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Packing the Boxes for Shipment

Once you have prepared the records, the next step is packing them for shipment. Records are boxed and retired to the FRC in groups called accessions. Accessions should consist of at least five or up to 100 boxes containing one type of records with the same date for final disposition. For example, if you plan to retire both correspondence files and contracts, the records are considered two separate accessions because the records and the dispositions are different. To help contain agency costs, retire as many records under one accession as possible.

Pack the boxes as if they were file drawers. All documents must be in labeled folders, since loose documents or ring binders will not be accepted. They should be in the same order in which they are maintained in active files. Place letter size folders in the boxes so that they are ordered from the front, numbered end of the box, to the back. Place legal size folders in the box so that the labels face the left of the box as you face the numbered end.

Do not over-pack the boxes. Leave at least 1 inch of space in each box for working with the files, more if interfiles will be added later. Never add additional material on the bottom, side or top of the records in the box. Each box must be at least three-quarters full.

Pack non-paper media, such as microfilm, in standard-size boxes. Check the records schedule for the correct procedure for separating different types of media. In these instances, FRC will only accept boxes that are at least half full.

Write the box number in the upper right corner of the front side of each box. For example, if there are 8 boxes, the first box should be numbered 1 of 8, the second box 2 of 8, etc., with the last box being numbered 8 of 8.

Always label the boxes with 1-inch-high letters using a large, permanent, black felt-tip marker.

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