Best Practices for Long-Term Paper Document Storage

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to assume that all important documents are stored electronically. However, there are still many situations where physical paper documents need to be stored long-term. Whether it’s for legal, historical or sentimental reasons, proper storage of these types of documents is crucial in order to preserve them for future generations.

Choose the Right Location

The first step in storing paper documents long-term is choosing the right location. This means finding a space that is dry and temperature-controlled with minimal exposure to sunlight. Basements and attics should be avoided as they tend to have fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels which can cause damage over time.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Sunlight can cause significant damage to paper documents over time by causing fading, yellowing and even deterioration of ink. As such, any storage area selected should be shielded from direct sunlight at all times.

Keep Documents Dry

Humidity can also cause serious damage to paper-based materials as it encourages mold growth and causes warping or curling of papers. To prevent this from happening during storage, ensure your chosen location has low humidity levels throughout the year.

Select the Right Containers

The next step is picking containers specifically designed for document storage purposes. Avoid using plastic bags or containers, as they trap moisture which will inevitably lead to mold growth on your valuable papers.

Use Acid-Free Paper Materials

Acid-free folders are highly recommended when storing important paperwork because they don’t contain acidic chemicals known for breaking down archival items quickly. You’ll want an option that fits your unique needs whether you’re looking for standard letter size folders or specialty sizes like 11 x 17 inches

Pick Folders Designed For Long Term Storage

Folders designed specifically for archiving purposes not only offer safe protection for the documents but make it easier to keep them organized.

Establish a Document Management System

Once you’ve chosen your storage location and containers, you’ll need to establish a document management system that works best for you. Labeling each folder with relevant information such as date, content or category can help streamline the retrieval process later on.

Create Backup Copies

If possible, create backup copies of all important documents and store them separately from the originals. This provides an extra layer of protection against loss due to theft, fire or water damage.

Schedule Regular Check-ins

Finally, it’s important to schedule regular check-ins with your stored files. It’s easy to forget about long-term storage until something goes wrong. By reviewing your collection regularly, you will have peace of mind knowing that everything is safe and secure in its proper place.

By following these simple steps and investing in quality archival materials like acid-free folders designed specifically for long term storage, you can ensure that your paper documents remain preserved and protected for years to come!

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