Paper clutter can be overwhelming. This method is the best way to organize owner’s manuals if you don’t want to scan them into your computer.
You did it! You saved up and bought that Awesome New Gadget you’ve been dreaming of! Everything is great….for a little while.
Then, two months later, it suddenly stops working and the usual methods of hitting it with a hammer or fixing it with duck tape are not achieving results. It’s time to find that owner’s manual to see if there is a quick fix or warranty information.
But maybe, like me, your owner’s manual organization looks a little something like this?
Which is better than throwing out the manual (I’ve been known to do that too. Oops!)
I’m ashamed to admit that the “throw it in a box” organizational method has been one that I have used for manuals for over a decade. And it sort of worked…..as long as I didn’t actually need to find anything. And as long as I remembered to put the manuals in there.
I decided it was time for a change. If you are like me, and struggle with overcoming the “throw it in a box” or “toss it in the garbage” method of organization, I hope that this system can help you.
The Best Way to Organize Owner’s Manuals
Now, I know that a lot of manuals are online, which is nice because it takes up less room in our house. However, even if the majority of the information is online, it is a good idea to keep any company information, model numbers, receipts, etc. together in case you ever need to claim a warranty or get a replacement part.
What you will need:
- A small filing cabinet (I used a portable plastic filing box that easily fits on a shelf)
- File folders
- A pen or marker to write on the files or printed labels for each category of manual
- Opt. Sticky notes to make notes on as you organize
Step 1: Sort Your Manuals
Go through your manuals and see if there is anything that you no longer own. (If you don’t already do this, it is a good idea to go through these yearly.)
Then, sort the manuals into categories. (ex. Small kitchen appliances, garage tools, TVs, vacuums, kid’s toys, etc.) I stuck little sticky notes on each pile so I could remember what category I assigned to each pile.
Of course, the categories will vary, depending on what you own, but come up with labels that make sense.
Step 2: Label Your Folders and File Your Manuals
Next, label your folders with your category names.
Then stick the manuals and receipts in the folder and put the folders in your filing cabinet.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? I don’t know why I didn’t do this a long time ago!
The next time one of my cool, nifty, gadgets stops working, I will be prepared. Mwah ha ha!
……..What? A little too much enthusiasm?!
Ok. I’ll tone it down. (Anyone else have kids who read a lot of graphic novels? That’s my excuse for the drama anyway. :))
Happy organizing and may you never hunt for an owners manual again.