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DATE: 09/15/2015

Chairs. Desks. Workstations.

For most business owners, these are the first items that come to mind when furnishing an office space. Though all of the above are important, there’s one often-overlooked item that may be even more crucial to your success, and that is organizational storage systems.

With remote work on the rise by as much as 79 percent between 2005 and 2012, as reported by The New York Times last year, it’s fathomable a business could survive without providing employees with typical desk set-ups. However, it’s extremely unlikely a business could do without a central location for storing important documents!

Despite our ever-increasing options for storing items of importance “in the cloud,”[1] there are some things that are just better left undigitized: Like media kits (folders stocked with press releases, company bios and important brand information) printed out and ready to go at a moment’s notice; master copies of certificates, permits and various legal documents; and of course, papers that hold sentimental value.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite filing cabinet and storage systems for your office:

1. Open File Shelving

Open file shelving is just what it sounds like – plain shelves that provide the option of organizing items however you would like. The shelves are also usually adjustable, allowing further customization in terms of height. Forgoing the horizontal model” of traditional filing cabinets, they require as much as 60 percent less space and are a great option for small offices. Papers can be filed in a combination of labeled, stand-up file organizers, clear boxes and any other sort of organizational apparatus you can think of. When done right, this can be a great option for business owners who prioritize finding documents as quickly as possible.

2. Rotary Cabinets

Rotary cabinets are double-sided cabinets built with a special revolving mechanism that allows them to “spin” open. Besides conjuring fanciful images of “hidden” libraries and secret passageways, these cabinets provide much utility to businesses that are heavy on the paperwork. To further save space, the cabinets can be stacked next to one another or against a wall. They are typically operated by a simple foot release pedal that controls a lock-mechanism, ensuring everything is kept safe and in place.

3. Mobile Shelving

Similar to rotary cabinets, mobile shelving units are a great option for businesses who want to “hide” lots of files. The units are operated by a simple track mechanism that allows the user to “open and close” stacked shelving units with the pull of a handle. This mechanism facilitates the need for only one “open aisle” at a time, reducing floor space by as much as 66 percent compared to traditional lateral and vertical filing cabinets.

4. Pull-Out Shelves

These retractable shelves save space by pulling-out in a linear motion. The movable carriages easily slide in and out, thus concealing the interior contents when not in use. The units operate independently from one another, thus allowing multiple users to access various files at the same time. Further, individual units can be customized by depth and width. All in all, another great space-saving option for offices with tons of paperwork.

5. Modern Undulating Cabinets

Whether you’re a small business who just doesn’t have a ton of paperwork or a larger one who has recently gone “paperless,” something as streamlined as this fifth option might be worth considering. The “Wave Cabinet,” an undulating sideboard created by designer Sebastian Errazuriz, is a piece that collapses and expands like a waveform made out of wood.

Honestly, this piece is so beautiful you may just want it for your home living space. Made out of baltic birch, the cabinet consists of around one hundred movable slats that allow 360 degree access to the contents inside – a fun option for modern companies who don’t want any traditional filing systems in sight.