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Tips & Advice | Storage

How to Store Documents Like a Pro

storing documents in a storage unit

People rent storage units for a variety of reasons, but one of the lesser-known reasons is to store documents for safekeeping. If you’ve ever owned your own business, you know how much space documents can take up because there’s so much you have to keep—old employee records, tax documents, and lease agreements to name a few.

While renting a storage unit is a great solution to the very real paper problem many businesses experience, there are some important tips you should know to keep your documents safe and in good condition.

And that’s why, as one of Sydney’s top storage facilities, we wanted to share our 5 favorite tips for storing documents like a pro.

1. Make Sure the Facility You Choose is Secure

Odds are high that the documents you’re storing include sensitive information like bank account numbers and private employee information. That’s why it is critical that the storage facility you choose to use is secure.

Before you sign a rental agreement, ask the facility about their security measures. How easy is it to gain access to the facility? Is there a gate that requires you to enter a code or can anyone drive onto the property? Does the company employ security guards in the evening or have close-circuit TV systems to monitor the property?

It’s also a good idea to physically walk the perimeter of the property to make sure there are no holes in the fencing around the facility. And be sure to drive by after dark to assess whether the property is properly lit.

2. Choose a Climate-Controlled Unit

Will a climate-controlled unit cost more than one without? Probably. Should you spend the extra money anyway? Absolutely.

Paper documents need to be stored in a unit that maintains a constant temperature and humidity level. Without climate control, your documents are likely to suffer mold and mildew damage.

3. Store Documents Properly Before Placing Them in Storage

It’s important to make sure your documents are properly organised before taking them to storage.

All documents should be in plastic, lidded bins. Do not use cardboard boxes for a couple of reasons. First, cardboard is more likely to degrade over time, especially if you’re stacking boxes on top of one another. Second, cardboard serves as a tasty snack for roaches, mice, and other critters who will chew straight through the cardboard and into your documents. Plastic bins with lids will keep your papers safe and are easier to stack.

Be sure each bin is clearly labeled. If your documents are organised according to year, you should include that information on the label. Doing so will make it much easier to find documents if and when you need to access them.

As you fill your unit, place older documents (that you’re less likely to need access to) further back and more recent documents up front.

4. Don’t Store What You Don’t Need

If you have a large number of documents to store, you may be tempted to take everything straight from the office to your new unit, but it is important to go through your boxes to ensure you’re not storing documents you don’t need.

As you sort, place those documents you need to keep in your plastic bins, then make piles for papers that can be recycled and those that need to be shredded.

5. Keep a Log

It’s important to know exactly what is in your storage unit and where it is located and keeping a detailed log can help.

You may want to use a number system to number each box and then use a spreadsheet to keep track of the contents of each. Some people prefer writing on a hard copy while others prefer to use an Excel spreadsheet.

There are even apps available that allow you to print a QR code for each box. When you want to know the content of the box, simply scan the QR code and, voila! The contents are revealed.

Knowing where all documents are located will make it easier to find documents that are old enough to remove from storage. Because the time limit for keeping different documents varies, you’ll need to check with local authorities to find out when you can remove certain documents.

If you are looking for a safe and secure facility to store your business records or other documents, we hope you’ll contact us at Holloway Storage. Our team of experts will be happy to create a custom quote for exactly the space you need. And our mobile storage units come right to your door, saving you time and making the storage process easier.

We’ll keep your documents safe, secure, and ready for you when you need them.

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