I see a lot of paper shredders in my clients' homes and when I ask about where/ when they shred papers, the answer is that they don't. The pile of papers near the shredder is usually the tell-tale sign, but part of my job is to help my clients create an awareness around their behaviors so as to open up them up to transforming that behavior.
Personally, I do not like shredders, it's the noise that just gets in my bones and it makes me kind of nuts. My husband does the shredding, and I cringe every time I hear it. I am lucky that he does the shredding because he is organized and keeps up with it. It's not a mound of stuff he has to conquer.
While in one of my corporate client's office this week, the topic of shredding came up. The discussion that ensued was very entertaining and eye-opening. I was in one of the executive's office looking for a shelving solution for a nook that was currently storing a shredder with a bunch of stuff piled on top. It was quite obvious that it wasn't being used and he was willing to get rid of it. Another executive, who had JUST told me about how he and his wife recently moved and were so happy to have gotten rid of so much stuff, says, "I'll take it home". My question was "but, will you really use it?" His response: "Ha! You always ask the right questions!"
He was ready to talk himself into how satisfying it would be to spend his valuable downtime shredding papers. Who am I to judge that? I get that sometimes doing a physical task that has physical measurable results can be very satisfying when you spend most of your time doing cerebral work. The awareness here I like to implement is for my clients to think about how much their time is worth.
Curiosity got the better of me so I called New York Paper Shredding Service to find out exactly how much their service costs. They come to your home or office and for up to 300 lbs. of paper - the equivalent of 10 black garbage bags - it's $119! Now, I don't want anyone to accumulate that much paper to begin with, but I don't see why neighbors couldn't plan once or twice a year to share the cost to simplify this huge project that no one has time for.
In a follow up email exchange with my executive, I ended with ::DON'T TAKE THE SHREDDER:: His response: "My temptation for shredding has subsided ;)"