Last month, Moorea wrote about how shedding stuff saves money by introducing readers to the concept of Shelf-Life. What this means is how long you can go without using an item before she would urge you to purge it. Moorea is all about being clutter-free.

I’m clutter free except when it comes to paper… this is where I get tripped up. I don’t want to throw it out without first shredding it. This is due to a healthy dose of paranoia when it comes to identity theft.

Six months ago, I cleaned out the closet in my home office and since then two bankers box files have been stacked next to my desk – earmarked for the paper shredder next to the boxes. My goal was to make sure I had shredded the contents before the end of the year. They’re still sitting there.

I shred stuff daily: mostly credit card applications or any “offers” that come in the mail with my name on it. It’s the stuff that you need to save for a period of time and then can purge after enough time passes that piles up: ATM and credit card receipts, bank statements, paycheck stubs, retirement and investment account statements, utility bills, expense reports/receipt for work or anything else that has my name and an account number on it.

It’s amazing how the paper seems to multiply after just a couple of years. But I just found the solution. Thanks to Gay List Daily, I stumbled upon dClutterfly, an organizing service in Los Angeles that helps people edit their stuff and of course, that pesky paperwork:

One thing that frequently stops our clients from purging their paperwork is how to dispose of all those papers with personal information on it. They know they need to shred (shredding is a MUST), but their home shredder can’t handle the volume.

A great solution for that once a year (you know, when you purge your files after doing your taxes), larger than normal shredding job is a mobile shredding company. These companies send a large truck to your home or office with a huge shredder in it. They shred your papers in an instant while you watch. A client last week had 45 boxes that were shredded in under 15 minutes. We recommend having a party and getting some friends to bring over their shredding, too.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, the company we love is Paper Recycling & Shredding Specialists. They are prompt, professional, and reasonably priced; and when they’re all done, they present you with a Certificate of Destruction. It’s really cool.

The last time I was overwhelmed by my “pile to shred” I tried calling around for a mobile shredder that service residential clients and couldn’t find one. Problem solved. I’m calling the shredding specialists today and I’ll let you know what they charge for a home visit.

So how can all this shredding save me money? At one point when I was writing for BlogHer, I interviewed The Thoughtful Consumer and this is what she had to say about clutter stopping the flow of abundance in our live as well as being a negative force, financial or otherwise:

Clutter is disastrous, far beyond what it appears to be on the surface in most cases. It can cause enormous stress among family members. It saps your energy. It prevents you from fully living your life because you’re constantly dealing with it, not only in reality but also in your head. You can lose hours searching for the most mundane items, or the most important ones, like bills or contracts or car keys when you’re in a hurry. You can lose things completely and be forced to replace them (I confess that we lost an entire set of Christmas tree ornaments one year in our storeroom, and it was a very neat looking storeroom!). You worry about your clutter, make excuses for it when people come to your home, avoid facing it and bake cookies instead because it makes you feel bad about yourself. If your clutter is expensive, you insure it, you might even hide it away where it can’t be damaged or save it for some undefined special time in the misty future, thus making it completely inaccessible and utterly useless. Clutter can be completely paralyzing. — Guess that makes the point that I think it’s a negative force!

As for whether or not it stops the flow of abundance in some more mystical way, for example as a Feng Shui practitioner undoubtedly would attest, I wouldn’t rule that out either. If life energy needs to flow in order to be vital, clutter poses some significant obstacles to that flow. In fact, there’s no religious or spiritual tradition that I can think of that says, “Go forth, my children, and buy stuff that you don’t need and won’t use. Let these things fill your home to the point that you can barely move and empty your bank account to the point that you can barely exist. This is the way to free your spirit and find everlasting peace!” Just doesn’t ring true, does it?

Clutter stops the flow of abundance. So maybe shredding isn’t going to automatically save you money, but it’s going to make room for more abundance to flow your way.

What do you think? And how do you stay on top of purging your paperwork?

Photo credit: stock.xchng.