How To Archive Documents: The Ultimate Guide for Document Management

June 10, 2024

How To Archive Documents: The Ultimate Guide for Document Management

Document archiving is really important for businesses and for personal use as it gives you a safe space to store sensitive and confidential documents. Archiving documents within self storage has many benefits as it gives you a safe space to store your documents whilst stopping you having to clutter up your home or work space with archive documents. 

How to archive documents. Image shows a storage room with metal shelving units filled with brown archive boxes

Within this article, we are going to talk you through why you should archive documents and how best to do it. 

Understanding Document Archiving: What You Need to Know

In simple terms, document archiving is when you place paper documents into a storage facility for an extended period of time. It is excellent for businesses as there are many documents that you need to keep a hold of such accounting records that must be kept for six years

Planning Your Document Archiving System

Before you begin with archiving your documents, you need to decide whether you want to archive your documents digitally or store physical paper documents. Or a mixture of both. 

Digitising your business documents is a big job but it can be a good idea to have a second copy of certain documents. When it comes to personal documents, there are many documents that have to be kept in physical form such as passports and birth certificates. 

If you have physical documents, document storage will provide you with a safe place to store these documents. 

Step 1: Organising Documents Pre-Archive

You will want to have some sort of system for your documents before you place them into document storage. How in-depth this system needs to be will be dependent on how many documents you are storing but it is always a good idea to use files and boxes. And do not forget to label everything. This will make it much easier to find certain documents if and when you need them. 

Step 2: Choosing the Right Tools and Materials for Archiving

If you are storing physical documents, you will want to file them into folders with corresponding documents. You will want to make sure that everything is labelled. Seeing as you will be dealing with a lot of paper, you may want to consider placing the folders of paperwork into airtight plastic boxes. Plastic boxes will protect it all from environmental factors beyond your control such as water leaks. 

You will also want to choose the right storage facility, making sure to pick one that has high end security features in place. Within our document storage, we have alarms fitted to the units which have police response. There is also 24/7 CCTV around each of our storage facilities. 

Step 3: Maintaining Your Archive

Once your items are in archive document storage, you will want to make regular checks to your documents, to  make sure that the documents are staying in a good condition and no outside factors such as pests are affecting them. And, if you are storing business documents,  you should make regular updates to your archives as you get more documents that need to be stored. 

You will want to stay on top of maintaining your archive, properly destroying any documents you no longer need and keep your archive up to date. 

Archive Documents for Success

There are many documents, both personal and business, that need to be kept and it is important that you have a safe place to keep them. Self storage can provide you with that place but it is important that you have your documents in order before you archive them. It is also very important that you continue to keep your archive documents updated. This will help your life and/or business run much more smoothly.

If you would like to know more about our document storage, please click here to find your local store.  

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