Every year, Guardian Storage helps hundreds of businesses and firms safely store their confidential and legal documents. Our 24-hour digital security and premier storage solutions ensure that all of our customer’s important documents stay safe. Using legal document storage can help your business save money on space, and improve productivity by reducing clutter in the workplace. To ensure you have the best possible experience storing your documents with us, we’ve created a guide on how to store your important documents.
The Best Way to Store Important Documents
If you plan to utilize storage for documents, there are a few things you will need to do to ensure everything is protected and preserved.
You will need:
- Containers for Packing
- Plastic Slips for Documents
- File Folder
- High-Quality Packing Tape
- Waterproof Labels
- A Sharpie or Waterproof Marker
Determine the Documents You Will Store
Some examples of legal and confidential documents that you may decide to store include:
- Legal files
- Business financial records
- Annual tax returns
- Passports and ID Cards
- Property deeds and titles
- Marriage licenses
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Personal financial records
- Insurance policies and documents
- Other important personal or professional documents
Categorize Your Documents
Before storing your important documents, you’ll want to make sure everything is organized. This will help later if you need to easily access a document while it’s in storage.
Sort your documents into categories and place them in file folders. Shred any documents that you no longer need to protect your information. For any important documents that you feel comfortable having on a computer, scan them into a password-protected file. This ensures that if anything were to happen to the original document, you have a backup. Plus, if you ever need to quickly reference them, you won’t have to access your legal document storage unit to get the information.
Pack Your Documents for Storage
Once your documents are scanned and sorted, it’s time to start packing. Sunlight and moisture will be the two biggest threats to your important documents. To help protect them against moisture, place your documents in plastic page slips. Make sure everything is completely dry before packing.
After packing your documents, label each folder (i.e. birth certificates, 2020 tax returns, etc.) to easily find what you are looking for. Then, place the folders into closed boxes or locked safes and mark them with waterproof labels. Make sure the labels are clear enough so that if you need a specific document, you won’t have to open every box in your storage unit.
If you are worried about labeling your boxes for security reasons, you can create your own catalog either through an Excel sheet or by using an app. Label the boxes by number and write down what is inside on your sheet to easily reference when looking for files. Some apps also let you print out QR codes to place on boxes that you can scan to get an inventory.
Pick a Secure Storage Company
Do not trust any storage company with your confidential and legal document storage. Your documents need to be kept somewhere safe, clean, and free of moisture and pests. While we always recommend Guardian Storage, if you are not in an area that we service, make sure your storage company has the following:
- Gated properties with private keypad access
- 24-hour digital security across the property
- Indoor storage units with climate-control
- A reliable property management team
- Good reviews from former tenants
- Clean, well-lit units and hallways
Choose Climate-Controlled Storage for Your Legal Documents
A secure storage unit is important when deciding on legal document storage. Not only does it need to be secure from other people, it also needs to be secure from the elements. Sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures can all be damaging to your confidential documents. To fully protect them, you will want to get a climate-controlled storage unit. This ensures that your unit always stays at a consistent temperature and humidity level that is safe for your important documents and anything else you decide to place in your unit.
Decide on the Right Size Storage Unit
Depending on how many documents and other items you will need to store, your storage unit size may vary. Storage unit sizes typically range from 5×5 feet to 10×30 feet. For only a few boxes of documents, you’ll likely need either a 5×5 or 5×10 storage unit. To get a full understanding of unit sizes and see an example of what fits into each size, check out our storage unit size guide.
Securely Storing Your Legal Documents
On move-in day for your storage unit, you will want to make sure to store your important documents securely so that they do not get damaged in storage. To do so, we recommend placing pallets on the bottom of your storage unit to ensure that your boxes do not absorb any moisture from the ground. In the rare case of water damage in your storage building, this also provides an added layer of protection.
Make sure to place heavier boxes on the bottom of any stacks and lighter ones at the top. If you will be accessing your files often, place the most accessed documents toward the front of the storage unit. Leave yourself a walkway so that you can safely navigate the unit.
When you’re ready to store your legal documents, head over to our locations page to find a Guardian Storage near you.