I think the rules are intended to mean "don't shuffle until you need to use the cards." That way all of the cards in your deck, including the final hand, are shuffled in. If you need to look at the top card(s) or draw, shuffle if there aren't enough cards to do so. It's also helpful for decking cards that use the discard pile.
This is based on other deck-building games, and the wording on the cards that make you discard 4 cards off your deck, but not re-shuffle to keep discarding if there are less than 4.