Despite a growth in paperless tech, most businesses still rely on physical documents for day-to-day operations. Courier companies still print out delivery itineraries, lawyers still print out contracts, and architects still print out blueprints.
With so much paper flying around, offices can quickly descend into a cluttered nightmare, with every flat surface converted into a temporary document archive area.
If you want to reclaim your workspace, you could painstakingly digitize everything and store the images in a fancy online library. But that’s expensive and time-consuming.
The alternative is renting a dedicated self-storage unit and creating your own external document storage area. Unlike digitization, off-site storage space is affordable, flexible, and perfect for a growing business.
What to do Before You Move into Self-Storage
Get rid of unnecessary paperwork – If you pay for an external storage unit, it’s essential that you get the most value for your money. Packing up every single piece of paper and putting it in storage is simply wasting money. Before storing anything, browse through your documents for unnecessary or duplicate documents. Remove the documents and securely destroy them. If end up with a lot of unnecessary documents, this can save a lot of space and might mean you can rent a smaller unit.
Back up your documents – There is no completely safe way to store your documents. Even the most secure self-storage facility in the world is susceptible to freak accidents. Plus, physical paper documents are prone to natural degradation. If you want complete peace of mind, it is strongly recommended that essential documents be backed up and stored in separate locations. For example, have one physical copy in your affordable storage unit, one digital copy on a hard disk, and one digital copy in the cloud. Having multiple backups means you have multiple safety nets should anything go wrong.
Use quality containers – Huge stacks of paper are not an ideal storage solution for any self-storage unit (or anywhere, for that matter). To maximize protection and convenience, you need archive boxes. These cardboard boxes might look more at home on a legal television show, but they are essential for document storage. If you’re planning on storing your documents for a long time, it’s a good idea not to skimp on quality since cheap cardboard can quickly fall to pieces and leave your documents scattered across the floor. Filing cabinets are also worth considering for long term storage.
Label everything – There’s nothing more demoralizing than staring at 20 blank boxes and having no idea what documents are in which boxes. To avoid a complete unpack, draw up a plan for what documents are going in what box. As you are packing each box, write an inventory and attach it to the side. Try to keep the same labelling system going across all your boxes so that other people can understand it too.
Moving in the Storage Unit
Order and organize – With your documents prepared, your archive boxes packed, and your labels written, it’s pretty tempting to just start throwing boxes into your unit. Well, before you get started, take a minute and work out which documents you are likely to need. If there’s a box of expenses that you’ll definitely need at the end of the quarter, don’t stack it right at the back behind three boxes of five-year-old invoices that you’ll probably never need again. Organize your unit so that boxes with the least needed documents are pushed to the rear of your storage unit and boxes with the most essential are pulled forward.When your business has a need for a secure storage unit in the Jackson, Tennessee area, contact Markham Self Storage. We are here for all of your storage needs.