Packing Records for Storage FAQ What should I do with my old records?Sooner or later, your old records will fill up all of the space in your office area, and you will have to do something with them. Some of them may be thrown out, but others must be saved for various reasons. When that happens, you box them up and send them either to a designated records storage area or to an off site records storage vendor for storage.Records may have to be retrieved for:questions from customers, vendors and other business partnersresearch within our organizationlawsuitsaudits or questions from regulators such as the IRSRecords also have to be located when it is time to destroy them when their retention periods have expired.Why should I care what goes in each box? We search for boxes containing specific records from specific dates.If we have to pull a large number of boxes from storage in order to figure out which one contains the records that we need, it can get very expensive very quickly.If the records are being requested for a lawsuit, audit or other legal process, there may be penalties if the right records cannot be found or if it takes too long to find them.If customers want answers, a reliable answer should be provided as quickly as possible. If the records cannot be located easily, answers are delayed.The solution is to pack and label boxes carefully and accurately and to make sure that you have captured the right information for every box you send to storage.How should I pack my boxes? There are a few basic rules to keep in mind when packing and labeling boxes for storage. Following them will save money and a great deal of difficulty when the boxes need to be located. Determine the appropriate contents. A box should contain only one kind of record.Include records with the same retention dates. A box should contain only records between defined starting and ending dates.Clearly label the box. The kind of record, as well as the starting and ending dates of the range, should be clearly listed on the outside of the box.List contents of the box accurately. This makes it much easier to find record when needed.What else should I know?When labeling the boxes, keep in mind that the person searching for the records may not be the same person - or even from the same department - who packed the box. They may know nothing about departmental acronyms, personnel names and jargon specific to the area where the records were packed. Also, records may be recalled years after the boxes were sent to storage.