Vertical File Storage System Saves Space - A Case Study

By: Brad Barrett

Whether as an investment or an existing floor plan, space may well be the final frontier. To free more working space in a bustling Los Angeles office, one facility manager introduced a new filing and storage system that not only saved space, it improved filing efficiency and streamlined document retrieval in one of the busiest investment property offices in southern California.

Amy Martin, owner of Universal Property Investments, identified improvements that needed to be made in the office. "Our building really stands out. It has a very modern, very 'today' kind of look," said Martin, "and we wanted the interior to work as well. We looked at our working area, our common areas, the general floor plan and the ergonomic factors we needed to incorporate into the floor plan to make sure the filing system worked well for everyone," she explained. Martin considered a variety of alternatives to conserve working space and turned to vertical file storage systems.

Martin first learned about vertical file storage systems while attending a trade show in Las Vegas last year. “We purchased a vertical file. It greatly reduced the amount of space we were using for filing. Now we can file the same number of blueprints and maps in less than half the space," said Martin. "Space saving was a major consideration in selecting the system," she added. "The compact filing system not only stores more of the documents we use on a day to day basis, but it also improves our filing efficiency."

A single vertical storage unit has the capacity to hold the same number of documents as three 5-drawer flat files, all the while taking up nearly 75 percent less floor space. Traditional filing and storage systems were designed for letter or legal-size documents. Through the years, large drawings, maps and charts have been stored in flat files or pigeon holes. One vertical file holds the same number of documents as three 5-drawer flat files, and requires 75 percent less space. Users find that they can save an average of 68 percent in the time it takes to retrieve and store drawings.

Improving efficiency was also a primary concern for Martin. "Filing took too much time. When you needed to get to the bottom drawing, you had to go through every other layout. It was even harder to put everything back where it was’. Martin continued, "Vertical file storage saves us a lot of time and keeps everything organized. Everything is accessible, easy to get to and very well protected," she said. "The system offers us greater protection for our documents. They can be safely stored on hanger strips, which eliminate the need to touch them. We can even give the special documents added protection by using a protective envelope, which easily slides in and out of the cabinets," said Martin.

"Without a doubt, vertical file storage systems are an efficient and ergonomically friendly filing and storage system,” said Martin. "The vertical cabinets are the perfect solution for storing our maps, property diagrams, architectural documents, and pretty much any other document imaginable. The files hold anything from 11 inches up to 6 feet in size, and this system is highly versatile”.

"By transferring files into a compact, smaller footprint, we were able to free up a great deal of space. Our one vertical file stores the same number of documents as three 5-drawer flat files and takes less space. We transferred all of the blueprints and floor plans into the new system with room to spare. Because it has a smaller footprint than our old filing system, it saves us a lot of working space," she said. "I can't get over how easy it is to use," she said. "I find it to be much easier to look up specific blueprints and refer to documents quickly." This is no surprise, considering this system takes an average time of 10 seconds to retrieve documents.

“Vertical files are extremely versatile," said Amy. "Almost any size and type of document or material may be stored in sequence including blueprints, maps, film, artwork and digital media. Vertical file storage systems offer identification and color coded accessories to make locating and sorting much faster. Dividers separate projects for further organization. All of the cabinets are fitted with a lock for additional security”.

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Author Biography: Brad Barrett is President of Easi File, the storage and filing systems company based in Irvine, California. Easi File manufacturers and sells vertical steel filing cabinets for storing engineering and architectural blueprints, documents, maps, film, printed circuit artwork and tape-ups. Easi File is a qualified GSA Supplier. For information on Easi File storage and filing systems, visit online at or call 1-800-800-5563 or contact Brad Barrett at E

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