I have several folders for different files. The problem is, they are all different size and not all of them are made of hard paper but some are made of plastic etc.

I think it is no problem storing them next to each other when they are all these heavy and widte office folders but in my case they just don't look good and I don't know where to store them. Until now they were just stapled alternating them so that they don't fall in one direction.

How can I store those folders best?

EDIT: I don't want to buy extra boxes/cabinets

enter image description here

  • Seraphina, welcome! Did you want to publish your full name? If not, you may want to consider a small edit of your photo...?
    – Stephie
    Sep 2, 2018 at 13:46
  • @Stephie i don't care about that. Sep 2, 2018 at 13:58
  • Ah. Good. Just wanted to double-check.
    – Stephie
    Sep 2, 2018 at 14:27
  • Are you looking for a way to store them so they are still accessible/usable?
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 3, 2018 at 6:11
  • @CaiusJard Yeah, that would be good Sep 3, 2018 at 10:35

4 Answers 4


How about stacking them horizontally, (alternating the direction, so that they won't slide). The downside of this is that the labels won't face the same direction.

folder stacking

  • Yeah, I already tried that. Tried adding a picture which didn't work until now. The problem there is 1) that I don't see the label of every folder and 2) that if I take out e.g. the blue one than everything has to be restapled Sep 3, 2018 at 10:35
  • +1 for painting skills, cool Sep 4, 2018 at 10:18
  • @mariogarcia so the OP has stated that as a solution it doesn't work for her (because it makes the folders awkward to search) but you've rated it as a good answer because it contains a pretty picture? Hmm.. that's not really the way the voting system in SE sites is supposed to be used
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:39

To avoid books falling over there are book angels, one may already be enough.

  • Other items you have on hand can serve the same purpose as a book angle / bookend: a potted plant, a heavy framed picture, a large candle (that you don't light!), etc. Sep 3, 2018 at 16:00
  • 1
    @BrettFromLA: And not to forget – two water bottles.
    – Pollitzer
    Sep 3, 2018 at 18:51

An inexpensive desk accessory (a sorter) has from 4 to 7 slots for your folders.
They are available in plastic and metal for about $5 (Canadian).
The sorter will hold your folders vertically - neatly and efficiently.
Look for them in office supply equipment outlets and stores.

Desk sorter accessory

Edit: I use one vertically as pictured for files and one on its side with the "fins" facing forward so that I can slide my loose-leaf "binders" into and out of a slot rather than lifting it to put it between two fins.
Either way works.

  • +1 for this; it was what I was thinking of when I said "Alternatively some device that has fingers.." in my answer though I would like to point out (seeing as you were quick to bash me with the help center) that the HC does say lifehacks is NOT about using products in the way they were designed to be used and NOT about contrived challenges that reject easy and readily available solutions simply to make the problem "more interesting"(OP violates this?). While I think your solution is ideal it is simply an office-supply-store bought device created to solve this exact problem, not a lifehack
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:34

As you no doubt have found, these folders are fairly awful to store in any meaningful sense and I'm reasonably confident that they weren't actually intended for long term storage, or to be stood up, unless in a specifically designed circular cabinet (I've seen one in an office supplies shop and it was kinda neat- dimensioned perfectly to take a bunch of identical folders with a max number of pages and rotating to give access without walking round the cabinet. )

You have, however, said that you don't want to obtain new folders or specific cabinetry which limits your options (effectively, you're asking the impossible, trying to find a solution to a problem caused by this mishmash of folders being a crap solution to the problem of document storage)

In an ideal world I would recommend to standardise your folders, or replace them with box files (all round superior for storage, less so for using the contents like a book), or replace them with a concertina file, or replace them with hanging folders in a filing cabinet

I've had a proliferation of these folders before and found storing them so their spines are pointing to the ceiling and the front/back covers are vertical kept the contents in better condition - they're hence stored slightly open and thus are more cuboid shaped than wedged shaped. They get support from each other but need a book end. Works best when the inner clips have four rings rather than two. Also doesn't work well for weak ones like the plastic

Alternatively some device that has fingers sticking out along a strip that is secured to the wall, with the folders being supported in their current orientation by the fingers- effectively each folder having its own pigeonhole/slot in the supporting device. This needn't be a complex device; even a length of foam based central heating pipe lagging with a slot for each of the folder covers to wedge into..

All in, my vote - toss them out and get a filing cabinet. Or scan/photograph the contents so you can refer to an on screen copy of the document, then store the paper versions in their files, flat as someone else advised (stack alternately so they stay level as the pile rises)

  • Effectively, you're asking the impossible… Maybe you don't fully understand what a lifehack is. Do review the [?] help center to get into the spirit of the site.
    – Stan
    Sep 7, 2018 at 0:13
  • Oh, I think I'm fairly down with the concept of what a lifehack is; I'm just not afraid to say that just because someone is capable of dreaming up a question doesn't mean there is an answer. The OP has a poor document storage solution and is unwilling or unable to invest in a better one. My take on the question was that they want a zero cost way of making it a good solution and imho the existing raw materials cannot be made into a good solution without some kind of investment.
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:26

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