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 that they will be easy to locate later.
- Number the boxes and make an inventory of what is in each box. A simple but effective method is to record the box number together with the description on the outside of the box. Try to number the boxes with the oldest first.
- Consider using locked containers such as file cabinets or fire safes for crucial documents.
- Place boxes on pallets to keep them off of the ground.
Carolina Records Center specializes in document storage in the Sandhills area of North Carolina. Our climate controlled storage facility is located in Vass, NC and we offer a full range of services including document storage and retrieval, scanning, shredding, a web based document management system, and file indexing.
Please contact us with any questions regarding your document storage needs: (910) 245-3688