For both local small businesses large corporations, organizing, managing and maintaining records can be quite a challenge. We’ve provided some tips to make this necessary "evil" a little easier for everyone!
Organizing your files:
- Arrange files strategically for maximum space utilization.
- Create an aisle space so that you can access items from more places. This is especially important when you are checking or storing files daily.
- Separate departmental records accordingly in regards to accessibility and security needs/concerns.
- Place the same type of files in one box (i.e. do not place payables in the same box as payroll records).
- Use forms to track record storage series and types (i.e. Data Entry, File Location Management, Record Transmittal, File Location Tracker, etc.).
- Track date ranges and alphanumeric ranges of contents.
Maximize your space:
- Utilize vertical space by stacking as many items as possible. This is where shelving is particularly helpful. If you are planning on storing your files in a self-storage unit, check out the various sizes the storage company has to offer.
- Whether you are storing long-term or short-term, rent a unit that will allow you or your company to grow. Don't rent an office space or storage unit that doesn't leave room for future business files to be added.
- Ensure that the office space or storage unit has safety features as well. Rent with a storage company that gives you access when needed and also had security cameras and gate codes. Always make a copy of each file so you have another copy on a computer drive or software program.
- Maximize stacking by filling boxes completely. Make sure boxes have sturdy tops and lids. When you packing boxes with files and storing them, fill up the boxes so they don't collapse when they are stacked. Leaving empty spaces in boxes can also cause them to tip over or damage files.
- Utilize proper shelving to organize records. For example, 8′ x 4′ foot shelves hold approximately 42 file boxes.
- Place labels on a part of the file box where it will be easily seen (typically the end of the box). If you are renting a space at a self-storage facility, you can purchase these supplies directly from them. Otherwise, you can find boxing and labeling supplies at any office supply store.
- Leave a “legend” out for those accessing the files to see. The legend should decipher what part of the unit different types of files are in; this way they can be located more easily.