What’s the one thing that a place of business and a home have in common? The answer: stacks of papers that should be sorted and stored out of sight. It’s a common plight that we all experience. Letting the piles get out of hand makes the job seem more daunting than it needs to be. Tackle those stacks and you’re office space or home will seem less cluttered and less stressful. Here are some tips on what documents should be stored and how to do it.
- Difficult to replace documents
Some items are one of a kind or difficult to replace and these must be given extra consideration while storing. It’s a good idea to invest in a fireproof and waterproof safe/box for such items regardless of where they will be stored. Inside of this box, place items such as birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, wills, a copy of driver’s licenses, lifesaving prescriptions, an inventory of household valuables, and a list of all important accounts (such as bank, credit cards, and investments). Place this box in a secure location. It’s a good idea to also scan all of these documents to put on a disc that goes to your lawyer.
- Documents for long term storage
Some documents are not imperative to your health or well being in the face of a disaster, yet they should be held onto for a period of time. The best example of this can be found in tax returns. It’s advisable to retain returns, receipts, W-2 forms, and investment info for seven years. For these items, simple document storage boxes or plastic bins are adequate. Be sure to clearly label the exterior of the boxes with the corresponding years.
- Active paperwork
For documents that you only need to hold onto for a short period of time, use a file cabinet with hanging folders. Items such as bank statements, any kind of active policies, home and auto receipts and household manuals are prime candidates. Basically, anything that you may need to reference on a consistent basis should be kept in an easy to access file cabinet. Be sure to rotate out any old policies as new ones come in to keep your files tidy.
If you have any notes or photos that you want to preserve for nostalgic reasons, you might want to get an acid free box to ensure that the papers do not denigrate over time. Such boxes can be found in art or craft stores. If you have something of high value that you want to preserve, consult with a professional before you store it away. Time, oxygen & moisture can cause irreparable damage and you need to make sure precious documents are stored according to their needs.
If you’re looking for a safe, clean space to store your documents…be sure to contact your local Lock Up Self Storage facility.
Visit www.thelockup.com for more information.