Get organized in the new year! Learn how to organize product manuals with a binder so you can save time by quickly finding the information you need.
This weekend while attempting to track down all of my receipts for taxes, I was bit by the organizing bug. You'd think I would have tackled tax form organization, but I got distracted and jumped to creating order from all of the manuals and warranties littering my paperwork files. Because of a lack of space, I no longer have a traditional file cabinet and instead use storage bins with files. Well, I did until this weekend.
If you're anything like me, out of habit you save every product manual from new purchases and stash it away just in case. Some manuals I do consult from time to time but others automatically enter the file(s) without any regard for whether or not it's useful enough to keep. The problem with this is you have the paperwork but can you find it? And do you need to save every manual for every product you've ever owned? The answers are probably no to both of those.
So in an effort to reduce clutter and tame the broken file system I've been using , I decided to organize with binders. I went through all the manuals and tossed out all paperwork for products I no longer own or for things that it isn't necessary to even have paperwork on. Now that all of the manuals are organized in a binder, my husband and I can easily find the information we're looking for.
Supplies Need and How to Organize Product Manuals
- 3-ring Binder: depending on the number of manuals you have will determine how large of a binder you'll need. I used a 3″ binder. Well, two of them.
- Sheet protectors: slip each manual into it's own sheet protector. Or if you like, add one manual to each side of a sheet protector.
- Tabbed dividers: create logical categories for locating manuals you need quickly. My categories per binder are the following: Electronics, Kids Stuff, Garage, Appliances, and Miscellaneous. Of course at times there might be overlap or you might find yourself over thinking the categories. For example, does the Barbie Jeep manual go in Garage or Kids Stuff? I chose the latter.
- Pen(s): to list your categories on the tabs of course! I'm a bit of a pen snob and have tried a ton before settling on these. They're my favorite and I don't leave home without them!
- Scrapbook paper: I have my binders on a shelf in the living room. I wanted to make my binder visually appealing and easily accessible.
- Ruler or scrapbook paper trimmer: you want to make sure that scrapbook paper is even, right?
- Optional: A label maker to to easily label and identify the categories in each binder. Of course, you could always label the front of your binder as well so the contents weren't as obvious. These vary in price greatly but I get a lot of use out of mine so I splurged on this one. (Beware: your kids will think this is a sticker maker it has so many options!)
For more ideas on how to organize your home, check out my post on how to Make Your Own Stylish Storage Boxes.
Do you have a favorite method you follow on how to organize product manuals? Do you have any other tips that I could use?