Do you have piles of paperwork throughout your home? How about row after row of filing cabinets at the office?
Regardless of what you do or who you are, most people have important paperwork that they have to hold onto – it’s a part of life. However, you can’t just keep your mortgage filing or tax returns laying around for anyone to see. You need to take care of them, and keep them somewhere safe.
For some people, this can come in the form of a safe or lock box. While these methods do a decent job, if your home is unreliable or as a business owner you’re in charge of keeping multiple stacks of records, you may need something more.
One of the best ways you can keep important paperwork out of the way but tucked away safely is by storing them in an off-site storage facility.
What Documents Require Storage?
First, let’s talk about what you’re storing away.
You fill out tons of paperwork throughout the years, but how do you know which items are valuable enough to keep around? As simple as it is, you want to save records that hold important personal information, or details that are relevant to your life. They are also documents you may need to refer back to later on in life.
Personal documents can include:
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Medical records
- Property deeds
- Birth certificate
- Marriage licenses
- Social security cards
- Insurance policies
If you are a business owner, or your company has a mountain of essential documents it needs to preserve, having a storage unit will help you keep everything together in an off-site location.
This can include:
- Bank statements
- Receipt books
- Tax returns
- Expense reports
Why Storage is Important For Your Paperwork
No one goes around using their birth certificate everyday, but every now and then life events such as getting a passport or applying for a mortgage requires you to pull it out to prove your citizenship and personhood. Same goes for a lot of your other documents – you may need them from time to time to fill out different paperwork and get more things out of life.
That goes to say, you won’t need them all the time – for the years you don’t, they can take up a lot of space in your drawers, on your desk or in your closet. That’s where storage comes in as a solution to getting these pesky papers out of the way without compromising them.
If you’re a business owner, storage is especially useful if your filing cabinets are filling up and there’s no space in the office or back room to add more or keep the piles.
With a business, there are a lot of records you have to preserve involving the establishment of your business and the checks and balances you go through to keep up with finances.
When you go through routine audits, having all of these records organized and close by will make the task much easier and less disruptive to your daily operations.
5 Tips on Organizing and Storing Your Records
So where do you start?
These documents are essential and need to be stored properly so they are easy to manage and don’t get damaged. Here are a few tips:
- Place all paperwork in flat organizers. Loose paper can crumple easily. Folders, binders and accordions will keep the paper from bending or wrinkling over time.
- Label all files accordingly. Depending on how you organize the paperwork, you might want to label by dates, departments or names. This will make it easier to locate certain documents if you’re looking for something specific.
- Prevent exposure to the elements. Light, heat and moisture can all damage paper material. Paper documents should be kept in containers, bins or filing cabinets so they stay preserved over time.
- Keep the documents easily accessible. If you or your company gets audited, you only have a small window of time to get all of your documentation situated. No matter why you need to find the records, having easy access to them via location and placement means wasting less time.
- Ensure proper security. They’re called “important documents” for a reason – most of these records contain vital information that you don’t want just laying around. Make sure the place you decide to store them takes security seriously. This could be through locks, key pads, security guards or video surveillance.
Self-Storage Solutions in Martinsville, VA
If you’ve decided to store your essential paperwork in an off-site location, a climate-controlled storage unit is the best option.
Storage Center has several storage facilities in Martinsville, both indoor and outdoor, that are climate-controlled and offer units of all sizes. All of our locations are fully equipped with video surveillance and pin code access to keep your documents secure.
By storing your records with us, you can live life normally without stressing about your important papers floating into the wrong place. Contact today and see what storage solutions we have available.