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HOW TO STORE PAPER

Paper has a way of accumulating, using much needed space and ultimately needs to be stored whether short-termed or for an undetermined period of time; even ‘forever’. Clients’ files, not current, or researched data and similar bulk material can be stored economical and safely in self-storage units where temperatures and humidity are regulated. Certain documents need to be kept by law for a specified time that may differ from country to country.

Personal documents like share certificates, birth certificates, marriage and divorce papers, wills, etcetera, need special care before being stored, whether at home in a fire-proof container or at your bank. Apart from the safety aspect there is the chemical reactions that paper can undergo whilst stored for decades.

Paper is manufactured from wood pulp or other vegetable sources. The process consists of a watery pulp mixture, called slurry, that gets drained, dried and pressed flat to a certain weight and strength. Fillers are added for opacity and whiteness. These starches and chemicals can be acidic or alkaline. The paper is then calendared, meaning to polish the surface. Paper will therefore react to the weather and any other chemicals that it is exposed to.

  • Sunlight and heat will make paper brittle and colour will fade. The appearance of most papers may deepen in colour as is often visible in framed certificates, hanging in well lit interiors.
  • Damp is paper’s number one enemy. It will weaken the surface and papers will stick together, creating an ideal environment for mould to grow.
  • Insects like fish moths can ruin documents. Eggs are laid between pages and when hatched, the young feed on the starch in the paper. Self storage units are vermin free, but it is advisable to pop a few moth balls into a box before storing.
  • Dust and fumes may pose minimal dangers to paper, but keep photographs clear from it.

     More don’ts:

  • Do not laminate or store valuable documents in PVC folders. The chemicals react with those in the paper. (Polypropylene is safe though)
  • Do not use rubber bands to secure papers. Use cotton ribbon or string instead. Avoid glues or sticky tapes as well.
  • Do not store newspaper clippings with other paper. The cheaper newspaper’s acidity will affect the better paper. Rather replace the clippings with copies.

In a controlled environment office paper can be safely stored for thirty years or more. Backup copies on CDs do not take up much space – a clever safety measure. Valuable documents that must be conserved forever, should be prepared for storage. The safest method would be the safe deposit box of a bank. Sound advice: Scan every item and save on some electronic system. Note: It is essential, before packing away precious items, to interleave them with acid-free paper.

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HOW TO STORE WINE     

WINE: The word has numerous adjectives describing a pleasing sensory experience. Wine is romanticised. Poets glorified it. To fully preserve the character and worth of your wine, careful storage is essential.

When deciding upon a method of storage, take into consideration the quantity of bottles, facilities available, the reason why storage is needed and the length of time required.

Ideal storage consists of a dark, cool place with regulated temperature and maintained humidity. If too cold, wine will take longer to age when maturing is aimed at. Too hot and it will start to oxidise – ruining the appearance and taste. White and rose wines should be stored around 10 degrees C, light reds at 12 degrees C and full bodied reds at 18 – 20 degrees C. Sparkling wines are best kept at as low as 7 degrees C. Direct light should be avoided, especially sunlight and fluorescent types.

Storing bottles on their sides versus in an upright position: Screw topped or bottles with synthetic caps can be stored either way whereas corked wines need to lie on their sides to keep the cork moist. Dry corks will let air through.

The best way to age wine is to start with a product of really good quality. Thoroughly research the available young red wines (vintage) and store for up to twenty years (or longer if stored at a professional cellar where wines are recorked when necessary). It will be wise to test your wine once a year for over-ageing. White wine matures faster or do not need ageing at all.

A small wine collection can be stored at home at the bottom of a seldom used built-in cupboard where it can be left undisturbed – especially if it is possible to insulate the area and the door with sheets of foam plastic.

A cellar, if you are lucky to have one, is the better option. Both temperature and humidity can be regulated. A system should be followed as to dates of storage and types of wine. Do not turn the bottles! It will disturb the sediment.

A wine refrigerator is the easiest solution. Such an appliance has two or more different temperature compartments to accommodate various products. It is ventilated and temperature and humidity stay constant.

When you need to store your wine with a professional cellar for any length of time (e.g. When you are temporary relocating or having no space or other means), all of the above measures will be taken care of.

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12 TIPS FOR A PAINLESS OFFICE MOVE

If moving house is considered one of the major stresses in life, then moving office must be off the scale – but it doesn’t have to be.

It doesn’t matter why you’re moving; whether your building has been sold, or the lease has expired or that you’ve outgrown the current premises. The main thing is, that when it’s time to go, you minimise the disruption by being as organised as you can be.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy 12-tip guide to help minimise the downtime.

1. Create a plan: not just for moving day itself, but for the period before and after, what you need to do in the lead-up, on the day, and in the immediate aftermath, so you can tick all the boxes.

2. Plan your move for a Friday, because it gives you the weekend to lock everything into place for a smooth start on the Monday, without the pressure of dealing with customers and suppliers at the same time.

3. Make sure everyone in the office has the moving day date in their diary so no-one plans any other activities or meetings on the day.

4. Book your removalist and cleaners at least two months before you move (if possible) so you are not left stranded.

5. Consider using a professional office removal specialist (not the same as a furniture removalist) to transfer any large furniture items from the old premises to the new. Staff are not trained to do it, so you are risking issues with OHS, and it is not efficient or productive to have them doing it. Make sure you check their references before making the booking.

6. At the same time as you book your removalist, talk to your IT specialist, especially if you have a large IT infrastructure to move. Check if they can do the job over the weekend after your move. Again, this will minimise downtime.

7. Get the message out – A: how will your clients, contacts and suppliers know you have moved? Send an individual letter/card to each one, and put the updated details on your website. Update Google maps with your new details, and contact the post office to redirect your mail for six to nine months. It might sound expensive – but can you afford for them NOT to know where you are?

8. Get the message out – B: Don’t forget to update all your stationery at least a month before the move, especially everyone’s business cards. That way, you can be handing them out to your important contacts before you move.

9. Around two weeks before the move, start cleaning up the office to get rid of things you don’t need. Archive documents that are sitting around. Start packing things ready for the move, making sure everything is labelled clearly.

10. Consider whether it makes sense to use a unit while you move, either as a temporary measure or a more permanent solution. As you’re packing up, it may be easier to store archive boxes, office petitions and other business material in a self storage space – and longer term, if these are items you don’t need on a daily basis, it may reduce your need for expensive space at the new building.

11. As you look at what needs to be done for moving day, remember we have a full range of business merchandise supplies including archive boxes as well as large and small cartons, plastic, bubble wrap and tape, to make the move simpler and easier.

12. When the big day arrives: make sure you are ready to go, with everything packed and labelled according to where they will be in the new offices. Each staff member should pack their own desks and computer equipment so they know how to reassemble everything at the other end.

At YOYO BOX™ we can help you with all your storage space needs, large or small, especially if you have decided to move to a smaller office space.

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