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Last Updated on January 9, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
When the new year rolled around, I decided it was time to do some home office decluttering. I have an overflowing filing cabinet and a computer desk that has way too many piles of stuff on it. I have been sorting, purging, donating and recycling quite a number of things over the last few weeks. Of course, many of the documents I have in my home office require shredding to protect personal information. Now that I have purged the files, though, I am trying to figure out a few uses for shredded paper rather than throw it all away. If you find yourself shredding old files, here are a few things you might want to do with the paper once it has been sliced into tiny pieces. When setting up a home office, make sure it includes a paper shredder! I will include a few affiliate links for things that may help with your decluttering project.
Home Office Decluttering
Before you start your home office decluttering project, you really need to buy a paper shredder. The features I looked for were:
- Personal safety protections: Make sure it will stop when fingers get near the paper opening.
- Shred size: Some shredders will chop your paper up smaller than others
- The number of pieces of paper per run: How many pieces of paper can you shred at one time?
Uses for Shredded Paper
Here are just a few uses for shredded paper that you may find helpful once your home office decluttering is finished:
Some recycling facilities do not accept shredded paper so make sure you call and ask before putting it out at the curb.
Make shredded paper sachets
Add a few drops of essential oil to handfuls of shredded paper. Then add the scented paper into small muslin bags to use as sachets. You can also use a coffee filter or cheesecloth if you don't have muslin bags.
Pack stuff with it
Pack handfuls of shredded paper into plastic zip to lock bags and place in a box intended for shipping. Your recipient can then reuse the plastic storage bags and compost or recycle the shredded paper.
Make DIY Fire Starters
Use shredded paper to make DIY fire starters. Use them in your fireplace or when you go camping to make starting a fire much easier.
Use it as animal bedding
The same week I started my home office decluttering project, my bird laid more eggs. So, she got a nice plastic tub of shredded paper to play in as a nest box. Of course, she really had no interest in the eggs and just wanted to play in the paper but she still had a good time. If you don't have small animals, talk to your local vet or a pet shelter and see if they need it. Talk to your vet about any sort of toxic paper or inks that you need to worry about before you share your shredded paper with animals.
Stuff a scarecrow
Have birds that keep eating your seeds in the garden? Make your own scarecrow! Just stuff an old pair of jeans and flannel shirt with shredded paper and keep the birds out of the garden.
Add it to your compost
One of my favorite uses for shredded paper is to add it to the compost bin. My compost bin tends to be on the wet side with all the food scraps we add to it. Shredded paper and dried leaves from the yard are great ways to balance out the compost bin and create some wonderful nutritious compost for your garden.
Add shredded paper to kitty litter
Most litter boxes don't need three inches of litter to do their job properly. Place the shredded paper on the bottom of the litter box and then top with actual kitty litter. The tray is deeper without wasting a ton of expensive kitty litter.
Use shredded paper as mulch
Add shredded paper around your plants to keep weeds under control. You can mix it in with straw as well so you spend less money on straw and still get good coverage.
Hopefully, these uses for shredded paper will help you go green and be frugal after your home office decluttering project is finished.
Have any other ways to use shredded paper?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.