Tips on how to store paper records long term

Although we live in the digital age of  IoT and cloud storage, the use of paper records trace back to ancient civilizations throughout mankind’s history. In today’s business climate, certain required businesses to keep legacy paper records on hand due to government regulations.  Storing documents isn’t as easy as shoving papers into a box and kept in a closet room. Here are three areas to keep in mind when storing paper records long-term.


Crown employee with boxes of paper records in an elevatorPaper documents should be stored in acid-free boxes or containers with exterior labels identifying the contents of each box. The proper way to properly pack a box of letter sized folders would be to place the files perpendicular to the front of the box and the remaining space is filled with paper documents placed parallel to the back handle. It’s important to pack the container densely with paper records which provides added safety and a greater chance that your documents will be salvageable in case of fire, air or water damage.

Storage Environment

Paper records should be stored between 68°F/20°C to 76°F/24.4°C and a relative humidity of 35 to 55 percent. Keeping storage boxes away from humidity is critical for preservation. Avoid areas like basements and attics due to the irregular temperature where extreme temperatures can have a negative effect on the documents. Keeping paper records off the ground avoids moisture leaking through the floor and into the boxes. Crown Records Management facilities use cat-walk racking systems that store the records on shelves and off the ground to avoid damage from natural disasters such as flooding.

Storage Location

The location for paper document storage is vital and should meet several requirements.  Depending where your records are being stored, certain regions pose a higher risk from natural disasters such as flood, fires, earthquakes, to the safety of document may have an . Regions impacted frequently by fires, floods, earthquakes risk records on-site if the location is inaccessible or destroyed. Partnering with a professional records management company use facilities meant to protect records from  that has the experience and facilities to provide the right packing, storage and protections protocols such as sprinkler systems, smoke and heat detection, gated storage areas and 24/7 monitoring.

To learn more about long term storage solutions, contact a local Crown Records Management office today.


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Indika Wijesekera Digital Marketing Specialist