During our journey through life we accumulate stuff, and here in Britain it tends to be quite a lot of stuff. Most of that stuff usually enhances our lives in some way, so it’s understandable we like to hang on to it.
Sometimes it simply because we’ve put money into something and can’t bear to get rid of it (even if it’s obsolete). Sometimes it’s as an investment – because we think it will be worth something in future years. Sometimes it’s to keep records – information that we can refer back to if needed. And sometimes it’s for sentimental reasons – to prompt our memories of good times.
Those last two are forms of archiving. Whether it’s for business or in our personal lives, we like to archive. So here’s a look at the kind of thing our customers are boxing up and putting into their storage units.
Personal & Family Archives
How often have you heard the phrase ‘in the family archives’? Records that have been handed down through generations, giving the current extraction a firm connection to their past? Well those archives can be made up of all sorts of stuff…
Your life (and those that have gone before) – in pictures
The world changed when photography was invented in the early 1800’s. Suddenly, there was a way of recording a physical image of a split second in time. It spawned a whole new global industry – and the need for somewhere to store the hard copy images produced. Photography took another big step when it joined the accessible consumer mainstream around 1910. That’s the lions share of a century of printed reminders of times past.
The world changed again when the computer was invented in the 1960s. We could start to store images digitally, with no need for physical space. But that revolution is relatively recent. So it’s not unsurprising that many people keep archives of family photos in their storage units.
Modern life comes with paperwork and despite much talk of everything becoming paperless in the 1990s – we do still like our hard copies. Whether that’s bank, credit card or loan statements – or other personal information, it all mounts up. That household archive might seem like it is an unnecessary burden – but you’d needed to prove a PPI compensation claim it would have been well worth the effort.
A beret from your Air Cadet days. A stick from your time on the left flank at your local hockey club. A suitcase full of pictures from your ‘teenage angst’ period in art school. The possibilities for what they’ll be are entirely unique to you – but those items that hold sentimental attachment can be an important part of our connection with our youth. Props to tell the grand-kids about your first flight in a chipmunk (that’s a small training aircraft if you were wondering). The stunning goal you scored against the league champions. The painting you won the borough art competition with. They’re all part of the archive of your life.
When it comes to archiving, it’s different for business. There are rules around what you need to keep and for how long. The rules depend on what type of business it is. The financial and legal sectors tend to have to keep records for longer.
Businesses might use archived information for management – looking at how and where they can cut costs, make efficiencies and increase profit. If you haven’t got those records, you won’t be able to go back and look at trends to make those decisions.
You could be audited by all sorts of organisations and paperwork to prove how your business is operated is essential. From HMRC, HM Customs & Excise and regulators across a whole range of sectors including financial, health, safety and environmental might all want to see a record of the plans and training you have in place. If you can’t produce them you might find yourself in a difficult situation.
Customer Transactions and Records
Past and present customer records are an essential back-catalogue – not least as a future marketing tool. You might use them to refer back to a previous customer order – and how much they paid, or you might use them as a contacts list for your next round of marketing effort on special offers.
Don’t forget – whatever your need for archiving physical stuff that you need to keep we can help. We’ve got self storage units in a wide range of sizes that you can rent for personal or business use.