We have been home for months by state order, so why not tackle those jobs we have been meaning to get to? But now it may be a little overwhelming with the amount of papers, receipts, documents, magazines and the sort that you have to get rid of safely. How do you know what is safe to throw away and what you should dispose of responsibly? Here are some tips to help you to decide.

TIPS FOR WHAT TO KEEP OR SHRED:

SHRED: information with your Social Security number. The most important piece of information about your identity that thieves are after for tax fraud, new credit cards, and fake bank accounts.

SHRED: monthly bills and statements. They can contain sensitive account information. Consider calling the company and choosing paper-free billing options to cut down on mail.

SHRED: bills. Once bills are paid, they are no longer needed, but shred them. The exception is if you have a home-run business, in which you may need the bills for tax purposes.

KEEP: tax returns. The number of years to keep returns depends on the person. For the average consumer with simple taxes, keeping your returns for at least the past three years is sufficient. With more complex returns, you will want to hang on to them longer.

SHRED: some of your junk mail. Some junk mail warrants shredding based on what personal information it contains. Preapproved credit card applications should be shred, but items with just your home address are okay to be thrown away.

KEEP: pay stubs. Especially if you don't receive your checks via direct deposit, keep pay stubs around for a year. It can be helpful to double-check your total income received on a pay-period basis against the income reported to the IRS on your annual W-2.

SHRED: most receipts. Plenty of receipts can just be thrown away, rather than placed in a shredder. Keeping bank account, ATM and credit card transactions until they are shown correctly on your bank statement and then shredding them is a sound financial practice. The exception would be large purchases that have been insured, keep these receipts.

SHRED: digital media. When replacing laptops or smartphones, remember these devices can have just as much important, financial information as your paperwork. Safely destroy these items to stay out of the hands of criminals.

How to shred: Use a shredder that doesn’t simply cut paper into long strips, since it’s easy to put back together. Instead, go for a confetti, cross-cut, or diamond-cut shredder, since it’s nearly impossible to tape together a document that’s been run through one of these machines.

When to shred: You can recycle your shredded material, but consider doing it over a few weeks, so all your sensitive information doesn’t go out at once.

FOR BBB INFORMATION: Better Business Bureau serving Canton Region and Greater West Virginia offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices. Visit bbb.org/canton or call 330-454-9401 to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, read tips, report a scam with Scamtracker and more.