Getting the most from your document storage – top 5 tips

Archiving paper documents is an integral part of the majority of businesses administration. Despite the move towards a paperless office, even the most environmentally friendly businesses will have certain things that they cannot afford not to have in hard copy. With office space at a premium and security a top concern, keeping archives off site in a self storage facility is a great move for business looking to take the stress out of data control.

However, the last thing you want to be doing is paying for storage space that you don’t really need, so here are a few tips to help you minimise your archives before you place them in self storage to make sure you get the most from this valuable facility.

  • Just the essentials

Don’t archive more than you have to. Brush up on the legislations pertaining to your business or industry, and only keep the paperwork you absolutely have to.

  • Ditch the dupes

Many businesses use duplicate, triplicate or other methods of recording the same information over several copies in case they need them. Before you put your files in storage, go through them and make sure they are only the original copy and ditch the duplicates to maximise your rented space.

  • Organise to optimise

Don’t be slack with your organisation, as this risks you either being unable to retrieve the information you need later on, or having multiple copies of the same documents taking up space in your storage unit. Use purpose made storage files for easy referencing which can also reduce the amount of space required by multiple lever arch or box files containing the same amount of information.

  • Recycle

For a really green slant on storage, use archive boxes made of recycled cardboard as opposed to plastic. Not only will they boost your green credentials from day one, they will also serve as better protection for your papers than plastic. Because plastic doesn’t breathe, your papers risk being affected by damp and condensation much more if they are stored in plastic boxes than they do in cardboard filing boxes.

  • What do you need?

You might be tempted to go for the all singing and dancing self storage option which allows you 24/7 access and has on site security and lift access at all times. But think about whether you actually need this level of comfort? Will you really need to retrieve your archives in the middle of this night, or could you make do with nine to five access? Do you need a guard patrolling the storage unit every two hours, or are you happy with key code entry and CCTV? Choose only what you really need and ditch the frills and thrills, as these could end up costing you dearly.