Brenden McDaniel has seen heart-breaking cases of hoarding. He has helped people get the emotional support they need while cleaning the clutter that holds them back from fully enjoying life.
"For some people it overcomes their lives, their home offices," said McDaniel, a Milwaukee certified professional organizer who has appeared on shows such as A&E's "Hoarders" and TLC's "Buried Alive."
It's more common than some may think. "There is someone at least on every block who has some degree of some sort of hoarding," McDaniel said.
"When we get hunkered down with all the paper, it really cuts into life," he said. "Just let it go. We need to value our time more than our stuff. We need to spend it with our families and just enjoy life."
McDaniel will offer tips on how to de-clutter and organize at 10 and 11 a.m. Saturday at 's Brookfield branch at 15700 W. Bluemound Rd. during the bank's sixth annual Community Shredding Day.
- Got a question about paper clutter for McDaniel? Write it in comments here, tweet it to @NorthShoreBank or put it on the bank's Facebook page, and McDaniel may answer it Saturday.
Two industrial size trucks will be on hand at the bank and residents can drop off up to two boxes of paper between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday for safe shredding and disposal.
Papers to shred can be taken to any of North Shore Bank's more than 45 Wisconsin branches. But trucks and specialists will be on hand at:
- Brookfield Square - 15700 W. Bluemound Rd.
- Fox Point - 600 E. Green Tree Rd. in Fox Point
- Grafton - 2301 Wisconsin Ave. in Grafton (across from Sendik's)
- Southridge - 5101 S. 76th Street in Greendale
Safety Day with Shred Day in Brookfield
The branch across from Brookfield Square mall also will be celebrating Safety Day, with tips on fire, pet, bike and other safety, as well as identity theft and online banking. Families can look at equipment, pets from the and enter in a drawing for $1,500 in free gas.
Patch editors also will be in Brookfield with a prize contest.
"Properly disposing of materials that contain personal information is one of the best ways to guard against identity theft, and North Shore Bank encourages our neighbors and friends to take advantage of this free service," said Peggy Theisen, security officer for North Shore Bank.
"We collected more than 65,000 pounds of documents for secure shredding last year and as people clear out closets, desk drawers and boxes, we hope to collect even more outdated documents for disposal," Theisen said.
All shredded materials will be recycled. Tips on how to prevent identity theft, how to decide what to keep or toss, and additional information about Community Shredding Day are available on the bank’s website (shredit.northshorebank.com) and at any North Shore Bank office.
What to shred
McDaniel, who owns Action Organizing Services in Milwaukee, says people don't need to save utility and other monthly bill statements after they are paid. If they are kept, throw them out after a year, he said. Once large medical bills are paid, just keep the final notice that indicates full payment was made and throw away all the prior bills and paperwork, he said.
Tax materials should be kept for six to seven years. Shred all canceled checks banks keep them digitally.
Anything with your name and identifiable data should be shredded to prevent identity theft, McDaniel said.
Old newspapers and magazines should be thrown away or donated among others such as office lobbies or schools. He said he helped a Brookfield woman who had newspapers dating back 30 years cluttering her home.
What to save
"Save certificates for birth, death, marriage and immunization records," McDaniel said.
Sometimes people have great intentions for saving things, like recipes or photos, but never take the time to organize them, he said. These things are of no value if they can't be easily located. McDaniel has seen decades-old photos of relatives ruined from being stuck together in damp, decaying piles and boxes.
"I’m big on getting things out of boxes — paper and cardboard in Wisconsin basements do not hold up well," he said. His company was at a Brookfield home last week where mice were eating away at basement papers, he added.
If there is a lot to de-clutter, don't get overwhelmed by trying to clean everything at once or in a single weekend.
"Start somewhere, one little area," McDaniel said. "Work on paperwork on the counter or kitchen and take it to North Shore Bank and shred it. That’s great! That’s awesome!"
Shred / Safety Day Schedule
9 a.m. to noon:
- Elmbrook Humane Society — Visit with furry friends and get pet safety tips.
- Attitude Sports Pewaukee LLC — Watch bike safety demonstrations and walk away with bike safety tips.
- Identity Theft Prevention — Visit with North Shore Bank’s Tyesha Thames. Learn how to prevent ID theft and keep your financial information safe.
10 and 11 a.m.:
- De-Clutter Time — Meet de-clutter coach Brenden McDaniel from the show "Hoarders" and learn how to be a better organizer. Seminars at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.:
- Brookfield Fire Department — Learn about fire prevention and safety. Plus check out their fire-fighting equipment.