Posts Tagged ‘file conversion’

filing drawersYou currently have your files in some type of file drawers and you want to convert your files to open shelving.

Some reasons you want to convert may include:  cost of purchasing additional filing cabinets, size of existing filing system is increasing, want to improve visibility and accessibility of records, losing space for your existing records, etc.. You may just need more space!

Where do you start?

1) The first task is to figure out how much filing capacity you currently have by measuring existing used filing inches.  Take a measuring tape and measure from the beginning to the end of the folders in one drawer.  If all the drawers are similarly filled and the same size you can then multiply this measurement by the number of drawers. Different size drawers will need to be measured individually.  Add everything up and you know how many filing inches you are using for you files.

2)The next step is to figure out how much capacity you need for the open shelving.  If you are increasing the size of your system take the percentage of increase and add it to your existing filing inches.  This will give you how many filing inches you need in the open shelving.

Open shelving filing inches are easy to determine.  The width of each shelve tells you how many filing inches this shelf can hold.  For example:  a 36” wide, 7 shelve high unit has a capacity of 252 filing inches.

3)Now look at what type of folders are currently in the file drawers.  If your folders are side tab folders they can usually be used easily on open shelving.  But top tab folders are another matter.  The top tab is hard to see on open shelving and can sometimes be too high to fit in the space between two shelves (cutting off the top tab is a way to avoid purchasing all new folders).

4)Move the records from the drawers to your new open shelving.

open shelvingA couple different methods can be used to convert top tab drawer style records to open shelving.

A-Transfer the records into a side tab folder (this is a good time to add any planned color-coding)

B-Attach a 2-1/2” x 8” label to the side of the top tab folder to create a side tab (the top tab can be cut off if causes the folder to not fit on the shelf).

C-Move all the existing folders onto the new shelving and convert the records as they are accessed.

After making this change my guess is you will wonder why you did not make this change a long time ago!

For additional information about shelving read my articles  Stationary Shelving for File Folders and Movable Shelving for File Folders

Do you have some ideas to add?

Need folders for your new open shelving system?  Efficiency Solutions carries a great side tab folder.

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