Packing Tips for Self-Storage of Business Records
If you are planning to stock your old business records in a self-storage facility, it is best to pack them in a way that will preserve their current condition and also make it easy for you to access specific items when you need to do so in the future. Here are a few tips on how to efficiently pack your business documents:
How to Prepare Your Business Documents for Storage
- Make it easy to stack your documents on the floor or to put them on shelves by packing them in standard-sized filing boxes (15” x 12” x 10”). To protect digital media, plans, and other valuable materials, purchase more specialized storage boxes.
- Do not over-fill your boxes, as they may become too heavy to lift and cause problems when they are stacked for storage. Make sure that the top lid closes easily and that the sides do not bulge. If your boxes are under-filled, stuff them with inert packing materials to help support the box and prevent it from collapsing.
- Label the boxes on all sides to make it easy to identify them later on. Avoid air bubbles on the labels by firmly pressing down on the label’s edges. For security reasons, do not be too specific with the labels. Instead of indicating the exact contents of the box, create a list and use codes for each box. Make sure that you keep this list in a secure place that can only be accessed by key personnel.
Tips for Packing Your Storage Boxes
- Arrange your file folders upright in the box, making it easy to read their respective labels. Organize the folders so that the labels are all facing the same direction.
- Avoid folding or creasing maps or plans that have been previously rolled. It is best to store maps or plans inside a box that is large enough to accommodate their normal dimensions. Do not use rubber bands to bind rolls, use cotton ties instead.
- Store audio or video tapes, disks, CDs, and DVDs in individual cases. It is ideal to place them inside their original cases provided by the manufacturer. Arrange tapes vertically inside the box with their labels facing up. If the box is not completely filled up, add extra support by packing them with bubble wrap.
How to Efficiently Organize Your Unit
- As much as possible, try to box records of the same type together.
- Use free-standing shelving units for storing filing boxes. They take up less floor space and are great at keeping your records organized.
- If you are stacking boxes on the floor, provide added protection by placing these on plastic sheeting or heavy drop cloths.
- Evenly distribute the filing boxes throughout the shelves.
- Group the boxes based on their length-of-retention period. Store records with short-term storage spans separately so that it will be easy for you to access these and dispose of them once you no longer need them.
- Leave enough space in your self-storage unit for ladders or for cabinet doors to open. A cramped storage unit will make it difficult for you to access and retrieve your filing boxes.
- Keep a master list of all the contents stored in each box. Take this list with you when you need to get some of the documents in storage, to help you easily locate them.
Keeping everything organized is key to achieving self-storage efficiency with your business files. By taking the time to ensure that everything is properly filed in their designated boxes, you are guaranteed a hassle-free time locating your records whenever you need to.