Tips for Storing Important Documents
Even though we have moved toward a more digitized platform when it comes to storing documents, there are some things you just have to keep the physical copy of. From birth certificates to marriage licenses to tax documents, there are documents that simply cannot be made digital. Whether you’ve decided to keep documents in your home office or you are in search of off-site document storage, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare your documents for long-term storage.
At Safeguard Self Storage, we want to help you protect your important documents from damage and destruction by offering tips for the best way to store paper documents. Find out what type of environment your documents need to be stored in, what materials you should store your paper documents in, and some things to consider as you place your items into long-term storage. We can also offer secure document storage that is convenient and affordable. Find your local Safeguard Self Storage to begin storing your important documents with us today.
How To Store Paper Documents Long Term
As you begin the process of preparing your paper documents for long-term storage, there are some considerations to take into account to make sure you are offering your documents their best chance of survival. When learning how to store important documents, consider the following tips and pieces of advice:
- Store in a cool, dry environment.
- Invest in proper storage containers.
- Take extra care of highly acidic documents.
- Keep important documents flat while in storage.
Store in a Cool, Dry Environment
Heat and humidity can cause your important documents to become wrinkled, brittle, and even moldy if the air is too moist. In addition, if paper documents are in the sun or bright light for too long, they can also fade. This is why it’s important for documents to be stored in an environment that is temperature regulated and dark. This will help your documents remain in good condition no matter how long they are stored.
If you cannot ensure that your attic or basement will remain at a cool temperature throughout the entire year, your best bet is to keep your documents in an air-conditioned storage unit. At Safeguard Self Storage, all of our facilities that offer this helpful feature. You’ll receive air-conditioned storage with multiple security features for all your important paper documents when you rent from Safeguard Self Storage.
Invest in Proper Storage Materials
It is best to keep your paper documents in a container that is safe and doesn't cause further damage to your items. Archival containers are the best option for this type of storage. However, boxes, paper sleeves, and folders can also be used if they are made of the proper material. Look for materials that are low-lignin or lignin-free.
You will also want to make sure that whatever sleeve or container you use, it is made with polyvinyl chloride, as this will help prolong the life of your documents. Also, if you are storing your documents in a box or bin, you will need to make sure you have plastic slips or sleeves on each piece of paper to keep them from tearing easily or getting wet.
Take Extra Care of Highly Acidic Documents
If you are planning to store documents that are printed on acidic paper, you may consider scanning them and either printing them on acid-free paper or creating a digital file. However, if there is no way around it, just make sure you are keeping them stored in a separate container away from your other documents. Highly acidic documents such as newspaper clippings require extra care and need to be kept away from other types of materials to avoid damage to both documents.
The final thing you need to pay attention to when it comes to storing paper documents for a long period of time is how they will be stored. The best thing to do for your documents is to keep them stored flat in whatever container you choose. Rolling them or folding them could cause your documents to fade, tear, or warp in some way.
You also don’t want to group documents together with paper clips or rubber bands. Paper clips can cause tears or rust stains and rubber bands can deteriorate or ruin the integrity of your documents. If you are storing documents in boxes, make sure they are not kept on the ground and are instead on shelves or stacked on something.
Rent Secure Document Storage From Safeguard Self Storage Today
Follow these simple steps to ensure your items are being kept in optimal condition as they are being stored. If you need a secure facility to store your most important documents, rent document storage from Safeguard Self Storage. With air-conditioned units as well as several other top-of-the-line features, our storage units cannot be beaten. Rent or reserve secure document storage from your nearest Safeguard Self Storage facility online today.
For more storage tips and tricks, take a look at our other blog posts or check out our self storage tips page.