6 Ways to Organize Your Files

By Nicole Tinkham


File storage is extremely important when keeping a well organized office. You may be surprised to know that there are six different file cabinet options – shelf, lateral, vertical, pedestal, fireproof, and mobile files. The first thing to think about is what type of files you will be storing and how many. The next step is to understand the different filing cabinets to determine which is best for your office.

1. Shelf Files


Pictured: Tennsco Snap- Together Open Shelving

Shelf files are ideal for highly active files with an end-tab filing format for easy access. They come in both open shelves (pictured above) and shelves with receding doors. The Add-A-Stack Shelving System even allows you add tiers as your filing needs grow.

2. Lateral Files


Pictured: Hon 700 Series Four- Drawer Lateral File

Lateral files have wide drawers making them the most efficient way of filing. Since they aren’t very deep, they don’t take up much space which is perfect for small offices.


• 2 Drawer: Fits under work surfaces
• 3 Drawer: Fits under stand-up desks
• 4 Drawer: Up against wall
• 5 Drawer: Up against wall


• 30” Wide
• 36” Wide
• 42” Wide

Filing options:

• Front-to-back filing
• Side-to-side filing
• Combination (both front-to-back and side-to-side)

3. Vertical Files


Pictured: Hon 210 Series Four- Drawer, Full- Suspension File

Vertical files are just the opposite of lateral files, being tall and deep. They may be bulky but are useful for storing a lot of files. Since these can be quite tall, it’s best to store files that don’t need to be accessed on a daily basis. They come in 2, 4, and 5 drawer options. With vertical files, you must also consider whether you’re storing letter or legal size file folders.

4. Pedestal Files


Pictured: Alera Three- Drawer Metal Pedestal File

Pedestal files are often used for workstation storage as they are able to fit under most desks. They come in both 3 and 2 drawer options. Most 3 drawer pedestal files will have two box drawers and one file drawer (see picture above). You can get pedestal files with or without wheels and in many different styles.

5. Fireproof Files


Pictured: FireKing Four- Drawer Vertical File and FireKing Four- Drawer Lateral File

Fireproof files come in many different types and sizes including lateral and vertical files as well as storage cabinets, chests, and safes. What makes these files fireproof is the insulation which has enhanced thermal properties. Most fireproof storage will keep files protected for up to an hour but some safes last longer with up to two hours of protection.

6. Mobile Files


Pictured: Safco Impromptu Mobile Storage Center w/ Hanging File and Safco Two- Tier Rolling File Cart

Mobile files, or file carts, are compact and light with wheels, making them easy to move around the office. You will find many different styles and sizes when it comes to files carts. Some have extra compartments for additional storage while others have two tiers to store a large amount of files. Your office may need a mobile file cart to transfer files to another location or if files need to be viewed on a daily basis throughout the office.

As you can see, you don’t really have an excuse for an unorganized office anymore. Finding the correct file storage for your office is essential. This is what will keep your office organized and productive. If you need any help determining the perfect file cabinet for your office, just give us a call (941-747-2995) or stop in our furniture showroom and visit Carole.

You may also be interested in a few of our past blogs:

The File Folder Buying Guide
9 Easy Office Organizing Tips
What are Bankers Boxes?

What is your top organizing dilemma in the office? We may be able to help fix this problem!

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