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Every time you buy a kitchen gadget, appliance, lawnmower, power tool etc., you have a manual that comes along with it. You also need to keep handy the receipts showing proof of purchase and warranty information for those major purchases as well as for other items such as furniture or bedding.
Over the years, all of this paper piles up.
One day the washer starts leaking and you need to find the manual. In our house that meant one of two places: the junk drawer in the kitchen or a file in the office. The piles of paper get pulled out and you start rummaging through. It starts getting slightly annoying.
There has to be a better way.
My parents have been using a much simpler (and more organized) system for years! We just recently went through our manuals and converted to the same method. It’s easy and painless.
- 3 Ring Binders
- Tabbed Divider Pages
- Top-Load Clear Plastic Sheet Protectors
- Small zipped baggies
Lug out your stack of manuals and all the paperwork that goes along with them.
Label your binders however best meets your needs. My parents have three:
- Outside: lawn, patio, and garage
- Major Appliances
- All other
Use your tabbed dividers to break into more categories: kitchen, electronics etc.
Then, use the following method as you go through all your papers (being sure to throw away the manuals for products you no longer have):
- Make a copy of the receipt (because the original will fade over time) and staple to the inside cover page of the manual.
- Place inside of a plastic sheet protector.
- If there are small extra parts place them into a zipped baggie and add to the same sheet protector
- Insert into the appropriate tabbed section of the correct binder.
That’s it! See how easy it was? Every manual you have is with its receipt and divided by category so you can find the manual for the washer in a matter of seconds.
(Just be sure to remove manuals from the binder when you get rid of the product. You might want to take a few minutes every year or two to flip through them and make sure they are up to date.)
What’s the best way you’ve found to organize your owner’s manuals?
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