Organizing your important documents is essential to your everyday life and your business. Both personal and professional documents should be stored properly so that they stay in pristine condition, should you need to rely on them in the future.
We’ve all experienced a scare when faced with the possibility that we’ve lost an important document such as a birth certificate, driver’s licence, or even a receipt from last week’s purchase.
To keep things in order, you should always place your important documents in one storage location and make sure to put them back each time you take them out.
If you want (or need) to get organized, here are 7 tips on how you can do so in an efficient manner.
1. Label and categorize
First, there should be some kind of filing system in place when beginning to organize your items. This will make retrieving and finding things later on much easier.
You want to have labels ready for different files and dividers so that you can differentiate between documents. Separating personal files from work/business files is a good start.
How you decide to categorize your items may depend on your lifestyle and your own personal preferences. Do what works for you, and remember to be consistent the whole way through.
2. Keep actionable items nearby
If you have recent mail or documents that you need to act on, you should keep these close by. For example, perhaps you are looking to return a grocery item and need to have the store receipt somewhere you can easily see and grab it next time you head out. Create a space in your home or office that is dedicated to these types of files. Label it accordingly, and make sure the location is visible and accessible. For instance, you can keep a folder on your desk or a mailbox by the entryway.
3. Ensure safety and security
One of your top priorities when organizing your important documents should be the safety and security of these archives. This is especially true when the documents you are storing contain confidential information and personal data such as birth dates, phone numbers, and addresses.
For safety reasons, you never want these documents to end up in the wrong hands. Make sure your storage location is safe and secure, under lock and key if necessary. If you choose to store your documents offsite, ensure the storage facility is safe and equipped with surveillance cameras as well as additional security measures.
4. Back up your files
In this day and age, it’s not enough to simply store your hard copies and hope that nothing will ever happen to them. Be on the safe side by making backup copies of all your documents before putting them away in storage.
This way, if you need to retrieve something, you can simply go to your computer or access a copy on your hard drive. If you still need the original physical document, it will be there in storage.
However, making another copy and storing it electronically will definitely give you some added reassurance and peace of mind at the end of the day.
5. Utilize space creatively
When thinking of ways to organize and store documents in your home office or work space, you should think outside the box and really get creative to maximize space. Use cabinets, closet space, vertical space, and ground areas to your advantage. Don’t just cram everything into your desk drawers.
6. Use climate-controlled storage
Climate-controlled storage is a must when it comes to documents and important paperwork. This type of storage will ensure that your documents stay in pristine condition and are never exposed to extreme temperatures or temperamental weather conditions.
Heat, humidity, and moisture can easily damage vital documents, photographs, and legal paperwork. The last thing you want is to find that such documents are damaged, discoloured, and illegible.
Use climate-controlled storage and you can rest assured that your papers will be in perfect condition should you need to use them later on.
7. Shred and recycle
Last, but definitely not least, remember to be environmentally friendly by shredding and recycling any documents and paperwork that you no longer need. It’s a good idea to go through everything before sorting it and to get rid of documents that no longer serve a purpose to you. Invest in a shredder if you need to get rid of paperwork with sensitive or confidential information.
Organizing and preserving your important documents is a necessary part of everyday life. We all have receipts, records, and paperwork that we need to hold onto indefinitely, and we should make sure these items are safe and secure for privacy reasons. You never know when you might need your important documents and when they may come in handy.
For more information on document and archival storage units in Toronto and the GTA, please call Jiffy Self-Storage at 416-74-JIFFY (54339) or contact us here. We can help make your storage dreams a reality. Contact us today to find out more.