitar after a few hours. 

So, shredding it is.

You think shredding is easy?  It is not.  Not for me anyway.  I would not have been much help for a panicky Bernie Madoff. 

The damn machine jams very easy and clearing a jam is a bitch.  At least  in the beginning.  I have learned how much the machine can shred at a time, how to feed it gently, when to dump the shreds and when to clear the teeth.

After much initial frustration with clogs and overflow mess I have gotten into a rhythm.  There is something therapeutic about the hum, the grinding, and the sheer destruction of a paper shredder.

I have been at it now for two days.  It will probably take a bit longer.  Mrs. C is only up to year 2004.  Sixteen years adds up to a lot of bank statements, appliance instructions, bills, and what not.

Oh well, were in lockdown.  What else am I going to do?


  1. Not casting aspersions on Mrs. C, because I also like to hold onto "important" stuff "just in case." However, I was SHOCKED to hear of this clean-out! Somewhere, pigs are flying over a frozen Not-Heaven.

  2. This was like a prod in the back.... okay, okay, I'll start sifting the piles of stuff that have been patiently waiting for the blades to descend.

  3. My mother kept all bills and financial records for years and years. The problem came when she started having symptoms of dementia. I would find her sitting at the table with a stack of twenty year old bills crying about what was she going to do with all these bills and no money to pay them. I would sneak paperwork out of her place but If I took too much she would catch me and accuse me of stealing. Loudly. Not to suggest Mrs. C will go that route, but on the other hand don't do anything to discourage the purge.

  4. You got me thinking JoeH. Why do they shred cheese? What do they have to hide?

    My clothes get shredded every time I use the washing machine. It happens time and again. A vicious circle.

    God bless.

  5. When I retired & decided to move across town in October 2016 & began downsizing, I got one of these (with a metal wastebasket below the shredder) and did 20+ years of canceled checks & stuff--got rid of the shredder at my sister's garage sale, but kept the metal wastebasket for my new kitchen :)

  6. Oooh, I really need to do that also but don't have a shredder. Think I will Google one today. It is a nice indoor job. Thanks.

  7. I do that every January. My shredder tends to overheat and stop, so there's definitely a science to it.

  8. When shredding all of hubby's parents stuff we had to replace the shredder twice. Overworked it but they had 64 years of stuff to do. Good you established a ritual to get it done.


  9. Fortunately our local Better Business Bureau sponsors free drive-thru Shred Days twice a year. You simply drive up with your 2 bag or box limit, volunteers remove it from your vehicle and empty it into the on-site commercial shredder. Sure beats dealing with a prone to overheat personal shredder!

  10. You'd be amazed at how many people want the information of even us ordinary folks. Good work on helping Mrs. C.

  11. I started shredding old documents too. As I was doing taxes recently, I realized that I had boxes with receipts from when Roosevelt was in the White House...well, it seemed like they were that old.

  12. I shredded a heap of stuff when I moved here and since then have torn up or cut into tiny pieces anything that has my address or bank account number on it. Everything else doesn't matter so goes into the recycling or composting bins.

  13. mom used to do it though it was never about bank statements but only important papers belong to her treatment and hospitals and bills

    hubby never had to do it because he already puts things in order and so carefully (beyond your imagination lol)
    i am not the one who cares about such delicate stuff or may be i always had someone who took responsibility
    how nice that within two days you can enjoy your participation ,these are excellent survival skills indeed


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