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File Cabinets

A file cabinet by now is a fixture in most homes. Not only does a file cabinet help your home office look more professional, it helps you organize and declutter other spaces in your house. At Pottery Barn, we love how beautifully styled file cabinets look for today’s home and so many models coordinate with office desks for a cohesive look. Let us give you some tips on how to choose the proper cabinet for your needs.

Cabinets for Your Work Flow

The most important consideration when choosing a file cabinet is finding one that fits your work style and work flow. Always measure your available space and triple check the dimensions of the piece you’re considering. There are vertical and horizontal cabinets and they both work differently and need different types of space. One might not be right for you even though you thought it would be perfect. Not only does the cabinet you choose need to fit the allocated space, but it’s critical to think about the following considerations:

A vertical cabinet is narrow with deeper drawers and is best to hold letter size folders. Each drawer holds fewer documents than the horizontal file, but there are short and tall vertical file cabinets. A short two-drawer vertical file cabinet is ideal for under desks and for quick access, but will only hold your “hot” files rather than all of your files. Taller four- and five-drawer vertical cabinets need a lot of wall space and won’t be as convenient to access from your desk. You’ll also find lighter weight mobile vertical file cabinets on caster wheels that can roll up to your chair when needed. For extra stability, many mobile file cabinets have an extra fifth wheel on the bottom.

A horizontal cabinet, also called a lateral file cabinet, may take up a lot of wall space, but if it’s the low two-drawer style, it’s easier to access many files from a seated position than you would from a vertical cabinet. Just swivel your chair and you’re there at the drawers. The interior of a horizontal cabinet is more flexible because the hardware and rails can be arranged to fit all types of files from shorter letter size to longer legal size.

Keep in mind that some vertical cabinets are deeper than horizontal cabinets though more models are streamlined to fit into smaller living spaces. A vertical cabinet may need a bit more room in front of it so you can fully open the drawers. For example, a typical vertical cabinet may have a depth of 21" or more, though smaller mobile vertical cabinets may have about a 17" depth. A typical horizontal cabinet may have a 20" depth. Sometimes a 1-inch difference means a lot in a compact space.

Safety Features

If you’re choosing a mobile vertical file cabinet, look for wheels that lock to keep it in place while you use it. For stationary files, adjustable levelers on the legs help with stability on uneven surfaces. Make sure drawers open smoothly on metal glides. Keep in mind how easy it might be to open heavy drawers. You may appreciate handles you can grasp or finger holds you can pull on when drawers are weighed down with files.

These days, you have so many great options when it comes to choosing file cabinets for your home. Integrating attractive home office furniture with your stylish decor in shared family spaces or dedicated office space has never been this easy.