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New Year Declutter Challenge Week Two: Purge Your Storage Room

Posted  January 15, 2019  by  Lynn Brown



When decluttering the workplace, it's easy to forget the one room that is usually full of confidential business documents – the storage room. The storage room is often the go-to spot for documents that are no longer needed. 

It's easy for the storage room to become "out of sight, out of mind," so you may not even realize just how many outdated documents you're unnecessarily holding on to. Did you know: as much as $120M is spent annually printing forms that are usually out-of-date within 3 months. (Paper Use Statistics. Statistic Brain. 2017)  That's a lot of unneeded documents piling up! 

No matter the size of your storage room, a privacy breach can happen to your organization if you don’t make it routine to purge the storage room of old and unused documents. In fact, 53% of all identity theft crimes are not-digital. To avoid falling into the “it won’t happen to me” trap, join Shred-it's weekly declutter challenge, which kicked off with tips to declutter your workspace

Here are some useful tips to help declutter storage areas: 

1.) The hardest part of purging and organizing storage is just getting started. If you're prone to procrastination, book a block of dedicated time and make it a priority. 

2.) Contracts, customer lists, HR documents and meeting notes are a few of the documents most likely to be found in your storage room. Some documents you may not realize contain sensitive info include supplier records, old resumes, and marketing/advertising plans. 

3.) If your organization has a retention policy for certain documents, make sure that these are stored in a specified, locked area and reviewed regularly. These should be organized by date so you know when they can be securely destroyed. 

4.) Prevent your storage room from filling up with unneeded documents in the first place by helping employees understand what is considered confidential information, what documents should be stored in locked cabinets and what documents to shred. 

5.) The more your storage room fills up, the harder it is to get started on a clean up. To ensure that the storage doesn’t keep piling up with confidential documents, it is a good idea to have a dedicated individual clean out the storage room each month.

Be sure to keep following Shred-it's declutter challenge for more tips to secure your office. 

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