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Tools of the Trade: Folders, Files and Such


Office Supply retailers will make a faux-liday out of anything. Apparently, the holiday after Christmas is not Valentine’s day – they already had their candy and decor up in December – but “Buy a bunch of crap for the home office you use to watch pr0n in private,” event involving brightly colored displays of folders, filing cabinets and label makers.

I often flirt with the idea of getting an actual filing cabinet, but stop short when I realize the goal is to move away from a paper strewn office and not toward it. That said, I do require some papers and those papers do need attractive filing solutions.

• Staples Brand Handy File Box with Organizer Top

This file box is quite durable and provides plenty of space for the casual filer. If you need to house your dissertation this ain’t the file box you’re looking for. ::jedi mind trick:: Despite being rugged, it will not stand up to the door stopper punishment of several reams of a long winded deconstruction of bromance in Elizabethan literature. The sides warp and the damn thing won’t close. That said, it’s well suited for my current needs. The other thing to note is the tendency – if over loaded – for the clasp not to stay closed. something you only discover while attempting to transport your file box across a frozen Vermont parking lot, thus sending your undergraduate Women’s Studies syllabus half way into the next county. Though, depending on your perspective, might be just as well.

• Snap-N-Store Collapsible File Box

Talk about your truth in advertising. Collapsible, indeed. I have two of these and I do not use them to store files. Whenever I have used them for that specific purpose I could never keep the box snapped shut. The sides would buckle and the top would not fit securely on the unit. I don’t think I was going overboard with the files, but I do think it’s not the most appropriate file storage solution for someone who wants hourly access to their precious files. It can’t take that kind of punishment. It’s designed with the store and ignore crowd in mind.

• Staples® Poly Hanging Folders

After watching box after box of hanging files made of paper turn into tattered pieces of heartbreak I decided to upgrade. I tried a similar product made by Avery and found the price point undesirable before settling with this product. These are fairly sturdy, though you have to be careful with the removable tabs. They can do substantial damage to your folders as they don’t always fit easily into the slots. Again, you have to watch your paper load. Too many pages tends to cause even the poly hanging files to buckle.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. redlami permalink
    01/13/2010 1:49 pm

    The main problem I have with filing cabinets is that they’re like the guy who hogs the shrimp at the office party: the bigger they are, the tougher they are to move, and once they get filled up they’re just taking up space.

    That said, I’ve enjoyed the versatility of the two-drawer kind because they’re easier to rearrange and you can make a nice cheap desk, complete with storage, by plopping a door or table top across two of them.

  2. 01/13/2010 3:05 pm

    While I like the idea of filing cabinets being used as desk legs, it probably wouldn’t work so well for me. I don’t really need to access my papers that often and would find myself taking too many trips down memory lane instead of doing actual work.

  3. Kisha permalink
    01/13/2010 10:37 pm

    I’ve had the Staples one for several years now and it’s still durable as all hell.
    However, I had NO IDEA it came in pink! So cute!

  4. Sweater Weather permalink
    01/15/2010 4:24 am

    Never would have pegged you for a filer! What do you store in your files?

  5. dred miles permalink
    01/16/2010 4:52 am

    two words: paperless office. it’s the only way to go.


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