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What is the cost to store your records or should you have them scanned?

A whole box of files can usually be stored for less than 50 cents per month.  Suppose it costs $200 to scan a box of 100 files.  However, the whole box can be stored for less than 50 cents per month paid monthly.  You can store the whole box for many years for the cost of scanning one file. The cost of scanning the files is also paid up front, which is sometimes a cash flow burden.

However, the true cost of storing files is also determined by how many times a file is retrieved.  If a file is retrieved often, then you might want to scan.  Many record storage companies offer the ability to "scan on demand".  That is a situation where you call to retrieve a file and the record storage company scans that file and emails it to you at that time.  Then only one of the files of the box is scanned, rather than the whole box. 

Call the record storage companies in your area for a free quote for the cost of all their services.  Talk with them about how often you retrieve files and what is the best solution for you.

Other costs to consider in the scanning versus professional off-site storage.

If your files are needed back in your hands immediately and you have no notice of when you need a file, then scanning is the way to go.  Files (scanned documents) are immediately available on your desktop.  Scanned documents can be viewed by more than one person at a time which is sometimes necessary.  In that case, all documents which might be needed in that manner should be scanned.  A similar, but more extreme example is if the second person who needs to immediately view a file is actually at a different location, then the scales are tipped further in the case of scanning. 

There are further benefits associated with security and accessibility.