Storing Important Documents

When storing important papers, files, tax returns and other business or personal documents in a self-storage unit, be sure to consider these tips from our affiliate Carolina Records Center: Documents are vulnerable to mold and mildew. Mold requires water and food to propagate and your paper records are ideal organic nutrition for mold. Humidity control is essential to protect your valuable papers from mold. Only store archival records in climate controlled facilities. Use desiccants such as Damp-Rid® to remove excess moisture from the air. Mold cannot grow at humidity levels under 50% and most commercial desiccants become active if the humidity rises to 50% preventing humidity Boxes full of paper are very heavy – use sensible size boxes. Standard boxes can weigh over 20 lbs and larger sizes 30 -50 lbs. Moving larger sizes to find the box you are looking for can be quite a chore if you use anything large than the standard archive box. Use standard size archival boxes 12” x 10’ x 15”. DO NOT USE LARGE BANKERS BOXES OR TRANFER FILES. These large boxes can weigh 30-50 lbs or more! Eventually you may want to shred these documents so try to put documents in boxes with others of the same year/vintage. That way you reduce the risk of inadvertently shredding something before its time. It also makes it easier to sort out the boxes for shredding. Think about what it will be like retrieving a file in the future and do a little planning now. Label boxes clearly and carefully with permanent markers or labels. Try to stack the boxes in sequential order so...

How Much Paper Do I Have?

Our sister company Carolina Records Center, a document storage company in the Sandhills area of North Carolina, prepared the following report. We are constantly asked this question so we thought we would share a few facts and thoughts to help you estimate your paper volume using various units of measure. Figuring out how much paper you have is not that difficult if you just know how much paper is in a various types of boxes and containers. In order to quantify your paper it will be necessary to determine: (A) how many feet or inches of paper you have; (B) how much paper you have in an inch or foot. Once you have both of those numbers the product will give you a very good estimate of your paper volume. How much paper is in a box? Paper is generally sold by the case. Each case holds 10 reams each containing 500 sheets of paper or a total of 5,000 sheets. Each case is packed in a box a little larger than a standard archive box. Bear in mind that the paper is very tightly packed at the paper mill by machinery designed to jam as much paper into the smallest space as possible. Your boxes will contain far fewer pages. According to Staples, each case weighs 20 pounds. A standard archive box measuring 10″ tall X 12″ wide X 15″ long will contain about 2,250 sheets of paper; if the box is packed tightly, perhaps as many as 2,500-2,700 sheets. Basically, paper volume is approximately 150 sheets of paper per inch. In a tightly packed box you will...

Preparing Your Records (Documents) for Storage

Do’s and Don’ts of Boxing There are two basic methods used to keep track of archival records – we call them the Box Marking Method and the Index Method. Box Marking Method The most common method is to simply write the contents of the box on the outside of the box. This is usually done by document type, time period, file number or alphabetically (phone book). The advantage of this system is its simplicity. Other than the obvious lack of detail, the greatest disadvantage is inconsistency and lack of uniformity that can occur when several people do the filing. When the box marking method is used it is difficult to know if a file really exists. For example, medical records use a terminal digit numbering system in which the last digits are the key filing unit. A box might contain a number sequence of say, 08-6801 to 08-6888. However, by the time the box has reached the storage center not all of the files in that number range are necessarily in the box. Over the years, files may have been renumbered, removed, purged or stored elsewhere. Index Method The second method is to number each box and maintain an index of the contents of the box, usually in an Excel file or internal system. The advantage of the Index Method is that each file’s existence has been recorded and the location of each is known. If you use the Index Method, Carolina Records Center can import your Excel or CSV file into our system and apply our records retention tracking to your archived files. We have over 60 user...

Marking your boxes for your move

It is important to mark the contents of each box legibly and prominently on the side of each box. Remember, the person marking the box may not be the person handling the box later in the move. Use labels or Sharpie permanent marker to mark directly on the boxes. Place the labels or marking on the SIDE of the boxes. Tops and bottoms can be obscured by other boxes that may be stacked on top during the move. If you have the patience, it is be a good idea to mark more than one side of each box. Room from whence the content came Things to include in your description: Contents The room in the old location where the box originated The room in the new house in which the box should be placed for unpacking Number each box in sequence e.g. 1,2,3 etc. Use a color-coding system. Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. A pack of mixed color magic markers will do the trick. Label the door of each room with the corresponding color code so that movers know where to place the boxes. Sticky notes and magic markers will do nicely. Make a list of what’s in each box by number. Use this list to note anything of value that you do not want to mark on the outside of a box for security reasons. Check off each box on the list as it arrives at the new location. Related articles Prepare Your Move Survival...

Prepare your move survival kit

Moves don’t always go smoothly so, it is important to anticipate as many scenarios as possible including late arrival that prevents you from unpacking on the move day. When that happens, it is best to feed everyone, go to bed and be prepared to tackle the job the next morning when everyone is rested and in better moods. Even if everything goes smoothly, moving days can be hectic involving many people, hectic activity, tired and cranky children and impatient spouses, You will be tired and tense and in no shape to deal with everybody asking you questions at the same time. Where is this? Where is that? Where are the children? Where does this go, Honey? Where do you want this lady? One of the most important things you can do is to create a “move survival kit”, containing all of the numerous essential move items that can make your move so much less hassle. Pack the items you will need when you first arrive at the new location Make sure it is different from all other bins and containers so that you can find it easily; a clear plastic storage bin is ideally suited to serve as your move survival kit. Make sure that you take it with you in your car or move vehicle so that it is with you at all times. When you arrive place it in the kitchen and make that your move-in command center. That way, everyone will know where it is. Things you will need when you arrive at your new move destination: Toilet paper, tooth brushes, tooth paste, shaving cream, razor, deodorant,...