At first, it would seem like buying a filing cabinet would be a fairly simple exercise. You just go out and buy one, right? Aren’t they all fairly similar? The answer is ‘not quite’. There are a few different types of filing cabinet which all work slightly differently. Then you’ve also got to think about issues like security and fireproofing for important documents. Here are three important considerations to keep in mind when buying a filing cabinet.
1. What Are Your Filing Needs?
The first step to choosing a new filing cabinet is to determine your needs. How much paperwork do you need to store? Will you buy one large filing cabinet or multiple smaller ones? It’s also important to think about how often you’ll need to retrieve the documents in your filing cabinet, as this can help you determine what kind of cabinet would suit you best.
2. Types of Filing Cabinets
Nowadays, there are different varieties of filing cabinet designed to be used in varying ways. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each:
The Vertical Filing Cabinet
This is what most people think of when they think of a filing cabinet. It’s the tall, boxy looking thing with drawers that extend so far that it can topple over if you aren’t careful. However, better quality cabinets will have better balance, and you’ll always fare well if you look for a sturdy piece of office furniture when buying a filing cabinet.
The traditional vertical filing cabinet displays files in a front-on direction, so you can put labels on top of your files and have them all facing you for easy identification. As all your files are stored facing the front of the cabinet, to reach your files you need to pull out the drawers further than when using a lateral filing cabinet.
The Lateral Filing Cabinet
The lateral filing cabinet is an innovation in office furniture. Instead of your files being stored front on, your files are stored facing the side. The advantage of this is that the drawers of these units don’t need to extend out onto the floor space very far for you to access files when compared with a traditional vertical filing cabinet.
This is handy in busy offices where floor space is at a premium and when mess needs to be avoided. The lower and wider but less protruding format of these lateral filing cabinets makes them more palatable to the eyes as well. Many lateral filing cabinets have beautiful finishes on them and look like a classy chest of drawers rather than a utilitarian piece of office furniture. The humble filing cabinet sure has had a makeover in the last few years!
The Mobile Filing Cabinet
What do you do when you need order, but you also need your files accessible at a moment’s notice? You buy yourself a mobile filing cabinet! These filing cabinets are on wheels so you can move them around to suit the work you’re doing and your locale in the office. You can wheel them towards your desk when you need the files they contain and then you can wheel them out of the way again when they’re not needed. Nothing is more convenient than a mobile filing cabinet.
3. Is it Secure Enough and Fireproof?
Some documents and mementos are simply not replaceable, and these items may really need to be in a fireproof filing cabinet. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Other documents might need extra security and have their rightful place in a safety deposit box. If it gives you greater peace of mind, taking these extra precautions is a worthy investment.