Hello, Floor Space!

Posted by: Nathan Cook

(Or, How to Stop Worrying and Get Rid of Your File Cabinets)

file cabinets; digitization; document scanning; imaging; shredding; storageIf your office generated paper, which almost all offices did at one time, file cabinets were a must. They helped keep your documents organized and in one place. They may even still have have a place in your organization’s records management, but they’re no longer the best way to keep your documents organized and easy to find.

Even if you’re able to quickly find what you’re looking for, the odds are good that there’s only one physical copy. Unfortunately, having only one copy leaves the valuable information it contains vulnerable to physical damage or loss.

So what can you do with the paper in those file cabinets? Well, it will likely depend on your organization’s retention policies.

Off-site Storage

Office floor space is expensive, even compared to a highly secure warehouse. File cabinets are designed to be accessible in an office workspace, which means they’re not excessively tall. To  hold any meaningful amount of paper, they take up floor space since there’s a practical height limit. In a paper storage warehouse, however, shelving is built for height, maximizing all of the building’s capacity and taking advantage of a dimension most offices can’t—at least not easily or safely. Would you really want to work in an office where the file cabinets were ceiling-height?

Aside from freeing up floor space in your office for more efficient and productive uses, what other reasons are there for off-site storage? Well, if you’re required to keep the paper documents for a specified amount of time, a good information management company can help you manage your retention dates while storing them. Once the retention period has been met, you can have those documents securely destroyed (often by the same company that’s storing them for you).

Document Scanning

Document imaging can be ideal if:

  • You frequently access your files;
  • Only have one physical copy of your files, or;
  • Multiple people need simultaneous access to a single document.

When your paper documents exist in digital form, you’ll have near-instant access to whatever file you’re looking for. You’re also ensuring that all of your critical documents have a digital back-up. You’ll also remove any need you might have to keep those papers on-site at your office. You can move the scanned records to a records storage warehouse if you’re required to retain the physical documents for a time.


If you’ve met any retention requirements, or have digitized your files and no longer need the physical copies, what’s next? Keeping sensitive information, including personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property (IP), and other data you don’t want publicly shared, confidential. With a reputable information management company, the shred process will meet industry requirements for privacy protection and the paper will be recycled afterwards.

File cabinets were an office staple. But, if you need the space, know they’re no longer truly needed. There are other, more cost-effective ways, to meet your information governance requirements without using costly office floor space. In this post, we’ve highlighted three ways an information management company can give you your workspace back.

The only question now is, who’ll move those massive file cabinets out?

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