Offsite Document Storage Beats In-House and Self-Storage Units—Every Time

sad face to a happy faceYou can’t change the fact that you have business documents that require storage until the end of their useful lifecycle. And those documents need to be stored somewhere. Your first thought may be to stash them in the corner of your office or in a self-storage unit. Before you do that, however, please give careful consideration to the hazards you face if you choose either of those options.

Here are several reasons why in-house document storage and self-storage units aren’t a good solution for your business records, and why offsite storage in a commercial records center beats them both—every time.


Do you think you’re saving money by storing your documents on-site? Think again. According to research done by the commercial real estate company, CBRE, Nashville’s office rental rates are at an all-time high of $22.57 per square foot. Considering a standard file cabinet takes approximately eight square feet of space, the average cost of storing a single cabinet of documents is $180 per month.

The same number of documents can be stored at an offsite document storage facility for a fraction of the cost in-house and self-storage. For just a few dollars a month, your documents can be stored in a records center on specialized racking systems. You’ll only pay for the actual space you use. And since all file organization and retrieval will be professionally handled for you, your in-house administrative costs will be lower too.

Privacy and Security

Your client records, personnel documents and financial files are confidential and deserve the highest level of privacy protection. In-house storage of sensitive documents may prevent external threats to your information—but not internal ones. Dishonest employees also pose a real risk to privacy when file accessibility isn’t strictly monitored, and security at a self-storage facility is basic at best; a padlock is the only thing protecting your private information from the outside world.

Offsite document storage offers superior security. Compare in-house and self-storage with a commercial record center equipped with advanced theft prevention and detection systems. Fencing around the building’s perimeter features barbed wire and code-accessed, monitored gates. Internal and external surveillance cameras track all access and activity. Unlike a self-storage facility that’s open to the public, only screened records management professionals are allowed inside a records center.

Disaster Protection

Imagine suddenly losing all of your important files to an unexpected disaster. Could you continue to service your clients and patients? Disaster protection is no guarantee with in-house storage. Often, leaky and moldy basement areas are used to store documents. Alternately, files are stored in warehouses or supply areas alongside flammable and combustible items.

Disaster protection is also inferior in a self-storage facility. Most are constructed hastily, using cheap materials and without the structural integrity to withstand extreme weather conditions. Poorly-sealed corrugated metal roll-up doors let in moisture, which promotes mold growth.

All of this is a stark contrast to offsite document storage in a commercial records center that meets strict fire protection and building standards and is built to withstand extreme weather conditions. High-tech fire detection and suppression systems protect the endless rows of documents from fire and smoke damage, even in out-of-sight areas of the records center.

Efficiency and Convenience

Many business owners think it’s convenient to store documents in-house or in a self-storage unit until they have to retrieve them. Important tasks are put on hold when digging through a file cabinet or driving to the self-storage facility to locate documents.

File retrieval is much faster and more convenient with offsite document storage. Your records will be barcoded and tracked in a document management system so you can view your inventory online and request same-day delivery to your business location. Your files will be retrieved by records management professionals and either hand delivered to your office or sent digitally to your desktop with a Scan on Demand service.

It’s simple; offsite document storage beats in-house and self-storage every time!

Richards & Richards provides offsite document storage solutions for Nashville businesses. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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