One piece of paper, two pieces of paper, three… Without a document storage strategy, files can accumulate all over your desk. They pile up in near-bursting binders on your shelves, and in every closet and filing cabinet, before you can blink. Unless you have a system of organizing documents by importance, the contracts are probably mixed in with the junk mail. You could probably sooner turn up Bigfoot than your expired insurance policies.
Follow these tips to get organized, put your important documents safely into storage, and achieve mastery over the tidal wave of paper.
Toss or Keep?
You need to keep some documents permanently, like deeds, articles of incorporation, and contracts. Keep others such as accident reports, personnel files of terminated employees, and bank statements for at least seven years. Having these documents on hand or tossing them could mean the difference between winning or losing a lawsuit. For details about how long to keep documents check out this record retention guide.
Make a habit of scanning your day-to-day files into manageable, email-able PDFs to save time and trees. Cloud storage applications like Google Drive or Dropbox allow you to organize your documents however you like, and choose who can view or edit them. Invest in a powerful shredder to pulverize your outdated financial documents and dedicate a slow work day to cleaning out your file cabinets (or delegate the task to an intern). Be sure to recycle the paper!
Stamp your most important documents with retention dates and keep the files with the same retention schedule in the same box for easy disposal after the time is up. Organize all records in boxes by year/date and alphabetical order. Weleski can pick up these boxes and manage them for you, with services including bar coding, indexing, data entry, inventory tracking, transfers, and more. Our facilities are smoke and fire protected, secure, climate controlled, and protected against smoke and fire.
Do you have more questions about how to organize your documents? Want to request a free consultation and estimate? Call us at 724-224-3330 or send us an email and we will share our decades of records storage expertise.