How to Pick the Right Filing Cabinet

Paper, paper, paper. In any office, paper seems to come out of nowhere: piles of it mysteriously appear and disappear on your desk with no indication of where they came from or where they are going. There is paper in drawers, paper in wastebaskets, paper on the floor, paper on the walls. How much of it is really important is anyone’s guess, but there is no doubt that something must be done to organize it. The easiest thing is to throw it all away, of course, but that simply won’t do: it’s wasteful and there’s always a possibility you might be responsible for knowing something written on a piece of it. The sensible thing is to have one place where you can stow away all your paper, out of sight but still within arm’s reach.

Fortunately, office furniture engineers have designed just such an item: filing cabinets. These are large sets of drawers, often metal, that resemble a dresser like you might have in your bedroom at home, but which are specifically designed for storing paper. Offices all over the country have begun implementing these cabinets as a means to tame the paper monster and restore paperless peace and harmony to the office once again.

Know Your Filing Cabinets

The market is stocked with a range of cabinets to meet every different need; a primer on the different types can be found at Like cars, cabinets often come equipped with special modifications that enhance their style and utility, including the following options:

  • Label holders – Affixed to the outside of each cabinet door, these allow the user to give an interchangeable paper label to each drawer, improving organization while staying dynamic.

  • Locks – Some papers are more important than others, and some can be seen by no eyes but your own. Use a locking cabinet to keep such papers (and anything else you might want to keep secret) away from prying eyes.

  • Fire-resistance – Occasional fire is a sad-but-true byproduct of the paper-filled office, a risk all offices take as soon as they bring in paper, wooden desks or other combustibles. If your papers are in a fire-resistant cabinet, they will still be standing when everything else has burned away.

But cabinets are not categorized merely by their accouterments: there are different kinds of cabinets, each suited for a particular type of paper or style of organization. Vertical lateral filing cabinets, for example, tend to be tall and skinny. These are the most common type of cabinet and can be used for all-purpose paper storage. In the usual arrangement, papers are filed from front to back. Some cabinets, however, are broad and squat and file their papers from side to side, which makes them more difficult to look at but provides more overall filing space.

These are not to be confused with horizontal lateral filing cabinets, which are always short and fat. Sometimes they are stacked one atop one another. If you spent time in the stacks of your college library, you may remember these as the cabinets in which maps are stored.

So shop around, and get out of under that paper mountain with some quality filing cabinets.

Guest blogger Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about filing cabinets. You can learn more about horizontal lateral filing cabinets at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *