We live in a world that’s become mostly computerized, but there are still very important reasons to hold onto important documents. It could be personal papers, business records or even old letters or historical documents that you want to keep. Whatever it is, you want to make sure you’re storing them properly. At A.B. Richards, we’re experts in storage. Our expert sales staff will help you choose the right portable storage containers for your needs and we’ll deliver it to you and pick it up. We know that these documents can be some of your most important possessions, so we want to offer you some tips on storing them.
Important Documents You Should Always Keep
One of the first things you’re going to consider is what documents you want to store. According to the website Time Management Ninja, there are several papers you should always keep on hand. These include passports, titles and deeds to property, wills, power of attorney and trusts, legal documents, birth certificates and social security cards, marriage and divorce certificates, and banking items such as bonds. The website recommends that you keep all of these items in a central location that is easily accessible.
How Long Should You Store Documents?
There are also documents you might want to keep for a long time but not necessarily forever. According to Good Housekeeping, you should hold onto tax documents like W-2 forms, receipts and real estate closing statements for seven years. Securities should also be kept for seven years.
Bank statements should only be kept for one month unless they contain information that involves a tax-related transaction, while credit card statements should be shredded immediately once they’ve been checked for accuracy. This is to protect against identity theft. Other bills, paychecks, and retirement plan statements like Roth IRAs should be kept for a year.
Making Sure Your Important Papers Are Well Preserved
If you’re storing papers for long term use, you need to understand that there are difficulties connected with preserving paper. Most paper is made from wood pulp, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. High-end paper can come from cloth pulp, which lasts longer, but wood is acidic which causes it to deteriorate. The bleaching process for white paper can also cause deterioration. Humidity can cause the paper to swell preventing it from staying flat. Heat, pests, and sunlight can also damage paper.
The Tribune suggests storing paper flat, not folded in acid-free, lignin-free storage boxes or in polyester sleeves. Framed documents should use mattes with acid-free paper and glass that filters out UV rays. Documents should be stored in clean dry areas and checked regularly to make sure there’s no pest activity or mold.
A.B. Richards Portable Storage Units Will Keep Your Documents Safe
A.B. Richards will protect your important documents. All of our portable storage units are made of high-quality 14-gauge stainless steel and are secure, weatherproof and fireproof. Whatever your storage needs are, we have the containers to help. Contact us today!