Scattered piles of paperwork don’t just make an office look untidy, they also can make it hard to find important documents. A file organizer is an affordable and simple storage solution to keep papers organized.
Whether it’s a desktop, drawer, or wall solution, the best file organizer is durable and easy to use, keeping papers categorized for long-term office organization. With the right solution, it takes away the stress and hassle of storing and finding important documents.
Keep reading to learn more about the differences among file organizers, and file away paperwork, receipts, and work documents with one of these best file organizers for your office.
- BEST OVERALL: ZICOTO Collapsible Linen File Organizer Box
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Simple Houseware Over Door Pocket File Organizer
- UPGRADE PICK: BIRDROCK HOME Seagrass Rolling File Cabinet
- BEST WALL ORGANIZER: EasePAG 5-Tier Mesh Wall File Organizer
- BEST FILE TRAY: SimpleHouseware 6 Trays Desktop Letter Organizer
- BEST PORTABLE: Bankers Box Heavy Duty Portable Plastic File Box
What to Consider When Choosing the Best File Organizer
File organizers come in a variety of designs, sizes, and materials to suit different storage needs. With a good filing strategy, a file organizer will help cut down on clutter and make documents easier to find. When choosing the best file organizer for your office, consider the organizer type, size, material, portability, and versatility.
There are a range of file organizer types to suit any home office space. Some common types include accordion-style folders, file boxes, desktop file trays, and hanging units.
- Accordion-style organizers are a small and light option. These folders most often come in letter- or legal-size widths and have expandable pleated sides. Inside, they have separators to keep important documents, from a few hundred to a few thousand, organized. Their smaller size is ideal for storing inside filing desk drawers and filing cabinets.
- File boxes are a good choice for larger storage needs. Roomier and stackable, most file boxes can store more than a thousand sheets of paper. These are ideal to store documents under desks, in a closet, or on shelving. Some options are designed with aesthetics in mind to store on display. Decorative file organizer boxes come in a range of colors and in materials like wood, linen, and bamboo.
- Desktop trays keep documents organized and easily accessible, though they usually hold fewer documents than file boxes. Desktop file organizers typically have up to five trays to store papers horizontally, keeping them from bending or creasing. Other standing organizers hold the papers vertically in compartments.
- Hanging organizers, either door-hanging or wall-mounted, are a space-saving option In small offices. Wall-mounted file organizers usually require installation, and most products will include the necessary mounting screws and hardware. Door-hanging organizers are much easier to put up, as they have a couple of hanging hooks that fit over a standard door. Both options can include up to five trays or folders to store paperwork and office accessories.
File organizers are commonly made from plastic, metal, or cardboard. These functional and versatile materials are used to create a range of designs. Decorative options also are common and can be made from bamboo, wood, or linen. Decorative organizers are ideal to store in the open, like on shelving or desktops.
Cardboard organizers are less durable than other options but can be very affordable. They may deteriorate over time, so they are less ideal for long-term storage. Plastic, metal, wood, and linen are usually more durable to handle long-term storage.
Since plastic is waterproof, plastic bin organizers are a smart pick for locations prone to moisture or water damage. Materials like cardboard, linen, metal, and wood can allow spills to seep through or suffer damage in damp locations.
File organizers come in various sizes, from skinny desktop organizers that keep small desktops clutter-free to large stackable boxes that can hold thousands of documents. The ideal size will depend on your storage needs and available space.
Paper size is one aspect to consider when choosing the best file organizer. Most file organizers fit standard letter-size paper that is 8.5 by 11 inches. Some wider organizers fit legal-size (8.5 by 14 inches) or ledger-size paper (11 by 17 inches). There also are index card filing boxes, which are smaller. Choosing the right organizer size will help keep key documents crease-free.
Paperwork can take up a good chunk of space in a home office, so storage room is one factor to consider when choosing a file organizer. Wall-mounted and door-hanging organizers are among the best space-saving options. They don’t take up any desk, shelf, or floor space, making them ideal for small offices.
Expandable organizers also help maximize space. Accordion-style file organizers start thin when empty, making them storage-friendly, and can expand to fit more documents. Some options may have zippers or clasps that can lightly compress the papers inside to conserve space.
Some organizers have a collapsible design, most commonly file boxes. While they take up a fair amount of space while in use, collapsible file boxes are easier to store once emptied. A variety of cardboard, linen, and metal mesh file boxes feature a collapsible design. Stackable file boxes also help maximize storage space.
A portable file organizer makes it easy to carry documents from place to place. Whether for business meetings or work trips, a portable organizer keeps paperwork protected. The most secure options have a rigid structure to prevent bending and a latching lid to make sure papers don’t get scattered.
Accordion-style organizers are easily portable for carrying fewer documents around. For larger quantities of paperwork, a portable file box is a well-suited pick. These larger organizers often have a handle to make them easier to carry. Some can include wheels or pull-up handles to wheel the organizer around. For keeping in open offices or hotel rooms, consider an option with a lock to keep documents secure.
File organizers can include a range of versatile features. Flexible compartments are a feature to consider. A hanging file folder system has a simple but customizable design. Each hanging folder hooks and slides on rails in the file organizer, keeping documents organized and easy to access. With a hanging folder system, more folders can be added rather than sticking to a predetermined number of spaces.
To bump up security, consider a locking file organizer. Some locking file organizers take it a step further and have a fireproof and waterproof design. These options can double as a safe and are ideal for storing important documents like birth certificates, passports, and wills.
Some organizers also include extra compartments to store other office accessories, like pens, staplers, and notepads.
Our Top Picks
From slim desktop organizers to large, stackable file boxes, there’s a file organizer to suit every home office. Some of the best file organizer recommendations follow to keep your office free of paper clutter. These top picks are durable and have a functional design to keep documents well-sorted.
Affordable, stylish, and functional, the Zicoto File Organizer Box is an excellent pick for the home office. This file box is stylish enough to display in the office and also sturdy enough to stack on a shelf or in a closet. Made with peppered gray linen, it has a sleek and simple design to suit any office decor.
The box includes two easy-glide PVC rails to allow a smooth slide for hanging folders. The dimensions can fit either letter- or legal-size folders. With built-in reinforced handles and a reinforced bottom, this file box is a durable pick to store and transport documents. When not in use, the collapsible design folds completely flat to save on storage space.
Small offices need smart storage solutions. With an over-door design, this file organizer from Simple Houseware takes advantage of underutilized space. Two sturdy, over-door hooks allow for simple installation. Just hang the organizer behind a door; no need for nails, screws, or tools. This space-saving organizer keeps files accessible without taking up desk space.
The organizer features four pockets to store a variety of documents and office accessories for a budget-friendly price. Each pocket has a see-through window to view what is inside. The pockets are rip-resistant and can hold file folders, loose papers, and office stationery. Made from a gray fabric, this simple and affordable organizer can fit in most any home office.
For those who value design as much as function, this handwoven file cabinet is both elegant and practical. The filing box is handwoven from seagrass and abaca, giving it a natural look. At first glance, it looks more like a decorative storage box than a file organizer. The woven lid helps keep stored items out of sight.
While it can store a range of household items, this file cabinet is designed to store both letter- and legal-size hanging files. For moving files around, it features built-in carrying handles and four smooth-rolling wheels. Since each box is handwoven, each filing cabinet is unique.
Wall-mounted organizers take advantage of vertical space. This wall-mounted file holder from EasePAG offers ample storage and is easy to mount. It is made from a black metal mesh that gives it a sleek industrial look. The durable metal is coated with a powder-coat finish that is rust-resistant to handle daily use.
To take full advantage of space, this wall organizer features five angled vertical pockets for storing file folders. Each pocket fits letter-size documents. A sixth flat tray at the bottom is ideal for storing office accessories. The flat bottom tray also allows this unit to be placed on a desktop instead of mounting.
A simple file tray can help organize daily paperwork like forms, assignments, and letters. This basic file tray from Simple Houseware features six trays for easy desktop storage. The top five trays are ideal for documents and have a tilted design to keep documents from sliding off the tray. Each tray can fit letter-size or A4 papers. A flat bottom tray is made for storing desk accessories.
Made from a black steel mesh, this pick is durable and has a classic and professional look that is ideal for both the workplace or the home office. This handy desktop file tray keeps important documents and stationery organized but within reach.
For bringing paperwork on a commute or trip, this portable file box from Bankers Box is a sturdy and convenient pick. It features a secure latching lid to prevent the box from opening in transport. The lid has a small compartment to fit pens and basic small office supplies to bring on the go. A comfortable handle allows for easy carrying and flattens down when not in use. Inside, there are built-in hanging rails to accommodate hanging folders.
The heavy-duty plastic box has reinforced corners for added strength while traveling. The modular design also helps with stable stacking in the office, offering simple storage as well as portability.
FAQs About File Organizers
A file organizer is a simple and affordable solution for organizing paperwork in the office. With a wide range of designs, sizes, and storage features, there’s an option for every storage need. If you are still having trouble choosing a file organizer, the answers to some frequently asked questions may help.
Q. What is a file organizer?
A file organizer is used to store paperwork and contains compartments to keep documents organized.
Q. What are hanging file folders?
Hanging file folders are folders that have hooks on all four corners. The hooks slide over two rails in the file organizer. This design keeps documents categorized but also allows you to customize the number of folders in the organizer and to pull out loose documents without taking out the entire folder.
Q. What is the best way to store files?
The best way to keep physical paper files organized is with a file organizer or file cabinet.