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Whether you own a home, multiple cars, life insurance, or run a business, often times you need to store these important documents and for tax purposes you may need to hang onto some of these documents for up to seven years for the IRS in case of an audit.


Hanging onto these documents for any length of time requires space that a lot of us don’t have an excess of. Self storage units may be a perfect solution for all your document storage needs, alleviating the stress caused by clutter in your home or office. However, care and consideration should be taken when selecting a self storage facility because documents require special care when storing. You’ll also want to factor in how often you’ll need access to your documents making retrieval quick and easy.


When opting for a storage unit to store your sensitive documents, there are a few things to consider when choosing your self-storage facility and specific unit to best suit your needs:


  • The facility’s level of security plays an imperative role in the safety of your documents; consider facility features such as fencing, electronic gate access, lighting, cameras, and on-site management

  • Determine if your potential storage facility offers climate control features such as humidity and/or temperature-controlled units; small amounts of moisture can destroy important documents with mold or mildew

  • Pests can also destroy documents; check with your facility to see what measures they take against pest control and how they respond to reports of pest issues, as well as visually inspecting the facility to look for unkept grounds or foundational cracks

  • For sensitive documents, consider a fire-safe file cabinet or container

  • Take into consideration how often you will need to access your files and also the times of day that you could potentially need to pull a document; make sure that the facility’s access hours are within these times to avoid inconveniences preventing you from access when it’s most convenient for you

  • Some facilities specifically offer document storage and shelving, at an additional cost, to easily store and access your documents


Once you’ve selected a storage facility and unit that fits your needs, organization is the key to make the best use of your storage space. Items that may help with file organization range from filing cabinets, plastic storage totes, metal storage shelving, file boxes and more. Be sure to leave space between rows of boxes or selves so that you can easily access when needed.

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