How to Hang Files in a Filing Cabinet

by Erica Sweeney; Updated September 26, 2017

Storing information in file cabinets is a great way to stay organized. To get even more organized, use hanging folders to hang files in a filing cabinet. Most file cabinet drawers are equipped with bars along the sides so that you can hang files. Hanging folders keep all of the files upright so that papers don't fall out and get misplaced. Hanging files also slide along the bars in the file drawers so you can easily access information.

Step 1

Check your file cabinets to make sure you can hang files in them. Some file cabinets come with bars that attach to the sides of the drawers for hanging files, while others have built-in places for hanging files on the sides of the drawers. Assemble the bars for the hanging files, if needed.

Step 2

Purchase boxes of hanging folders from an office supply store. They are much more heavy-duty than regular file folders and have a metal bar across the top with hooks on both ends. They also come in a variety of colors and sizes. Be sure to get hanging folders that fit in your file cabinet. For example, don't buy legal-sized folders if your file cabinet isn’t large enough to hold them.

Step 3

Make tabs for the hanging folders. Most hanging folders come with plastic tabs so you can make labels for them. Make a specific label for each folder so you don't have to search for things. Labels make everything extremely organized and easy to access. Typically the labels slide into the plastic tabs, and the tabs can be inserted into the slots on the inside top rim of the folders. Stagger the tabs along the tops of the folders so that all of the tabs can be easily seen when the drawers are opened.

Step 4

Place paperwork or other documents into the folders. You can place documents directly into the hanging folders, or you may prefer to file documents into regular folders and then place those folders into the hanging files.

Step 5

File the hanging folders in the file cabinet drawers and make sure the side hooks catch on the drawers. Hang the folders with the tabs facing out. Arrange them in a logical way--in alphabetical or date order, for example.

About the Author

Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at SaidIt.org, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.