Document Storage Recommendations for Self Storage Facilities

Posted on Apr 25 2013 - 4:21pm by Winnie Hsiu

In this digital world, you would think that businesses wouldn’t have to keep paper copies of their documents. In fact, many companies work toward creating a paperless office. Sad to say, for many others a paperless office isn’t feasible. Some government regulations require that paper documents be kept for four years. Some regulations require businesses to keep records for up to 10 years.

That’s where self storage facilities come into the picture. Businesses can store those paper records in self storage units so they don’t have to take up valuable office space. However, long-term storage of paper records has a host of concerns and problems. When self storage owners and managers understand those concerns, they can make sure that their facilities resolves them making those facilities attractive to business owners.

Keeping sensitive information private is a big concern for business owners. They need to know that their documents are protected and kept safe.  Security gates, keypad entry systems, security cameras, a strong perimeter fence, and outdoor lighting provide peace of mind to business owners storing their records in your facility.

Fire is another concern. Make sure that you have a good fire suppressant system. Test it often. Keep it in good repair.

Extreme temperatures and humidity damage paper. Temperature controlled storage units are vital to businesses that store records.

Space is a concern. If a business has a lot of records to store, they need to use the space in their storage unit wisely. Have sturdy boxes that are uniform in size available for sale. This makes stacking much easier and is a more efficient use of space.

Water and mildew is another concern to those needing to store records. Boxes stacked directly on the floor of a storage unit can be damaged by water or mildew. Provide your customers with pallets or metal shelving to keep their boxes off the floor.

Access to files is also critical. Have convenient hours when customers can access their storage unit. For long-term customers, work out details of how the customer can get access to their unit after hours if need be.

Cost is another issue. Because some of these records need to be retained for such a long time, give discounts to businesses that are long-term customers. Give them a special yearly rate if they pay a year’s rent in advance.

Once a business determines that they no longer need to keep some of their records, they will need to destroy them. Offering document shredding to those customers is a valuable service.

Sources Used:

“Addressing the Self-Storage Conundrum.” Storage & Destruction Business; 24 April 2013.

“Why Offsite Record Storage I Something Most Big Businesses Need.” RecordNations.

“Recordkeeping.” Internal Revenue Service.