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Keep Your Office Organized with These Filing Cabinets

A vertical black filing cabinet with three drawers sitting next to a desk and swivel chair.Filing cabinets are an office furniture staple, a necessity for creating a clean and organized space. The cabinets are almost always made of metal, usually steel, with several sliding drawers for storing documents and files in folders. Filing cabinets not only store important papers and documents but help to protect and organize them as well. While they are well known for their use in professional and commercial office spaces, many people find a filing cabinet a useful piece of furniture for their home office or living space. Due to their protective design, organizational features, and security, many people like to keep a small filing cabinet at home as a safe place to store vital personal documents. They are a great way to ensure that you never lose or misplace important papers. If you want to add a filing cabinet to your living space for personal or professional reasons, here are a few we recommend.

What to Consider in a Filing Cabinet

Here are a few things to think about before buying a filing cabinet:

  • Drawers: Not all filing cabinet drawers are created equal, as they vary both in number and size. Most home filing cabinets will come equipped with two, three, or four drawers. Filing cabinets designed for office space will have rows upon rows of them to store large amounts of paperwork. The drawer size can also vary in length, width, and depth. Some are vertical, some are lateral, and some are perfectly square. These options are handy for anyone who has to store papers or files of different sizes and shapes. Note that some models will have different-sized drawers on the same cabinet. It’s not uncommon to see an extra small top drawer or an extra large and deep bottom drawer, for instance.
  • Size: Consider where you plan to store your filing cabinet in your office or home and how much space is available there. While the number of drawers will affect the size of the cabinet, it’s not the only factor. Two filing cabinets might both have three shelves but vary considerably in size. There are even compact models designed to fit under a desk for better space efficiency and easier access. You should consider measuring your available space to make certain your chosen filing cabinet will fit.
  • Extras: Even though they’re a simple piece of furniture, there are a few extra features you can look for in a filing cabinet while picking the one you want to buy. For instance, some models have wheels that make them easy to transport. A good number of filing cabinets come with a lock and key but not all will, with some only having a lock on one drawer. Some filing cabinets come fitted with label slots to help with organization. For important documents, consider a cabinet that is fireproof and waterproof for extra protection. Others are built-in to a larger piece of office furniture, like a printing station or small desk. While steel remains by far the most common material for filing cabinets thanks to its sturdiness and durability, you can find some made of wood for a more natural look.

Best Two-Drawer Model: Lorell Black File Cabinet

A vertical black filing cabinet with wheels and two drawers.If you have a small office, it can be a tricky task to find a filing cabinet with a good amount of storage that will also fit easily into your limited available space. This filing cabinet was designed specifically for cramped spaces. At 14.3 by 18 by 24.5 inches, the dimensions offer a nice and compact size without skimping on storage space. The full, high-size drawers are large and deep enough to hold multiple letter-sized file folders. The drawers are smoothly suspended and extend three-quarters of the way open for easy access to your documents. The cabinet is made out of steel for durable protection with elegantly embossed drawer fronts, a baked enamel finish, and chrome pull handles for a sleek, clean look. The single front lock opens and closes at the turn of the included key and locks both drawers. This filing cabinet is also mobile thanks to the four casting wheels on the bottom. This design is available in three different colors, so you can select a cabinet that best fits your office’s style.

Best Two-Drawer Model

Lorell File Cabinet, Black -

A two-drawered filing cabinet that offers ample storage space in a compact size.

Best Three-Drawer Model: Lorell LLR18573 File Cabinet

A vertical black filing cabinet with three drawers and silver handles. If you are in the market for a classic vertical, three-drawered filing cabinet for your home or professional office, you can’t go wrong with this durable model. Made out of solid, partially recycled steel and finished with baked enamel, this cabinet the perfect balance of durability and style with its modern aesthetic. This cabinet is every bit as secure as it is sturdy. There’s a single lock that secures the two top drawers. This feature allows you to keep private files locked away in the upper drawers while keeping documents that you need quick access to in the bottom one. All three drawers hang on a smooth glide suspension and can fit letter-sized hanging file folders. Each drawer is 18 inches deep and extends three-quarters of the way open. The chrome pull handles provide a secure, sturdy place to grip.

Best Three-Drawer Model

Lorell LLR18573 File Cabinet, 35.5"x14.3"x18", Black

A classic sturdy vertical filing cabinet with three drawers.

Best for Under the Desk: DEVAISE Mobile File Cabinet with Lock

A textured vertical black filing cabinet with wheels and three drawers.If you are looking to take advantage of your space, this model helps to hide away your cabinet without sacrificing organization. It’s designed and sized specifically to fit underneath most desks, allowing you to utilize otherwise empty space as a spot to store important files and documents. You may also prefer the privacy provided by keeping this filing cabinet underneath your desk, as it’ll be hidden from the view of anyone who walks in. The lock with two different keys helps keep all three drawers locked away securely. The top two drawers are sized as stationary drawers, while the large bottom drawer makes a perfect file drawer that fits letter-sized, legal-sized, and A4-sized hanging file folders. It’s also equipped with three removable hanging bars. The stationary drawers are ideal for storing small documents or office supplies to help keep your workspace organized. The cabinet comes fully assembled and has four wheels, including the two front ones with a braking function and a center caster that prevents it from tipping over.

Best Under the Desk

DEVAISE 3 Drawer Mobile File Cabinet with Lock, Under Desk Metal Filing Cabinet for Legal/Letter/A4 File, Fully Assembled Except Wheels, Black

A metal filing cabinet with three drawers designed to fit under most desk for compact, convenient storage.

Most Storage Space: DEVAISE Mobile Lateral Filing Cabinet with Storage Shelves

A horizontal black wooden file cabinet with three drawers, wheels, and two compartments containing books and binders, with a printer on top.This lateral model has a  unique design that allows it to serve as a multifunctional piece of office furniture. The filing cabinet section offers three drawers, two smaller top-hand drawers, and a spacious bottom drawer that is perfect for hanging letter A4-sized files. All three drawers fully open, so you can easily access your items. Besides the three file drawers, there are also two large storage compartments that are ideal for keeping binders, books, or any other office supplies. The cabinet’s desktop is spacious and can support a printer, scanner, or computer if need be. And the whole piece is portable to boot, thanks to the four rolling wheels. The front two casting wheels have built-in brakes to hold the cabinet steady when not in motion. Its overall dimensions, including the wheels, are 32 by 16 by 26 inches and it is capable of supporting up to 150 pounds of evenly distributed weight. This model does require minor assembly, but all the tools and instructions are included.

Most Storage Space
Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »

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