John Lewis has stopped selling this home office essential

Our increasingly paperless way of working has left it redundant

John Lewis recently shared its Shop Live Look report. Each year, it reveals something about the nation's spending habits, capturing a certain 'mood'.

In the document, the retailer shared that it has totally stopped selling filing cabinets. The nation has fallen out of love with this home office storage idea once considered essential.

white attic room with table and hanging lamp light

(Image credit: Shelved)

John Lewis stops selling filing cabinets

As we transition towards a more paperless way of working, it seems the filing cabinet's days are numbered. John Lewis has delisted filing cabinets for the simple reason that the demand isn't there anymore.

As the world goes paperless - from bills and invoices to lists of clients - we store more of our files on digital servers. This is reflected in our modern-day home office ideas. We're now opting for more compact storage solutions for any crucial, physical documents.

The store argues that its customers simply no longer need to print their documents to store in hanging A4 folders. 'The unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021 have left a permanent mark on how we shop, live and look,' says Pippa Wicks, Executive Director at John Lewis.

yellow filing cabinet

(Image credit: John Lewis)

'People have become clearer about what matters to them and their work-life balance has shifted towards life,' says Pippa. There's something satisfying about a battered old filing cabinet of carefully labelled hard copies - categorised with Monica-from-Friends levels of organisation.

But in this day and age, with many of us living in small city apartments, do we really have the space? The demand for small home office ideas would suggest otherwise.

grey drawer with table on carpet floor

(Image credit: Nest)

You could argue that having some printouts as a backup is a wise move in the digital age. A filing cabinet no doubt makes storing family documents easier, such as birth certificates, school reports and letters, wills and passports.

Piles of bills, flyers and to-do lists quickly mount up on our kitchen counters, and we still need somewhere to store them for when we really need them. Even so, we still don't think it calls for such a bulky item when so much can be stored in the ether.

Do you agree?

Millie Hurst is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home. She first joined the team at the start of 2021. Previously, she worked in women’s lifestyle and homes news, writing about everything from budget kitchen makeovers and gardening tips to homeware dupes and cleaning hacks. Millie can often be found looking up trending terms, spotting news stories our readers need to know about and finding ways to decorate her rented flat.