How Do I Choose the Best Home File Cabinet?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A home file cabinet may be used to store important documents.
A home file cabinet may be used to store important documents.

A home file cabinet can be used to store important documents, and since most consumers do not store a significant amount of files at home, these cabinets tend to be smaller than those used in professional offices. You will need to determine your storage needs before you commit to purchasing a home file cabinet, as a cabinet intended for professional use may be more appropriate for you if you store a significant amount of documents. Otherwise, it is a good idea to choose a cabinet that is compact, lockable, fire retardant, and reasonably attractive.

Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.
Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.

If the documents you intend to store in the home file cabinet are exceptionally important, you should consider buying a unit that will protect those files adequately. Many models of home filing cabinet will feature locks to prevent theft or tampering of files contained within, and many are even made from fire retardant materials that will keep the documents safe in the event of a fire. These features will raise the price of the home file cabinet, but the extra cost may be worth it if the documents you are storing need to be protected efficiently.

File cabinet racks are placed into the drawers of the cabinet to hold the files.
File cabinet racks are placed into the drawers of the cabinet to hold the files.

Another option for a home filing cabinet is a built-in model included with a home office desk. Many desks will feature a one- or two-drawer filing cabinet within the structure of the desk to ensure easy access to files while you are working at a home computer. These models usually won't be fire retardant, but many of them will feature locks.

A great way to stay organized is to use hanging file folders. These folders feature small arms on either end, which rest on specially designed slides or tracks within the cabinet drawers. This method keeps the files upright at all times, preventing important documents from spilling out of the folder and getting lost when stored within the home file cabinet. Make sure the cabinet you choose features slides or rails that accept hanging folders if you intend to use this method.

Aesthetics is usually more important when buying a home file cabinet than it is when buying a cabinet for the office. Sometimes cabinets are designed to be secure and attractive, with a metal structure surrounded by wood veneer for added aesthetic value. Some cabinets are made from wood only to create a pleasing piece of decor for the home. Try to choose a design that will work well with the current aesthetic of the room in which the unit will be placed.

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    • A home file cabinet may be used to store important documents.
      By: Sashkin
      A home file cabinet may be used to store important documents.
    • Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.
      By: VRD
      Padlocks may be used to secure file cabinets.
    • File cabinet racks are placed into the drawers of the cabinet to hold the files.
      By: Marc Dietrich
      File cabinet racks are placed into the drawers of the cabinet to hold the files.