Hello, I have limited space for paper storage

Anne Mckay
by Anne Mckay
I have a small business but have a lot of papers to keep and limited space to store them. Do you have any ideas?
  16 answers
  • Jacalyn Jacalyn on Aug 22, 2015
    I'm with B.enne. Buy a scanner and look up - at your walls, and build/install shelves.

  • Jennie Herrick Jennie Herrick on Aug 22, 2015
    If a scanner is not something that you can use because you need to keep the actual hard copies of the paperwork, my only other suggestions at that point would be to maybe try renting a small storage room where you can keep the documents in file cabinets and stored safely offsite. However if they need to be stored onsite, then I would start looking into some kind of vertical storage options. As humans we tend to spend our lives looking down and putting our things on the floor, however this leaves a lot of unused, available space above our shoulders. It's prime real estate. I'm sure there are some shelves and filing boxes that you can put on the walls to keep all your paperwork organized and at your fingertips. Good luck to you! :-)

  • Jan Posey Comer-Shipman Jan Posey Comer-Shipman on Aug 22, 2015
    I would opt for the scanner and for EXTRA protection, purchase a service such as Carbonite so that the documents are automatically backed up and stored off site. No worries as to losing if your computer crashes. You can always store on the cloud as well but if these are important documents, consider an off site backup! Carbonite is about $60 per year and multiple year purchase can lower the cost. Additionally, they are running a special of 20% off AND if you do ebates, you can get an additional 7.5%. All this and piece of mind!!! If a scanner is outside of your budget, you can always take a photo of the documents and save that way!

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 22, 2015

    • Jeani Miller Miner Jeani Miller Miner on Aug 22, 2015
      @DORLIS what if house burns? having a back up of your important papers stored off site (via Carbonite or the cloud) just makes good sense. Even if your computer crashes you still have your documents saved externally

  • Jeani Miller Miner Jeani Miller Miner on Aug 22, 2015
    Scan and Carbonite is my recommendation too. You can also install a terrabite of space on an external hard drive. That's a ton of storage. For the hard copies, consider turning an storage ottoman into file storage. You could also buy two standard short file cabinets and use them as support under a piece of wood or glass for a desk. And of course go vertical. wall pockets (often sold for cubicle storage) is perfect.

  • Buster Evans Buster Evans on Aug 22, 2015
    Depending on why you have to Keep so many papers, whether they are receipts or whatever, maybe the accordion folders that are divided into compartments etc.. You could sort by date, ticket no., or customer name, alphabetically. How long do you have to keep the papers. These folders could possibly stack or lay flat, maybe kept in a closet out of site... just the first thought I had in the situation.

  • LD LD on Aug 22, 2015
    Since you have limited space, then you need to have a multi functional printer which has a scanner bed to it. Make sure to scan your doc's in pdf format, for the docs that you need for tax purposes can be group together. Invest in the full version of Adobe, for you can create files from multiple documents. Adobe also has cloud back up store, but remember that any files that are backed up to the Cloud are password protected. If you are not currently backing up your computer system to an external drive, please do so, and make sure to store offsite in a fireproof container (i.e., safe or fireproof locking cabinet). Also use dual monitors for ease in looking at stored docs.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 22, 2015
    holuse title, etc. are in safe deposit in bank. other things like recipes and how to's are already safely stored.

  • Carol Carol on Aug 23, 2015
    Hard copies are not necessary. I scan everything into my computer now, and am on the way to becoming paperless for my personal and business files, I have a small S Corp. and the IRS even accepts digital copies of things like receipts, invoices, etc. Be sure to use good back-up software, or copy to a portable media that you can grab quickly in case of a disaster. I back up all my financial files to both a cloud storage server and to a flash drive. That should allay your fears of computer safety!

    • See 2 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 26, 2015
      @DORLIS Make numerous back ups. See my comment above, as well as the ones that refer to cloud storage. You don't need to get rid of all your hard copies, but many of them are probably not as important as others. I keep my tax returns, since each year is in one brown envelope. It doesn't take up that much room. I don't need to keep utility bills from 20 years ago. Anything like that I have shredded or scanned. I have gone with paperless billing as much as possible, the rest is scanned and the paper copy is shredded. If I come across any old documents, I decide whether they need to be kept, or scanned. If you are not sure for your state, call your utility companies, tax dept. etc. They will tell you how long you need to keep everything, and if digital copies are permitted. I understand your concern, but papers burn, get water and insect damage...it is good to have a back up.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 24, 2015
    Have you thought about those tall, multi-shelved units like they have in medical clinics? They are movable so you could face the unit to the wall, slide out when needed and have some art work on the surface facing you.

  • Carolyn Carolyn on Aug 24, 2015
    yup; in agreement with a scanner. I think you can scan those copies and even highlight only the important stuff and copy into new folder to save on computer

  • Carol Tanner Carol Tanner on Aug 25, 2015
    I also have everything backed up on portable hard drives, 3 currently, but use the flash drive for moving files to a laptop if main computer crashes.

  • Linda Fraser Linda Fraser on Aug 25, 2015
    With limited space I would look up. I don't know what type of ceiling you have but if it's a regular ceiling find the studs and attach plant hooks. Then suspend chains and attach shelves to the chains on each corner. You can have as high or low as many shelves as you like. If you're afraid of papers spilling off you could add a pretty edge trim to the shelves. ***Now if it's a ceiling with tiles there are still braces above you can still attach the chains too. You will have to get creative to do it. Hope this helps

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 26, 2015
    I am still finding receipts and bills that my father saved and he passed in 08

  • Dau32711220 Dau32711220 on Apr 20, 2021

    get a scanner and do careful organizing under clients names, and maybe even the year.