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Home > What Do I Need to Know About Using a Lateral File?

What Do I Need to Know About Using a Lateral File?

Lateral files are the most space-efficient way to file large amounts of documents due to their small footprint. Files are stored side-to-side instead of front-to-back, so that gives you a greater amount of filing space compared to a vertical file, which is restricted by its depth. Some lateral files are as high as five drawers, so that's a lot of storage in a small space.

A lateral file's height and small footprint also mean you need to take precautions to use the file safely to keep its center of gravity as low as possible to prevent tipping. You should always fill the bottom drawer first, then the second drawer from the bottom, third drawer from the bottom, etc. As filing needs change you should redistribute your files so that the bottom drawer is always full and files are continually moved down to fill lower drawers. NEVER load upper drawers and leave lower drawers empty. You should "pyramid" your document densities to keep the weight at the bottom of the file cabinet.

The leveling glides on the bottom of the lateral file cabinet should be adjusted to give the file a very slight backward tilt toward the wall behind it. This stops heavily loaded drawers from rolling open by themselves.

Finally, a lateral file should be anchored to the wall behind it via bolts or brackets.

Use our lateral file tips to properly use and install your lateral file. As always, feel free to call Modern Office at 1-800-443-5117 with any office furniture questions.

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Modern Office is a small, family-owned and operated office furniture company that has been located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis) for over 40 years. Our serious attention and assistance to our customers has made us an office furniture provider to over 100,000+ businesses, institutions and individuals worldwide. We look forward to serving you too. Most items are in-stock or ship within a few short days. Modern Office is known for offering a large selection of quality business furniture from over 100 manufacturers at discount prices -- not just the limited colors or sizes you may see elsewhere. Shipping is free whether you are in New York City, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, or anywhere in the 48 contiguous states.
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