A key consideration for any kind of business, large or small, can be document management. By definition this is the process by which an individual or organization manages the collection, storage and destruction of all its records. In recent years as a result of advancing compliance ordinance as well as the true dawning of the computer age as a somewhat mandatory way of conducting business, document management has become an even more important thing to streamline.
While there are many ways to manage documents, in this modern corporate environment of technology, many companies have created systems of virtual document management. With the possibility of system failures and computer crashes of all kinds, this is sometimes not always the best option. But many smaller businesses still use a system that consists of partial electronic and partial physical paper storage. In many ways it is safer to do both. At Exodus, we are happy to offer space for these physical docs in our climate controlled storage units in order to ensure their complete safety from the elements. We would love to help you make more space in your office for the people and the work that are most valuable to it. But there are some things you may want to consider before making the decision to find a new home for your trail of paper.
Choose A Good Place
In the context of every office, fire, theft and water damage are a continuous worry. Also, an abundance of humidity can be the death of document strength. It is important when considering storage to find a facility that is climate controlled in order to minimize the possibility of damage. By doing this you will be able to keep access to your important paperwork while maintaining the highest level of environmental security.
Priorities in Printing
If you are considering printing documents to store for the long term in physical form, it’s a good idea to think about paper quality. A good rule of thumb is to seek a more neutral or alkaline based paper as acidic papers and inks alike deteriorate over time. In order to keep your documents in top form, we recommend selecting permanent paper since it is not made from wood pulp. Also make sure to avoid sticky substances on things such as post it notes while storing your items as these are also highly acidic in nature and will destroy your documents over time.
Avoid Plastic Boxes
There are pros and cons to using paper and plastic boxes to store your documents. It may seem logical to store your paper in moveable plastic Tupperware containers because of their waterproof nature. But because of this, paper contents are often subject to heat and humidity collection. In contrast while paper boxes will let your documents “breath” they are not fireproof. Despite their weight and size, for the safest option we recommend storing all important paperwork in traditional filing cabinets.
Walk into your storage and take a look around. This is your life, in bags and boxes. It’s the beginning of a new year and it’s time to ask yourself 3 important questions: 1) What do I have? 2) What do I need? 3) What can I give away?
At Exodus, we are more than happy to help you move and store all your worldly possessions. But in honor of this fresh annual start, we challenge you to take the time to free yourself from clutter. Liberate yourself from the things in your life that you do not need and allow it to open up your heart to the new things on the horizon. It’s been said that one mans trash is another mans treasure. There are organizations in your community and countrywide that need your help and could use your stuff to help others. Why not take the time to do everyone a favor and get on the donation train in 2011!
Who They Are: This is an organization created for the purpose of inspiring and empowering individuals through the use of job training, employment placement and other educational opportunities. Their network includes 165 independently run community based Goodwill Stores in North America who use their proceeds to fund their core programs and relief efforts.
What They Need: Each store sells clothing, furniture and a myriad of misc household goods. These are all collected through tax deductable donation from the individuals in the communities where the stores are run. Goodwill will also accept monetary donations but they are primarily a place to offload additional items from your home or storage.
How to Get in Touch: (800) 741-0186 or firstname.lastname@example.org or checkout the community locator on http://www.goodwill.org/
Veterans of America
Who They Are: This organization was founded in 1978 to service the needs of the large group of disenfranchised veterans of the Vietnam War. Primarily funded through donations and the sale of donated goods through qualified retailers, they seek to maintain programs that support the physical and mental needs of those who have been touched by this difficult war.
What They Need: The VVA accepts clothing, books, appliances and most kinds of household items. There are very few things that they will not consider a valuable donation.
How to Get in Touch: (301) 585-4000 or http://www.clothingdonations.org/service.htm or visit the official website at http://www.vva.org/
After all the jingle bells have jangled and the chestnuts have been properly roasted on that open fire, you may find yourself surrounded by the decorative aftermath of the holiday season. Not to worry, all you serious decorators, when it comes to clean up its all about the organization. Taking the time to pack up Christmas will not only help to usher in a clean and orderly new year, but it will serve as a preemptive strike against next year’s mayhem of merriment. The following are our top four tips for packing up Christmas.
The Power of Red and Green– Store your holiday cheer in color coded containers. Most multipurpose and container stores sell red and green boxes for storage. Sticking with these colors to designate the location of your favorite snowman collection and other festive bits will save the guess work when you are searching next November. Another good idea is to use seasonal colors for other decorations ie- Black for Halloween, Orange for Thanksgiving and Pale Green for spring decorations.
Original Packaging– The secret to good storage is original packaging. The box that it came in is your friend especially for easily damaged items. The original box is usually created to withstand some form of transport. Breakables such as ornaments, bulbs and lights are obvious package savers as these items are often fine and fragile. Also purchasing durable wreath holders will save them from experiencing the crunch over time.
Make a List & Check it Twice– Next year when you want to pull out your nutcracker place holders without having to look through your 6 Christmas boxes, you will be glad that you took the time to create a detailed list of each boxes contents. Number the boxes and be as detailed on your inventory list as possible. Type your list up and save it somewhere that you will know to look next year such as a file on your computer called “Christmas”.
Box Writing– If you want the contents of each box actually written on the box, use clear wide packing tape. Write each item on the box with permanent marker. This is a great way to make the box re-usable and more importantly re-packable.
During the first 48 hours in your new home you will need to have access to a lot more than you think. And while unpacking can be a long and sometimes stressful process, if you think ahead there is no reason you cannot set yourself up for success. In order to do this, a little planning is involved to insure as much comfort as is humanly possible. Amidst a sea of boxes, here is a second list of things that will make ridding the tide of your post move an infinitely more enjoyable experience.
Saying Good Morning
Starting out that first day in a happy way is a great thing to do to get yourself and your family on the right track. If you usually have coffee in the morning, make sure to pack your favorite mug and a French Press or an auto coffee maker. If you are more a tea person, don’t forget those tea bags and a hot water pot or some other stove item to heat with. Silverware and plates are good for when someone goes on that fresh pastry run. Also make sure to pack some easily accessible pet food and perhaps a new toy for your dog. Both the family and the pup will be much better behaved if they are able to start their day in a semi- “normal” way.
Keeping in mind that the first couple of days in your new home will be a lot of work, make sure to stay hydrated. Packing water bottles and a couple of energy bars in case you don’t have time to stop for a formal meal is a great idea. Having music in the house can also vastly improve the pace and the mood of the unpacking process so make sure to bring along an MP3 player with headphones or speakers depending on who will be in the house. And last but not least, why not include a bottle of Champagne as a token to celebrate the move day you have accomplished!
Admin and Medicine
Don’t forget to have some kind of small first aid kit handy. This should include in it things like pain killers for those aching muscles. Also don’t forget that you and your families’ daily medications should be easily handy as you won’t want to unpack the entire bathroom box just to find them. Make sure to have scissors and a box cutter handy. Also important can be light bulbs and batteries as you never know when one will be burned out or you may need to power up a screw driver to put something together. Another important tip is to pack a section of current paperwork. You may be surprised how quickly you might need to put your hands on contact numbers, account numbers and your check book during those first few days. Don’t make the mistake of having o sort through the entire office to find what you need.
When creating a checklist for a move, one of the most often forgotten items is the “open me first” box. And while this may seem like a concept of minimal importance, it can potentially make or break your first 48 hours in your new home. There are several different moving guides and relocation tips out there. Each one has a different view on what is important to include in this “box”. There is also some dispute on whether or not you should create an “open me first” box for each room of your home. While this can be a good idea, we feel that for the sake of ease and in an effort to not have to locate all of these boxes before nodding off to sleep, we would like to suggest creating one location that will have everything you need to be comfortable.
Use a Backpack, Suit Case or Duffel Bag
Make sure that this “open me first” box doesn’t look like everything else. It is also helpful to make sure that it doesn’t travel with everything else. If possible, transport this group of things with you in your personal vehicle so that you know where it is at all times. Keeping it in the trunk of your car is recommended until the movers have left and the house has “settled down”. This way you can avoid losing track of it in times of high traffic.
Pack for 2 days
Make sure to include a change of clothes for tomorrow and the next day. This allows for some extra time to get to your unpacking as well as an additional outfit to change into in case something gets spilled on or becomes sweaty from heavy lifting. Don’t forget PJ’s and sheets for your bed as there is literally nothing worse than finally wanting to sleep and having to search for linens. It is important to include all of your toiletries in travel sizes but especially remember to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. A travel candle and lighter can be a nice touch to relax you on your first night in your new home.
Vital Forgotten Items
While this may seem obvious, toilet paper is a very important thing to make sure to have in your home throughout the moving process. Everyone involved will benefit from this item arriving first in the bathroom. Expect a long day of talking and coordinating during your move. Don’t forget to pack your cell phone charger and a pen and paper in that first box. It’s also important to make sure to bring soap, a shower curtain and a towel so that at the end of a hard day, you can easily get clean.
When it’s time to start packing, its easy to feel overwhelmed. With so many things to accomplish in a finite period of time, anxiety can build fast. And while you may be an incredibly organized person and have already secured an excellent moving company to help you through the process, there is a way to take the edge off of the amount of stuff that needs to be done and simultaneously not feel so alone. When it’s time to move, it’s time to plan a packing party!
A packing party is a great opportunity to turn a stressful situation into a downright festive occasion. It’s also a wonderful excuse to invite your friends, family members and neighbors to help out with your move. If you take a few hours to use an “all hands on deck” approach, the ship of your move is bound to have a much smoother sail.
Make the Guest List. Think about the people in your life and consider their strengths. Who among them is organized, detail oriented, or physically strong? Who has a lot of time and energy? Who is good with their hands or at taking things apart? Create a list of these people and invite them to your packing party.
Break It Down. Create 3 main categories by which to sort your stuff. We suggest the following: to keep, to store, and to get rid of. The “to keep” and “to store” piles are being packed away, but the “to get rid of “pile is most important for your packing event. This group can be broken down into 4 groups: to recycle, to sell, to donate and to toss. During your packing party you can use your guests to clear this area by taking items to local recycling centers, local charity organizations or taking things that they might need for their homes.
Create a Theme. Themes inevitably make parties more fun. They give a sense of direction and help everyone who attends to know how best to help. One theme idea might be a “Box, Wine Party”. Have each person you invite bring an empty packing box and a bottle of wine. Tell them that they are to help fill the box and help empty the bottle!
Use your Resources. If you have 5 people coming to your house, divide tasks up and give people jobs. Ask one person who likes to cook to help pack your kitchen. Have another person who is very interested in philanthropy take the load of clothes that need donated over to the Salvation Army. By assigning tasks to people according to their areas of expertise, they are more likely to be both useful to your moving cause and excited to participate.
Making the most of your storage space requires some thought and careful planning. Sure, you can just see how much fits into your new space and then throw the rest into some random storage facility. But when it comes time to find your things again, it can be a real headache to locate what you are looking for. Taking the time on the front end can make it easy to avoid these kinds of hassles and utilize your space in the most efficient way.
When considering storage rental, several factors come quickly into play. How much do you have that needs stored? How often will you need to access these things? But once you have selected the appropriate sized facility there are some simple ways to make the most of your space.
Think Future. Pack your boxes not only by room but also by potential future use. If you are packing birthday decorations, put the candles and the streamers and the balloons all in the same place, even if they lived in different rooms before they were packed.
Avoid Excuses. Try not to keep things “because I may use it someday”. It is easy to fill a storage space with useless items. If it’s not a keepsake for family memory or it will be used within the year, it may be time to let it go.
Create a Solid System. Number as well as color code your boxes. The number allows you to use the box again without crossed-out markings all over the box. Keep an indexed list of what is in each numbered box. The more detailed the indexed list, the more you will appreciate it when you need to find that kitchen mixer 2 months from now.
Pack Light. Fill the majority of your boxes in a size of box and to a maximum weight that you can comfortably move by yourself. This will help you to avoid having to recruit friends to help out when you need to get something out of your storage.
Give Yourself Some Room. Part of fully utilizing space is the ability to actually move within it. Select a storage unit that is not only big enough for your things but also large enough to leave an aisle between rows to be able to get to that box you need in the back without climbing over other boxes.
It’s that time of year again, the one right after costume time. Time to put away the gigantic plastic spiders and cotton webbing. It’s time to re-store the life size garden ghouls and find a place for the glow in the dark skulls to rest until they are needed again next year. It’s that time of the year right after Halloween when you find that more than ever, you need storage!
Halloween can be an eventful part of the season. All the dressing up and party decorating can give a real boost to the creative kid within you. But after the party is over and you are properly recovered from your sugar high, you realize that every year you seem to acquire more stuff. Of course we recommend having separate storage for Holiday decorations but here are some tips on how best to keep the scariness to a minimum:
- The Comb Over. A common mistake in wig storage and costumes that are primarily fur based is forgetting to brush them out before storing them. After the party they are often knotted, dirty or wet. It is important to try to get them back to their original state before putting them away. Airing and combing them out will insure that your long black Elvira wig and Ware Wolf costume will live to see another party day.
- Keep it Cool. Remember that humidity and temperature can have a great effect on fabric. If these factors do not remain constant, fibers expand and contract over time causing the deterioration of color. For your more expensive costumes and long term material storage in general, we suggest considering climate controlled storage.
- Color Wonder. Nothing says organization like color coding. If you are storing your Halloween stuff in boxes, use a large orange marker to label its contents. If you are able to purchase plastic bins, select appropriate colors like orange or purple. This will allow you to easily find what you are looking for when it comes time to drag it all out again next October.
- In Packaging We Trust. Whenever possible, it is great to save original packaging for all costumes and decorations. Often manufacturers take into consideration the long gevity of these items when designing their packaging.
This year Exodus Moving and Storage was awarded the Green Affiliate of the Year by the Fort Collins Board of Realtors. This award is given in recognition of outstanding corporate initiative to incorporate environmentally friendly business practices. So how did we become so good at green?
In an effort to go beyond normal ways of looking at recycling, we re-thought the process. The following are two interesting statistics about recycling boxes after your move:
- Recycled cardboard only takes 75 percent of the energy needed to make new cardboard and lessens the emission of sulfur dioxide that is produced when making wood pulp from trees.
- Recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 9 cubic yards of landfill space and 46 gallons of oil.
But at Exodus, we not only take your old cardboard boxes to recycle, we care for them during the move in order to avoid oil and water damage. This allows us to actually reuse the majority of these boxes which saves more trees and water than recycling. By reusing boxes, Exodus Moving supports the EPA’s nationwide Municipal Solid Waste challenge to reduce the amount of waste going into our nation’s landfills.
Wardrobe boxes provide wonderful efficiency for hanging up the items in your closet that are too long or fragile to be folded. This list includes dresses, formal gowns and suits. These boxes come with a double wall and metal bar designed to take the weight of heavy clothing items. Making these kinds of boxes available for your convenience allows us to help you to avoid the hassle of a re-press job on your dry-cleaned items once you have reached your relocation destination.