The Fitting Filing Cabinet: Organising an office space is a major consideration. There are the big decisions like location, what style of office desks and office chairs to select, and once the paperwork starts then comes one of the important questions of all, Where to put all that paper. That is where filing cabinets come in.

Generally you get two choices in the type of filing cabinets you can have - vertical or lateral. Vertical files are the ones you are likely more accustomed to. They are a tad wider than the files that hang inside them and can be from one to four drawers tall. The benefits of this style of filling cabinet are that they are not too wide and take up a small area on a wall.

The trade out is that what they lack in height, they make up for in depth, and they will extend quite a way into the room. Lateral filing cabinets on the other hand are for the room where you have an open wall, but not enough room to pull that deep file drawer open. Lateral Filing cabinets have wide drawers that open to show just one line of files hanging from right to left.

You may also add dividers and file double rows aligned left to right. Lateral cabinets are generally only a half a metre or so deep, but can be spread all along the office wall. There are many looks to these two types of filing cabinets. Many have a wood finish, others have metal finishes, and if you look at H and L Office Furniture's website, you can likely find filing cabinets that will compliment the rest of your office furniture.

If the file cabinets are going to hold documents your company could not replace if they were lost, you may want to look into some of the special features. Some filing cabinets are fire-resistant.

Another safety feature in some of the higher-end filing cabinets is counterweighted drawers. These drawers have special weights inside that will keep them from tipping over when a number of the drawers are open at once. This is called an anti-tilt mechanism and effectively makes sure that the unit does not fall over.

It is important to consider what kind of a workout your filing cabinets are going to get when purchasing these pieces of office furniture. Ask if the items are made locally or whether they are manufactured overseas. There are differences and both have strong benefits.

If they are just for periodic use, and the items are put there, to be left for a long time this may not be as important. But if these are for everyday use, it is important to make sure the suspension is sturdy enough to take the weight of new files in and out day after day.

Also look for solid construction on the cabinet itself. If they are going to be opened and closed frequently, poor construction, or weak materials are a recipe for a creaky, sticking or completely non-working drawer.

Spending a little extra for a good filing cabinet up front will save you in the end. Having to replace an inferior cabinet will cost in money for the new cabinet and in time for the time it takes to reorganise the files.