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Choosing the Right Cabinet for Your Needs

Aug 17, 2007
Cabinets are essentials tools to any household of office. These facilitate organizing materials, files, documents and other things that have to be kept for storage, reference or future use.

While the design of the cabinets, particularly for a house, is of great importance, there are also other things that need to be considered before buying one or having one custom-made to your specifications.

* Size

The size of the cabinet depends on two factors: the size of the space to be allotted for the furniture and the amount of materials that will be placed in the cabinet.

Consider the space that will be allotted for the cabinet. There should be enough space in front of the cabinet that you can easily open it and take out whatever you need.

It is also advisable to have enough walking room when the cabinet is open. This means that a person will be able to pass or stand freely in front of the cabinet while taking or placing the contents.

Also consider the amount of materials that will be placed in the cabinet. It is better that you have one cabinet for organizing related things than having several cabinet in which you need to check when looking for a single thing. It is better that your cabinet still has enough space in case you acquire more similar contents so you can fit them all in the same place.

* Vertical or Lateral

The concern on whether to have vertical or lateral drawers usually arises when deciding on what to get for keeping files.

Vertical drawers are the most common filing cabinet used in offices. These require little wall space and stack two to five drawers that contain legal-sized documents. The files are arranged from front to back and are facing the user.

These are good for storing personal files, since because of its compactness, each office employee can have one. However, because these are quite deep, they might diminish the room's walking space when the drawers are open.

Lateral drawers, on the other hand, require a larger wall space. Even if these are not as deep as vertical drawers, they have a high capacity.

These can also contain legal files arranged in two to five drawers. The files, however, are arranged facing one side or facing the user in multiple rows.

Due to its size, not every office employee can have a lateral drawer in his or her working space. Instead, a department can have a lateral drawer in an unobtrusive location, which can be accessed by the employees.

* Construction

The commonly used materials for cabinets may be wood or steel. Wood is used usually for home cabinets, while steel is preferred for important office files, due to its strength and durability.

Wood is preferred for homes because of multiple decorating possibilities and its ability to add warmth and homey ambience.

Make sure that the drawers can be extended fully and can glide smoothly. A drawer that is stuck can lead to several other problems.

* Protection

For containing important documents, office cabinets have to be well constructed. Some cabinets also have interlocked drawers, which do not permit having more than one drawer to be open at the same time. This will prevent the cabinet from tipping.

Also consider having cabinets with locks and fire and impact resistance. Cabinets that can withstand 1700 F for 1 hour and the impact of a thirty-foot drop, bear the Underwriters' Laboratories Class 50 rating.

* Mobility and Ease of Cleaning

If you will need to move furniture around the house when cleaning, choose a cabinet that is not too heavy to be moved a little when cleaning. It may also be better to choose cabinets that are elevated by a few centimeters from the floor for ease of cleaning.

For office cabinets, if you will need to move your files around the office, you can use a mobile file cart. Some of these also have the security features of file cabinets. These are compact and can be stored under the table when not being used.

After deciding what type of cabinet you will need, don't forget to check online for the best deals on furniture and to compare prices.
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