While it may only take you an extra thirty seconds to file a document, the lazy beast deep within makes itself known and we think, I’ll do it at the end of the day. However, there is one problem with this method. With five minutes to go on the slow ticking clock, your boss walks in without a moment’s notice and demands your attention for those final moments you were intending on filing your paperwork. Those days of saying, I’ll do it later turns into months and before you know it, you’ve built yourself a fancy fortress of files. It sounds cool, but in reality it’s just a bit mess.
Archiving the files and documents in your business is an important issue. Without proper management, files and paperwork can quickly get out of control and begin to invade precious office space. Follow these handy hints so that you don’t get swallowed in paperwork.
Indexing your Archives
When instituting an archiving system that stores files and documents it is important that you correctly mark files and boxes so that you can keep track of all your files and retrieve them as needed. Ideally you should be able to find archived files without having to unpack multiple boxes. A good indexing system will help enormously. Your system should note where files are stored, particularly if they are being housed off-site; location, box number and keywords should all be recorded in your indexing system.
Storing Archives Off-Site
In onsite space is an issue, you may benefit from storing your documents in an off-site facility like Elbowroom . Many businesses choose to lease professional self-storages units that offer round the clock security to house their archives. Whichever solution you choose it is important to mark file boxes and shelves clearly for easy access if needed. The cost of off-site storage may be well worth it if it makes your office space less cluttered.
How to Prevent Deterioration
With most paper products containing cellulose fibres and impurities that produce acid, it’s a given that paper will become discoloured and brittle with age. While more recent papers are made using alkaline processes to ensure longevity, careful handling and storing is the best strategy for preserving the life of your files.
Hands should be washed and dried thoroughly before archiving files. Pages should be handled carefully and any paper clips or other metal clips should be removed before storage. Before storing archived files ensure they are dust and mould free. If you need to bundle paper files together, use cotton tape.
How to Pack Files
How you pack files and paperwork into boxes is very important. Alkaline packaging should be used to prevent deterioration and files should always be stored on their spine, while individual documents should be flat packed on the bottom of the box. It is best not to pack too many items into each box as this will make retrieval difficult. Storage boxes need to be the correct size to handle the records so that paperwork is not bent or folded.
By taking care of how you handle items for archiving and by implementing a thorough indexing system, you can manage your archiving well and ensure easy retrieval when necessary. While archiving may seem a bit tedious, good attention to detail will reap rewards later.