Selling your house presents the perfect opportunity to have a really thorough clear out, after all what is the point of lugging items you haven’t used for ten years in your old home over to your new one? When it comes to those boxes of old files up in the loft full of bank statements and bills what do you need to keep and what can you lose to lighten the load on move day?
Once you have decided what goes and what stays you need to consider how you are going to destroy the documents you no longer need. Identity theft is an issue we are all aware of and are keen to avoid, ensure that you shred any documents you are not taking to your new home. Any written communication from a financial institution could be dangerous in the wrong hands so bypass the issue completely and give yourself peace of mind by using a cross cut shredder rather than just tearing things up and putting them in the bin. Using a cross cut shredder will provide better security than a standard strip cut shredder, as the pieces will be far more difficult to piece back together even by a determined identity thief.
Not sure what to save and what to shred? See our list of top identity theft risk items you should think about shredding:
Bank statements – You may want to consider switching over to online statements to avoid the need for shredding in the future.
Out of date credit or debit cards – Don’t be tempted to just cut them in half with scissors and consider the job done, good quality shredder should be able to handle the job.
Expired photographic ID cards – As with credit or debit cards if no longer in use any form of photographic ID card should be destroyed thoroughly by shredding to protect against potential identity theft.
Aged pay slips – Found a bunch of old payslips? They may look harmless enough at first glance but in the wrong hands can be dangerous so if you do not need them for your financial records shred them.
Cancelled cheques – Go a step further than drawing a line through an incorrectly written cheque, once you know your bank statement is correct shred the cheque in question.
There are of course certain documents you will need to retain for record keeping purposes, as a general rule when you are clearing out anything three years or older can hit the shredder. When it comes to tax related documents confirm with your accountant before shredding just to be on the safe side.
It is not just paper based documents you need to consider, what about those old mobile phones knocking about? Removing the SIM card won’t cut it so have the professionals deal with it safely. Be sure the company you choose to do the job will provide you with a certificate of destruction, especially when it comes to phones that have been used for business purposes.
Thanks to Sarah Male of Urban Sales & Lettings for this guest post.