Owners ManualAlmost every appliance in existence comes with a trusty owner’s manual. Usually said publication is a flimsy gray paper booklet with instructions for what to do if the appliance bursts into flames, otherwise malfunctions, or decides to call it quits. And, depending on the manufacturer, it’s likely that your owner’s manuals provide the same information in a variety of languages for an international readership. For me, this offers a valuable opportunity to do some light reading in French, Spanish, and German in the event of a toaster fire. So how to keep your owner’s manuals handy, yet out of the way? Perhaps one or more of the following ideas will resonate with your version of organizational bliss:

  • Dedicate a hanging file folder (or two) to your owner’s manuals. Within this folder, store the manuals any which way you’d like (indiscriminately, alphabetically, by appliance type…the possibilities are endless!)
  • If you have an aversion to filing things, or if you don’t have a filing cabinet, store each manual in a plastic sleeve within a three-ring binder. Group the manuals any way that makes sense to you.
  • Or store each manual in its own envelope. Then use this envelope to store your receipt of purchase, any warranty paperwork, and spare parts that may have accompanied the product when you purchased it. If you do this step, gold star for you. I have a lot to learn from you!

Tip: Many companies make owner’s manuals available online. Consider going the paperless route, and you’ll find that your hanging file folder will shrink dramatically.

  • Whenever you toss an appliance, recycle the hard copy manual so it’s not hanging around your file cabinet five years down the road.
  • If you give your appliance away, the owner’s manual should go with it.

The key with owner’s manuals is that they should be kept handy, yet scarce. Store them where you’ll find them, but in a place that’s out-of-the way enough to not intrude with daily activities. Have some other tips for storing owner’s manuals? Let us know about them, and they could appear in a future blog post.

* Photo by tomdavies

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