Paper to Pulp
By Tameka Norris
Sometimes you throw away very important things don't you? So you take your
time to rip them up properly... to be certain you don't find your bank account
empty the next time you make a withdrawal.
A paper shredder is great, but you may not need one.
I mean, how many times do you throw away private documents at home?
Occasionally. Certainly not enough to invest in a shredder.
If you are still shredding your private information by hand like me, then this
solution might work for you. When you are ready to dispose of your private
(1) Fill your sink up with water.
(2) Soak the private documents (that you are planning to throw away) in water
for at least 20-30 seconds. You may have to do this in groups--several times if
you have a large pile.
(3) When they are completely wet, ring the excess water out of the documents (as
if you were ringing a wash cloth dry). Be certain to leave them damp. Do not
ring them completely dry.
(4) Head to a trash can and break the documents apart. You should be able to
ACTUALLY break/pull the pieces of paper apart. Rather than rip them up. They
should be extremely easy to break apart. So break them apart in reasonably small
pieces with the same precaution you take when you rip up your private documents.
Small enough so that one individual piece of pulp does not contain the private
information on it that could be used against you by a thief.
(Note: Due to the different grains of paper out there this solution may not be
affective in all instances.)
The difference between ripping up private information and pulling it apart as
pulp is that it is much quicker to shred. But that's just one of the benefits.
Here are several more benefits YOU get out of making paper into pulp:
(1) It will assure you that it will be impossible for a
would-be-trash-searching-thief to put any of the pieces back together. You know
how easy it is to fit some pieces of paper back together when you rip them up.
Pulp makes it impossible to connect the pieces together. Take a look at the
edges of your paper when you pull your pulp apart. You'll see what I mean.
(2) Soaking your paper in water makes some of the print less legible. Sometimes
it just makes it mildly blurry and other times the ink actually runs. That helps
give you greater protection against private information being easily legible to
(3) Your pulp will remain damp for a reasonable amount of time. Wet paper, as
opposed to dry, can sometimes be easier for dirt particles and stains to cling
to. You're just giving your pulp an extra advantage by welcoming dirt particles
to come along and make it even a little more disgusting and illegible.
(4) Your pulp will dry in illegible clumps. Have you ever tried to break apart
pulp? If you have, then you know that in the process of doing so you make
matters worse. The small pieces of paper are even further ripped up and
destroyed as you try to pull them apart with your fingers.
So if a would-be thief is going to try and steal your private information. Make
it hard on him. And maybe if he runs into enough pulp he'll realize it takes
just as much work to steal as it does to make an honest living.
Protect yourself with pulp. Tameka Norris helps others simplify life's little
complications by revealing the small things that are often overlooked: