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Campaign Against Clutter: Tax Records & Documents

Campaign Against Clutter: Tax Records & Documents

By Stephanie Hyland, StorageUnit.com

With tax season upon us, there is never a better time of the year to be organized. When it comes to filing taxes and storing other important documents, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when you can’t seem to find the correct paperwork when you need it. Investing in a storage unit for documents is a great way to ensure that all of your files are not only organized and safe, but you will know exactly where everything is for the next tax season.

The Campaign Against Clutter is dedicated to stopping the formation of clutter inside your home and office and will help you stay organized year-round. Finding a self storage unit that can house tax documents and other paperwork is an easy problem to solve. Let’s get started!

The Situation

tax documents and formsIt’s that time of the year again and you’re trying to round up all of the necessary paperwork to get your income tax return ready in a timely manner. You’re sifting through piles of receipts and printed statements on your desk and in your drawers, trying to find a particular document. You keep telling yourself that this year is the year that you’re going to find a better way to organize paperwork so you can avoid this headache in the future. But how are you going to store these documents when your office is full of current work-related materials? Also, what to do with all the receipts and statements after the taxes are filed, just in case you (heaven forbid) get audited?

The Solution: Invest in a Self Storage Unit

By investing in a storage unit, you can store your important tax documents at a secure location without taking up precious office space. Depending on how you will be storing your documents, the unit size that you will need can vary. If you will be storing the documents in a few metal file cabinets, you can most likely get away with renting a 5X5, a unit roughly the size of  a walk-in closet. If you are planning a more elaborate storage solution for your documents, you may want to consider reserving a 5×10 or 10×10. These units will give you plenty of room for file cabinets, shelving units and any other small items that you feel would be a good addition to your storage unit.

Filing cabinet with financial documentsIf you are looking to store business documents, self storage can alleviate clutter from more than just tax information. Many businesses store a variety of files, like human resource records, performance reviews, and more. Because businesses need to keep information like safety reports, benefits documents, contracts, and more for several years, these necessary files can really pile up. Free up office space by moving them all into a storage unit. Some facilities even offer specialized document storage and will come to your office monthly or quarterly to pick up new files and put them in storage for you!


Quick Tips for Storing Documents in a Self Storage Unit:

  • One of the most important things you need to remember about storing paperwork is that it’s environmentally sensitive and it’s important to store it in a stable environment. By investing in a climate-controlled storage unit—a unit that stays between 55–85ºF year-round with low humidity—you can avoid mold and mildew damage to your documents.
  • Since you never know when you may need to grab certain documents through out the year, it’s important to consider reserving a unit at a facility that has extended access hours or 24-hour access. By making sure you can retrieve your paperwork when it best fits your schedule, you’ll never have to be inconvenienced or push back an important deadline.
  • Since tax and other paperwork can contain sensitive information, it’s very important that you become familiar with the security features that the storage facility offers. Find a facility that offers at least keypad entry, security cameras, and even an on-site manager.
  • To add an additional layer of protection for your documents while they’re in storage, consider storing them in a file cabinet that needs to be opened with a key or digital password.
  • If you’re going to be storing certain documents inside of boxes, consider investing a shelving unit to keep the boxes off the ground and more visible inside the unit. Some facilities have in-unit shelving available for document storage, so be sure to ask the storage operator.
  • Clearly label your files and storage containers so you can easily find the documents you need. Once you have moved documents to storage, keep a list of stored files in a computer document so that you can verify where the files are located when you need them.

Problem Solved: After investing in a storage unit as a place to organize important documents and tax information from previous years, preparing for next year’s tax season will seem less daunting and will go much smoother. Keeping all of your paperwork in a secure location without compromising your personal work space can keep you calm, cool, and collected—never again overwhelmed by growing piles of documents and files.