When businesses need to protect and preserve private documents, storage facilities provide a secure location and lots of space. As businesses archive documents for placement at a self storage unit, there are some necessary steps to consider so that documents aren’t warped or otherwise damaged while at the facility. In addition, if the documents contain highly confidential information, you may want to consider extra security measures that may be provided by the storage facility.
Check Storage Security Options
Most storage facilities today offer some kind of security feature. Many of these facilities are gated or only accessible through a private code given to you at the time of purchase. The building and units incorporate surveillance cameras, and guards patrol the facilities at all times to maintain the security of the grounds. You should look for these features when selecting the right storage unit:
- Convenient operating hours to drop off or pick up documents
- Keypad entry system and gated facilities
- Good lighting conditions at all hours
- Security cameras and monitoring personnel
- Lock boxes and safes available on request
Optimal Conditions for Documents
Exterior and interior self storage units can be used for document storage, but you may want to consider climate controlled storage to protect documents from fading or warping while in storage. Storage facilities often go through levels of heat, humidity and cold, which can increase moisture. Mildew, mold, fading, peeling and warping may damage documents enough to make them illegible.
Packing Tips for Documents
Backups for document storage are essential. You can make copies of documents to keep at other storage units or make electronic copies of documents and place on a cloud storage server. Locked filing cabinets or safes may provide the best way to store confidential documents. You can also store sensitive documents on CDs or DVDs and place them in storage as well. Boxes with files should be packed evenly and cushioned with packing materials. For the best transport, boxes shouldn’t be more than 30 or 40 pounds. If you want to keep your file boxes organized, you can label them alphabetically or place printed labels taped to the outside.
Proper Preservation Tips
Standard file boxes are commonly used for storing documents. They allow you to file and organize documents easily. When placing boxes into a storage unit, you should never place them on the ground. You can use pallets, plastic sheets, cardboard or wood blocks to elevate boxes from the ground.
Airtight packing will also prevent moisture damage or mildew from infiltrating your sensitive documents. You can also use anti-static packing for videotapes, CDs and DVDs. When packing documents, newspaper often transfers, so you shouldn’t use this as a packing material. If you are saving newspapers, you should make sure to wrap them in plastic before stacking inside of a box.
You can also place binders in between file groups to organize and make the box sturdier. If you label boxes clearly from the outside, you can use waterproof labels or markers to ensure that they won’t fade or grow mildew.
The staff at storage facilities often have more tips for the right storage unit to store important documents. It normally depends on the size, climate and length of time that you want to keep your documents in storage. Many businesses choose to pack their documents carefully just in case they will be at a facility for many years. If you don’t want to conserve paper and space, the best way is to back up files on CDs or DVDs, which usually only require one box. The rest of the space can be used for storing office equipment and other items that cause clutter around the office.