A good file cabinet is not enough to ensure organization and easy file identification. Filing cabinet accessories are essential. They keep your records, files and important documents more accessible and organized better. The primary use of file cabinet accessories is to make the usage of the file cabinet as effective as possible.
File sorting and file keeping is made easier with accessories. Apart from standard file placement, you have options to hang and arrange files in more unconventional ways.
This kind of arrangement is made possible by filing cabinet accessories. However, it is important to note that not all file cabinets can allow use of these accessories. The use, material, and design also have a significant role to play.
Do you need accessories for file cabinets?
Although file cabinets are designed to store and organize files and documents efficiently, accessories take it up a notch. With these additions to your filing system, you can develop storage systems, like file classification. The need for an accessory depends on a few factors. Not all filing cabinets can accommodate accessories. After all, accessories are not a must, but they’re needful.
These factors are necessary before selecting the item that is best for you. They include:
The intended use of the filing cabinet
If you use the cabinet to store items like books, accessories might not be the best idea. An accessory used for better organization is unnecessary for book storage. Think critically about the purpose of an accessory before purchasing it. In this way, you avoid needless purchases.
The material used in making the file cabinet
Some file cabinet accessories are perfect for metal cabinets, while others are good for wooden ones. Suitability and functionality matter because you might get an accessory that is unusable. You must consider this factor especially if you have more unconventional file cabinets, like wooden file cabinets, at work or your home office.
The filing cabinet design
Different file cabinet designs exist. You can get lateral, vertical, mobile, side or open-self file cabinets. Each of these designs has unique features for specific purposes. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the design of the filing cabinet you need accessories for before purchase.
Best filing cabinet accessories
File cabinet accessories might work for one cabinet and not for the next. Luckily, there’s one suitable for most types and designs of cabinets. You can find the appropriate accessories, depending on your intended use of the file cabinet. Each enhances your storage experience and ensures space organization. The best filing cabinet accessories include:
Metal rail inserts
Railings are perfect for creating space in a cabinet drawer. You need this accessory to store documents, especially letter size and legal size. You can use railings to alphabetize hanging files in a front-to-back format. Additionally, railings increase the filing capacity of cabinets. This increase is possible by increasing the letter size the cabinets can hold.
The railings are also suitable for cabinet drawers up to 18 inches deep. There are two kinds of metal rail inserts:
- The single front-to-back hanging file rails
- The double front-to-back hanging file rails
The only disadvantage is that the double front-to-back hanging file rails are incompatible with most file cabinet types. The single front-to-back option is more suitable for all cabinet types, metal and wooden.
A follower block is a file block that uses the spring mechanism. It is perfect for keeping files upright, neat, and in place. Follower blocks also ensure the files remain at the front of the drawer. The follower block is usable with any letter-width file cabinet (up to 15” W). It is adjustable and can also act as a file separator. You place it between projects for easy identification of documents.
This accessory is perfect for office use. Identification of documents is easier because files are upright and organized. You can also choose a system where you group files according to projects. Follower blocks are easy to incorporate into your vertical and lateral file cabinets.
Check whether the accessory is compatible with your cabinet design because it is incompatible with a few types of file cabinets like the FireKing Turtle series.
There are different types of drawer slides. Such include side mount, under mount, ball bearing, soft close, and center mount drawer slides. They are also known as drawer runners and ensure the smooth opening and closing of drawers. Some like the full extension side mount drawer slide allow you to pull out the drawer to see all its contents. However, the drawer cannot fall out.
Drawer runners are applicable in all drawers for home and workplace use. It prevents drawers getting stuck, and refusing to open or close. Most of them have a soft vinyl design that reduces friction between the moving parts of the slide.
The only disadvantage to this would be selecting the best drawer slide for you since there are several types available in the market for metal and wooden cabinets.
File dividers are efficient accessories that help users organize files in file cabinets. They hold files and folders in place, separating them from each other. There are different kinds of dividers. Some are flexible while others are fixed within the cabinets. On top of that, this accessory makes alphabetical and chronological filing easier.
The two different types of file dividers are:
- Lateral dividers
- Front-to-back file dividers
To choose the best file divider, consider the width and depth of the file cabinet. Lateral dividers, for example, are for wider cabinets that are not as deep. Both types are helpful in the office since they come with tabs and labels for easy file identification and organization.
Some cabinets come with in-built lock features. Others require reinforcement, while the rest need installation of locks. File cabinets often contain important documents that require to be under lock and key. Unfortunately, most workplaces have incidents of theft. Files also get misplaced or go missing.
You can get a lock with several keys to give employees you can trust to handle the documents. If the cabinet is at home, ensure you keep the key in a safe place. There are many types of file locks as follows:
- Tubular cylinder locks
- Cam style locks
- Lock bars
- Keypad locks
The disadvantage is that most people forget the pin or password (on keypad locks) or misplace the keys. Replace the lock immediately if this happens.
Hanging file x-racks
This accessory is common with offices. It allows the use of over twenty hanging folders in one cabinet drawer. Since it has an X shape, it is easily foldable. This feature creates more space in the drawer. You do not have to worry about your files getting distorted. The accessory has pads at the bottom to prevent bending whenever the drawer moves.
The x-rack supports storage of letter size and legal-size documents. It ensures your files remain upright and organized. Some are made from plastic, and others are made using polystyrene.
Files are not the only items that need proper storage in the workplace or home office. A file cabinet drawer organizer is needful for placing items such as staplers and pins in the office. Keeping office equipment organized and categorized in these organizers, stops you from losing and misplacing things.
The organizer is a rectangular box with several ports for different office equipment. Although efficient, you would have to find one that fits inside the file cabinet drawer. If you are using an unconventional cabinet, you will have to look for an organizer that fits there without much hassle.
A caster kit is the best for use in the workplace and at home. Sometimes, it is necessary to move file cabinets to clean underneath or rearrange the space. Most file cabinets are heavy and immobile. A caster kit comes into use in such a situation. It has a set of tires or wheels that support heavy loads.
Some casters have locking mechanisms to prevent rolling. If you find casters without locks, place a rug underneath. The carpet prevents the file cabinet from moving from its original position.
Types of casters include:
- Rigid or fixed casters
- Swivel casters
Shelf file divider
This accessory is excellent for organization purposes. You can use it to divide the drawer into different sections. Depending on the size, one drawer can have up to a dozen sections. With a shelf file divider, you can utilize the entire space in the drawer. Files are also kept upright and organized for easy access.
There are metal and plastic shelf file dividers. Both types work for metal and wooden file cabinets. All you need to do is find the perfect size to fit seamlessly into your file cabinet drawers without hindering opening and closing.
This accessory is different from rail inserts, although both make navigation in the drawer easier. A file bar is a piece of metal where you connect the adjustable folder frames. Fortunately, you can get these file bars customized to your exact drawer size. This way, the organization of files is more effortless.
There are two types of file bars:
- Side to side bars
- Front-to-back file bars
An ordinary drawer is easily convertible to accommodate hanging files using file bars. You can use them in wooden and metal lateral file cabinets.
Finding the best accessory depends on the use, make and design of your cabinet. Proper use is encouraged to avoid counterproductivity.
- A. Leverkuhn, HomeQuestionsAnswered: What Are File Cabinet Dividers?