You might be the owner of a business that requires a lot of documents to be stored. Either some of these documents or most of them might need long-term storage. Many of the doctors, lawyers, private investigators, and accountants use reliable storage facilities to store their documents.
This is done to keep their documents safe for a significantly longer duration. However, it’s good to know a few things before you decide to move your documents into a storage unit.
Security features of the storage facility
It’s always better to have some due diligence done on your own. Most of the places where such storage facilities are located would be secure. Regardless of how secure the location is, you must see whether the property has a barrier to entry. Fencing is one such barrier.
You must also inquire whether the property has electronic gate access requiring a card or pin number for access. Another aspect worth knowing is whether the storage facility has an alarm system. Other important factors to be considered are video surveillance and compliance to the security requirements.
Rooms with a hot and humid environment are not appropriate for storing documents. Paper is a fragile material and a climate-controlled storage unit would be ideal to preserve it. They are typically located inside a larger building with modern security arrangements.
If you want to go with a climate-controlled storage, it would be a good idea to inspect the facility first. While inspecting the climate-controlled storage facility, pay attention to humidity. Don’t forget to look out for signs of water-related damage.
Sort your documents before storing them
There’s a certain amount of cost involved in moving your documents into a storage unit. You’d obviously want to avoid spending more. So, before you move your documents into a storage unit, sort your documents. Keep only the documents that you need and shred the ones that you no longer require.
Pack the documents
You might’ve opted for climate-controlled storage, but you’d still want to pack your documents well. This would prepare them for the long-term storage. It would be a bad idea to just throw them into a box before moving them. Whenever you need some of these documents, you’d want them to be in a good condition.
Use file folders to organize your documents. For ease of retrieval, you can alphabetize your documents or give them numbers in the right order. Once you’ve organized your documents into file folders, think of the best way to keep them. Using cabinets or filing boxes is a great way to store documents.
While storing the file folders, leave enough space between the cabinets or boxes. This would allow you some free movement inside the storage unit. You’ll also have greater ease in opening the drawers.
Provide controlled access to your documents
If you’ve got a considerable number of employees, you might want to control access to your documents. You must allow only the right employees to access the storage unit and retrieve the required files. This must be done only to help them in fulfilling the needs of their job.
For employees who need to access the files, you can consider providing a log-in and log-out sheet. This will help you in keeping track of the activities of your employees while they’re retrieving the file folders.