Business files and documents can take up a large amount of valuable space in an office. If business files, document and paper seem to be taking over your office or if paper is stacked up on desks and workspaces leaving little room for the workers, then you are running out of storage space in your office! It is time to think about gathering your business documents and storing them in an off-site storage facility. Self storage and business storage actually work hand-in-hand. Storing documents in self storage helps to reduce the clutter in your office, while increasing work space and productivity!
When choosing a self storage facility to store your documents, make sure to pick one that is close to you. If you need to access the files, you do not want to drive across town. A climate controlled storage unit is recommended for business document storage because these types of storage help to protect the documents from damage from extreme heat and humidity. Because you are storing employee and business records, it is crucial to pick a storage facility with very good security measures including video surveillance, computerized gate access and strong locks! Stop N Stor has state-of-the-art security systems, including digital camera systems, gated access and anti-pick locks, and climate controlled storage needs for business storage all in one place. Plus, we have dollies and platform swivel trucks to make moving your business documents into storage much easier.
What Business Documents Should You Keep?
As you are going through your files and documents to decide what you want and need to store, it is good to understand federal and state guidelines for the retention of specific business documents. Companies should save the following types of documents either in the office or in off-site storage based on federal or state law:
Accounting Records: Financial statements, income tax returns, payroll tax returns, general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable records, expense reports, charge and cash slips, bank deposits, and income tax withholdings.
Corporate Records: Fixed Asset Reports, plans and blueprints, property appraisals and internal audit records.
Human Resources and Payroll: Employee W-2 Forms, Worker’s Compensation benefits, payroll records, attendance records, medical benefits, payroll checks, and personnel records.
Document Storage Tips
When you are packing your files and are ready to place them in a storage facility, there are a few things to keep in as you are preparing you boxes and storage units.
- When packing the files and document in boxes, fill the boxes up to the top and add filler material, but do not over stuff the boxes. Do not use newspaper as filler as the print can rub off on the documents.
- Raise the document boxes off of the ground on pallets, wood, plastic sheeting or cardboard. The optimum storage would be shelving units.
- Store the documents in locked file cabinets or fire safes for extra security.
- If possible, use air tight packaging boxes for your documents to protect from water damage in case of a flood or dampness.
- Place the boxes with the oldest files towards the back of the storage unit. Place that boxes of files that you might need to access more frequently towards the front.
- Label every document box with a list of the contents. Then, create an inventory numbering system for your stored boxes that you can put into a spreadsheet for cross-reference. This will also make it easier to find the documents that you need to find. You can also create a map of your storage unit of where the files are located.
- Most importantly, follow the proper guidelines for how long business documents should be stored. The IRS has a great site with tips on how long you should keep certain documents and files.