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...