Storage Drawers vs. Shelving: Which Is Better for Your Workplace?
Drawers and shelves are an integral part of storage solutions at the workplace. All kinds of offices need certain minimum storage, and, in most cases, there will be a need to expand or remodel the storage spaces every once in a while. Whether renovating or creating new storage space, you might need to decide if you should go for more shelves or drawers. Both storage drawers and shelves are lucrative options as they are useful in several areas throughout the office building, making it difficult for you to choose.
But when it is time to decide about your storage equipment, you should make a choice. Bear in mind that while you might have certain things well served by the shelves, there are other items for which storage drawers are ideal.
Here are some points to note before you decide on your options:
Cubic space utilisation
Usually, the idea is to make the most of your space. In such a situation, storage drawers are better choices as they allow you to use your available cubic spaces fully. It is more so if you intend to store small to medium-sized items of irregular shapes and sizes. Traditional shelving is ideal for regularly shaped and uniformly sized items such as stackable rectangular boxes. However, they are not flexible when storing things of different shapes and sizes. Even when you stack them, the cubic space above becomes waste.
Also, most of us typically store popular and frequently needed items along the front of the shelf, thereby hiding and preventing access to items placed at the back of the shelf. Storage drawers allow storing items in right-height drawers with full-height sidewalls. Along with drawers with full-extension capabilities, it offers the entire three-dimensional drawer space that can be utilised–front-to-back, side-to-side, and top-to-bottom. A single eye-level modular storage drawer holds as many as three to four shelving sections. It also facilitates full utilisation of cubic space at your workplace.
Storage drawer interiors have easy-to-customise compartments ideally suited for storing a wide range of small loose items such as nuts, bolts, washers, spark plugs, electrical components, and small equipment. These compartments protect the items stored within them. You can also precisely match the items stored by height, width, and depth. It also facilitates easy barcode labelling and offers direct access and viewing. Shelves don’t provide all these options, and you might need ladders to access items high up on the shelves, making it difficult and dangerous to access them.
Comfort and ergonomics
The storage drawers offer several ergonomic advantages, such as no need to reach high for items on upper shelves and improved access to items stored near the floor. If items are stored on the bottom shelf of a shelving unit, people have to be on their hands and knees, awkwardly trying to reach for objects and possibly straining their backs and shoulders in the process. However, with full-extension drawers, all items stored are easy to access.
Storage drawers allow you to see the inventory right in front of you easily. As such, inventory management becomes more accessible and more accurate. If you use shelves, items are likely to be moved around, often shifted away from assigned spots. They are also much more likely to get lost on shelves, wasting inventory and stock-outs. Each item has its own compartment within a highly organised storage drawer and is less likely to be lost or misplaced. Also, as you can view the items from the front of the drawer to the farthest back corners, you can easily do visual accounting.
Better protection and security
Storage drawers protect your valuable tools, parts, and other assets from environmental wear and tear. The items stored in these drawers come out of them looking as clean as they were when they went in. It is not the case with shelving, as things are left out in the open accumulating layers of dirt, dust, and grime. Storage drawers offer far greater security for your valuable items. Shelving units are open and unlockable, whereas drawers offer various locking options. Even if you place a shelving unit within a locked room, the storage drawers provide additional security because they can be locked.
In short, when you consider the factors such as space and cost savings to security, inventory control, lighting, and aesthetics, storage drawers are a more efficient and productive option for your workplace. However, it should be noted that drawers are better suited for storing small items or items of various shapes and sizes, and shelves are better for larger items or creating a decorative space. You should consider your specific needs before deciding between the two, as both serve practical purposes.
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