Filing Systems - Your Pot of Gold

Creating a filing system that works for you is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. A good filing system will put you back in control, enhance your professional image and increase productivity. According to Susan Silver (Organized To Be The Best!, Adams Hall Publishers, 1995), when it comes to files and piles, people have three fears. Do any of these haunt you?

  • Afraid to make a decision. If you don't know what to call a piece of paper, you'll end up calling it nothing. If it doesn't have a name, it doesn't get a home. Such orphans collect in unnamed stacks, piles, drawers and in-boxes.
  • Afraid to discard anything. Heaven forbid you should throw anything out - you might need it someday.
  • Afraid you'll never see it again. Filing an item in some systems is like flinging it into a black hole. If that describes your system, stacks and piles are indeed a lot safer.

According to CA Office Furniture & Design, filing cabinets are one of the best tools in maintaining an organized and efficient office space at your business. Not long ago, your choices in filing cabinets were limited to two or four drawers and black or grey. Today, there are countless sizes, colors, materials and other options to find just the right filing cabinet.

Group of various sizes and colors of filing cabinets

Filing Cabinet Types

  • Vertical Filing Cabinets
    • The more traditional of the options, which range from a 2 drawer to 10 drawer filing cabinet.
    • They are generally very deep but take up little width, as they are only as wide as a vertical folder.
    • Slightly wider than a foot (30 cm) and can be 12 to 30 inches deep (30-76 cm).
  • Lateral Filing Cabinets
    • A lateral filing cabinet, on the other hand, is designed for use where wall space is not important but depth may be a factor.
    • A lateral filing cabinet is much wider than a vertical filing cabinet. This difference allows them to hold documents that vary in width and can handle much greater widths.
    • Generally lateral filing cabinets are not very deep, ranging from less than a foot (30 cm) and can be up to 45 inches wide (114 cm).
  • Horizontal Filing Cabinets
    • Ideal for storing large sheets of paper such as blueprints, drawings and sketches. They vary greatly in depth and width.
  • Shelf Filing Cabinet
    • Has an open shelf, like a bookshelf. It can either remain open or you can have a sliding door that can be closed in front.

Quality of Filing Cabinets

There are three main areas you need to consider when checking the quality of a filing cabinet:

  • Suspension - One of the most important aspects to consider is the suspension. If the suspension is flimsy, as in many cheap file cabinets, the drawers will not open and shut properly once they have files in the drawers.
  • Durability - You should also examine the durability. High quality filing cabinets are made of reinforced steel, which will ensure protection of important files.
  • Safety Features - There are a variety of features that can be utilized to ensure safety in your home, office and workplace. Be sure to check for the following:
    • Anti-tipping features that does not allow multiple drawers to be opened at one time.
    • Counter weighted drawers, locking mechanisms that allow only one drawer to be open at a time, and drawers that open smoothly even when heavily loaded.

Wooden Filing Cabinets

Wooden file cabinets are usually the top choice for home office furniture or executive offices. Wooden options will give you a warm ambiance and will look more like room decor and less like a storage system. You can normally choose from Mahogany, Cherry and Maple. See CA Office Furniture & Design's Case Goods options.

Office armoires, storage cabinets - Mahogany, Cherry, Maple

Metal Filing Cabinets

With metal or steel filing cabinets, function comes before style. Ask yourself if you need 2, 3, 4 or 5 drawer Lateral Files or Flat Filing Cabinets. Consider the office space you have to work with and think about whether lateral or vertical units will meet your needs. Do you need a small filing cabinet or does it need to be mobile with rolling wheels? Maybe stationary units meet your needs. What level of security is needed? What type of locks do you need to protect your files? When you decide on the function of your filing cabinet, then you can consider your color. Generally metal options come in gray, black, charcoal, or putty.

Metal or Steel filing cabinets

Metal options are recommended by CA Office Furniture & Design:

  • They are considered to be more sturdy and durable than other materials.
  • Metal units are also lockable and offer safety features such as anti-tipping features, counter weighted drawers, and drawers that open smoothly even when heavily loaded.
  • The OSP Metal Filing Range offered by CA Office Furniture & Design, incorporates a special type of lightweight metal that helps eliminate issues people have when trying to move these units. They can also be made mobile by incorporating rolling wheels.
Office Star rolling filing cabinets

Fireproof Filing Cabinets

You should consider fireproof filing cabinets as an option in storage for irreplaceable documents. Look for units that are certified to perform vigorous fireproof qualities. These units are tested to sustain temperatures of 1700°F (926°C) for one full hour without the internal temperature exceeding 350°F (176°C). If you need fireproof protection for fragile media such as disks, electronic storage, and tape, you need a filing cabinet that will withstand heat without the internal temperature exceeding 125°F (52°C). Fireproof units also come with durable locks to keep important files protected.

Most wooden and metal filing cabinets weigh between 5 and 20 pounds. A fireproof filing cabinet can weigh between 300 and 1,200 pounds depending on its size, which is why a fireproof filing cabinet is generally used for commercial and industrial purposes. Because of their weight, they are nearly immovable unless done so mechanically. The difference in weight is an indicator of how much more sturdy and durable a fire proof filing cabinet is as compared to wood or metal options.

Fireproof filing cabinets

Fireproof units can withstand fire because they are built with several inches of reinforced steel, which is also why they are so heavy. Fireproof reinforced steel units can generally withstand between 1 and 2 hours of fire heat, which may seem excessive but perhaps not when they are your documents that need to be protected. There is never a guarantee that fire fighters will be able to extinguish a fire quickly.

CA Office Furniture & Design specializes in coordinating the office furniture requirements for Relocating and Expanding Businesses, anywhere in Southern California. We do Free Space Planning and Design as well as the Manufacturing and Installation of Furniture. Our ranges cover New Furniture, Refurbished Cubicles as well as Used Furniture.

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Office Space Planning and Design, Office Layouts, Cubicle Layouts and Cubicle Design, Relocation Project Management, New or Used Office Furniture, Used or Refurbished Cubicles. Office Desks, Office Chairs, Space Chairs, Task Chairs, Visitors Chairs, Lobby Chairs, Conference Chairs, Ergonomic Chairs, Desk Chairs, Training and Nesting Tables and Chairs, Filing and Storage Systems, Reception Desks, Reception Stations, Veneer or Laminate Conference Tables, Telemarketing Cubicles, Call Centers, Reception & Lobby Furniture, Modular Offices and Modular Walls, Executive Office Furniture, Executive Chairs and Cubicle Chairs, Office Cubicles, Office Walls, Panel Walls, Modular Panels, Meeting or Lunchroom Tables, Metal Desks, L Shaped Desks, Laminate Desks, Storage Desks, Reception Stations, Storage Cabinets, Utility Cabinets Lateral Files, Steel Storage, Filing Cabinets, Metal Files, Metal Storage, 2 Drawer Lateral, 3 Drawer Lateral, 4 Drawer Lateral, 5 Drawer Lateral Files.

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