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The condition of your paper will dictate the effectiveness of your copier or printer.
Though modern printers and copiers have been engineered to fractions of a millimeter, they’re no match for dirty, statically-charged, or warped paper due to improper storage. Today, we’re going to look at how the proper storage of your printer or copier paper helps keep your devices running at their peak for years to come.
Have a Designated Paper Storage Area
The key to protecting your office’s copier or printer paper from damage, dirt, moisture, or static electricity is having a designated paper storage area. This spot should be away from windows, doors, vents, or frequent foot traffic. The ideal place is cool and dry with temperatures that do not fluctuate. While shelves in a removed area may work, a closable closet or cupboard is best.
Keep Paper Elevated
Never store copier or printer paper on the floor. Not only will floor storage leave paper more suspectable to being accidentally kicked or debris from foot traffic, but it is also more prone to absorbing excess moisture due to gravity. The best storage heights are knee to chest level—not on the floor and not on top-shelves near ceiling vents. Do not store surplus paper in your printer’s paper tray. While it seems like it should be a fitting place, the tray’s low position and frequent temperature variation can damage or misshapen paper before it’s ever used.
Keep Paper Stored on Flat Surfaces
To avoid paper jams from misshapen paper, make sure to store your paper on a firm, flat surface. The selected shelves should be able to handle the weight of the stored paper without any bending or flexing. Avoid wire shelves, as they may leave an imprint on the bottom layers of stored paper. A flat, sturdy shelving system is a worthwhile investment for the storage of surplus reams of paper.
Keep Stored Paper Packaged
Paper manufacturers have spent untold sums developing packaging that best protects their product until it reaches your office. All of that engineering and packaging is for naught if you immediately tear it off and stack it on an exposed shelf in your office. Though away from dirt and debris in a clean office, paper can be warped by moisture or charged by static electricity from foot traffic. Do yourself a favor and keep your paper in its original packaging until you need to load it into your device—ideally, one ream at a time.
Once Unpackage, Store Paper in a Sealed Container
Whether you already have paper that has been removed from its original package or need to load paper in fractions of a packaged ream, it’s essential to store it in a sealed container. Optimal secondary storage is within a sealed bin—a tupperware-like container specifically designed for paper storage. Such containers can be purchased from most office supply stores. Though they will be an additional cost, they will likely pay for themselves in preventing paper jams due to damaged, dirtied, or statically-charged paper.
Train Your Staff on Proper Paper Storage
Investing in a paper storage protocol for your office is all for naught if your staff isn’t on board. Once you have a designated proper paper storage area and have developed a paper storage system, inform your team of your company’s paper storage rules. Make sure that everyone is on the same page with your paper-preservation protocols.