Friday, 13 May 2016 15:28

How To Organize A File Cabinet

toptab vs endtabYou want to know how to organize a file cabinet in your workplace. You’ve searched for file cabinet organization and found an overwhelming amount of information online. What is the difference between filing methods and which is better?

Which Filing Systems is best for me?

There are two principal methods of storing physical records and both have their place. A business can have anywhere from a few files to thousands that they store in file cabinets or shelving systems. Some files have a short life span and get archived once they’re inactive and then destroyed in due time, and some are permanent records that can never be destroyed due to legal implications. It is very important for every business to understand the requirements for storing their records. So what’s the difference between methods and what’s best for me?

Top-Tab Drawer Filing Systems

When opened like a book the tab will be in or near your right hand.

A practical home or small business filing system uses top-tab files with file hangers in cabinets. Top-tab is considered best for a relatively small number of files and only you or a couple people need access. The file-hangers usually work together with a light-weight folder inside. Cabinets are more aesthetically pleasing, secure and are inexpensive from a stationery store. There are downsides though. The hangers use up to 30% of the space without any contents. The cost of a folder plus hanger is compounded by this loss of usable space. Labeling, storing and retrieving files is slower and requires more effort plus only one person can access a cabinet at a time. A larger issue is that cabinets are not space efficient and are easily outgrown. The cost of floor space in an office makes a cabinet system less practical.

End-Tab / Side-Tab Shelf Filing Systems

When opened like a book the tab will be nearest your body on the bottom right.

Companies in Energy, Insurance, Accounting, Law, and Health Care industries use end-tab files on file shelving almost exclusively. Efficiencies in floor-space usage, ease of labeling and indexing, storing and retrieving and overall cost effectiveness are compelling reasons in favour of this method.

End-tab shelf filing systems dramatically increase capacity and space efficiency over cabinets with top-tab files. A 36” wide 4-drawer lateral cabinet should hold 134 filing inches, but with file hangers stores only 102 filing inches at best. A 36” wide shelving unit at 76” high with 7-levels (uppermost shelf at about 66”) stores 238 filing inches. More than double the capacity.

Longer rows of interconnected double-sided units will increase efficiency considerably. High-density mobile shelving systems maximize storage capacity and efficiency with several people able to use the system at once.

Given these benefits is there a downside? If privacy and security are required and a locked room is not an option, roll-up or swing-out security doors are easily added.

Time and Effort Costs

When considering all of the costs of filing and storage, including folders, labels, shelving systems, wages and benefits, office rent, utilities and taxes, it is an established fact that labour (wages and benefits) comprises well over 70% of the total cost. Efficiency experts tell us that one misfiled, misplaced or lost file can easily delay or inconvenience a dozen people, even to the point of recreating an entire file. Those experts estimate the cost of that lost file at over $125.00. We’ve heard accounts of company-wide emails requiring all personnel to search for a missing folder. A 10-minute search by everyone in a company would cost thousands of dollars.

Do you still want those hanging files or can we offer you a free consultation on filing systems?

Read 756 times Last modified on Friday, 08 September 2017 07:31

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