You need to arrange your paperwork inside sturdy file folders. Make sure you do not overfill them and that there is enough space to place them alongside each other.
It is easy to keep your files from being messy and well-organized by following some simple steps. Keep reading!
A filing cabinet is a piece of furniture that serves the purpose of a storage device. It is used in work environments—mostly offices—for filing documents in an organized way.
They come in various sizes. Most filing cabinets are tall and have multiple shelves and drawers. Some of these drawers come with locks to store sensitive documents that must be kept from being stolen or tampered with.
Filing cabinets are usually kept in a specific location in an office to make sure that everyone can have access to them. This ensures that anyone who needs a document can find it easily without wasting any time.
When you are looking for a filing cabinet for your office space or your personal use, it is important to keep in mind the intended use of the cabinet. You should purchase a filing cabinet of an appropriate size that best serves your use.
Why Keep Files Upright in A Filing Cabinet
There are various schools of thought when it comes to filing documents in a filing cabinet.
Some people prefer to stack the files on top of each other and store them horizontally, while others prefer to keep their files upright in a filing cabinet.
Although both of these methods of storing files—horizontally and upright—have their pros and cons, keeping files upright has more pros than filing documents the other way.
- When you keep your files upright in a filing cabinet, it is easier to find them from the stack. You just need to thumb through the documents and pick out the one you need.
- This is not possible when storing files horizontally, as you would need to go through all the files one after the other while looking for what you want in a stack.
By keeping files upright, you can see all your files at a glance and easily find what you are looking for.
- Another pro of keeping files upright is that it uses less space than filing in any other method. Using less space means more documents can be stored without buying another filing cabinet or using the space left over to store other things.
- Filing your documents upright ensures that they are not creased or damaged and do not get knocked over easily. Also, you do not have to remove all the files in the front to retrieve a file at the back of the cabinet.
Things to Consider When Choosing A Filing Cabinet
It is important to think carefully before buying a filing cabinet as you do not want to be left with something you cannot use efficiently and something that won’t serve your purpose, becoming a waste of space.
Intended Use of the Filing Cabinet
When buying a filing cabinet, the first thing to consider is why you need it. A cabinet with deep drawers will better store big and bulky items over one with shallow drawers.
If you need a filing cabinet that provides easy access to the contents inside, getting one with an easily accessible opening is advisable. However, if you need to store an object securely without the risk of it getting stolen, a cabinet with a lock serves the purpose.
Size of the Filing Cabinet
If you have only a few items to store, it is better to get a smaller filing cabinet over a large one as a lot of space will be wasted otherwise.
If you have a lot of files to store, a large cabinet makes more sense. The point is to be mindful of the number of files that need storage while also accommodating any more files that might be added soon.
Material of the Filing Cabinet
You should also pay attention to the material used in the filing cabinet. For storage of lighter files and to create a more aesthetic environment in tandem with other furniture, it is okay to get a wooden cabinet.
Although a wooden filing cabinet might look good, it is not as durable as metal or plastic. Hence, it is also imperative to think about the material and if it will serve your purpose.
Color of the Filing Cabinet
You do not want to buy a cabinet of just any color if you have a particular décor in your office space. It is not difficult to match them to your space as they come in various colors so you’re sure to find a good fit.
Design of the Filing Cabinet
Like the color, there are different designs to choose from—from traditional-looking filing cabinets to more modern ones. You should choose one based on your preferences and your office décor.
How to Keep Files Upright in A Filing Cabinet
Now let’s look at how to keep files upright in a filing cabinet. There are a few steps you need to follow to create a method of filing to ensure your files stay upright.
Choose A Cabinet That is Right for You
To keep your files upright, you need to have a cabinet that is right for you. For big items, you need one with deep drawers. One with shallow drawers would not be able to accommodate the files upright.
Measure a cabinet’s height, width, and depth before buying one, so it can fit your needs.
Arrange Your Paperwork
Once you have your filing cabinet, you must sort through your paperwork and arrange them. You should start organizing by year—beginning with the current year and working backward.
Now create folders for each category of paperwork. For example, “medical bills and reports,” “bank statements,” “career certificates,” etc., should all be in separate folders for every year.
If you have any obsolete paperwork, make sure to dispose of them. Keeping them would only use up precious space in your storage cabinet.
File Your Paperwork
Now that your paperwork has been sorted into different folders and grouped according to year, you can fill them inside the cabinet. Again, you should place the current year’s files at the front and the oldest year’s documents at the back.
Ensure that the folders are sitting upright while placing them inside the cabinet. Once fitted inside the cabinet, they will not fall over and make a mess.
Use File Folders
This is pretty important in keeping your files upright. File folders prevent the folders from falling over while also making it convenient to look for specific files. They help keep your paperwork in the best order.
You should use different colors of file folders to store different categories of paperwork. This will make it easy for you to identify files.
Label Your Files and File Folders
Our memory overpowers us in certain moments. When it comes to storing important documents, there is seldom any space for error. Using file folders of different colors might not be enough to identify a file and pick out a specific document quickly.
This is why it is of utmost importance to label your file folders. Use a label maker for this purpose as it will be neater than handwritten labels.
Label your files as well. Labeling the files ensures that you don’t have to leaf through all the paperwork within a folder to access only one file.
Labeling does not only make it easy to find documents, but it also makes your filing system more organized and efficient. Some ideas for how to label your folders are: “client name,” “project title,” and “date.”
Customize the labels as per your requirements, of course.
FAQs on How to Keep Files Upright in Filing Cabinet
How Do I Keep My Filing Cabinet From Falling Over?
Make sure that the filing cabinet is level with the ground. For maximum stability, attach “L” brackets at the back of the cabinet to provide it with additional support and stability.
What to Put in A Filing Cabinet?
A filing cabinet can be used to store your documents in an organized manner. This makes it easier to browse through your valuable documents and avoid a messy pile.
Are Filing Cabinets Relevant in the Modern World?
Although a lot of information is communicated through digital documents today, filing cabinets are not entirely obsolete. There are still many documents that people receive on paper such as company formation letters, loan or credit agreements, and much more.