Everyone Needs a File Cabinet


file cabinetIn my last post I wrote about how moms need desks. Now I’m imploring moms, dads, students, seniors, space aliens–anyone who will listen…


When a prospective client tells me of their paper challenges, one of the first questions I ask is, “Do you own a file cabinet?”

They often reply…

“File cabinets are really ugly.”
“I have a plastic one that broke.”
“File cabinets are just expensive boxes.”

These statements bring a tear to my eye. I love my file cabinet. I’ve had the same one for fourteen years and I work it hard. I’ve decorated it with magnets and pictures of my kids to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I’ve opened and closed the two drawers more times than I can count. But, most importantly, my file cabinet helps me attain a high level of paper organization so I can locate what I need in a matter of seconds.

My personal preference is a metal file cabinet. I know they are kinda ugly. I know they make a room look ‘office-y.’ But they FUNCTION WELL. And functionality is vital especially if you’ll be in and out of your file cabinet daily. I have seen file cabinets where the drawers stick or they don’t pull out all the way making files in the back unreachable. I have seen wooden ones chip and plastic drawers fall off the track. Problems like these make it more challenging to file and find your papers when you need them.

If ugliness is the only thing keeping you from purchasing a metal file cabinet then I say—buy the nicest one you can find and start decorating it. If price is an issue, buy one from craigslist or a company going out of business.

But make sure…

• Drawers slide in and out easily
• It has high sides for hanging folders
• Hanging folders slide back and forth easily over the high sides
• It is large enough to hold the amount of papers/files you need in a particular room. Think about whether you need a letter or legal sized cabinet. Plus, the deeper the cabinet, the more paper it holds!

And just like a desk, measure your space before you buy… that goes for you space aliens, too. Ever try to get a file cabinet through the door of a spaceship?

Besides authoring the Organized Artistry blog, Stacey is the author of 7 Steps to an Organized Wedding Thank You Note, a quick-reference writing guide for brides and in 2007 authored the ‘Organizing on a Shoestring’ column for Organize Magazine.


0 thoughts on “Everyone Needs a File Cabinet

  1. Angie

    My daughter went of to college 4 hours away, only to return back and decide to go local…. We had already turned her room into a home office, so we found ourselves scrambling to move her back in, and still have an office. My husband contacted Backyard Rooms
    and now all needs are met! Im looking for ways to make the file cabinets less industrial looking since our new room is so stylish. Thanks for the article, im thinking paint, and some trendy magnets will do just fine!