where to keep users manuals

Purple_JadeFebruary 8, 2005

I have always had a hard time keeping track of manuals for all of my electronics and appliances etc. etc. When I need one I can't find it so I'm trying to gather them all into one place. Right now I have all I could find in a small clear bin with a lid, but would like some way of keeping them organized in some kind of order.

Where do you keep manuals?

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trekaren

If they fall into these categories, they go here:
Phone/answeringmachine books: On the bottom shelf of the stand that holds the answering machine.
Stereo/DVD/VCR books: In the entertainment center in a ziplock bag together
Kitchen appliance books: "junk" drawer in the kitchen

All others: I have a file for them in my file cabinet. I put them there as soon as I am done opening the product.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 8:09AM
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blazedog

I have a plastic accordian folder and I staple the receipt to the manual and drop them in based on room (approximately).

When I add a new one, I will go through the stored ones and weed out ones for which I don't have the gadget or those which is ridiculous to keep any longer -- toaster oven, electric toothbrush etc. where the warranty has expired, I wouldn't repair and I certainly would never consult an operation manual.

This takes up a small amount of space and I know exactly where they all are when I need them. I've even managed to send along the manuals when I've made donations to Out of the Closet :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 8:36AM
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crystal01

Except for the Stereo/DVD/VCR books that are kept in the FR the rest are in a file cabinet filed by category.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 9:52AM
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good36

I have them in a file drawer with receits. That way they are all together at my fingertips.
Judy

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 12:47PM
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mustangs81

I have two 4" three ring binders, I made labels for each spine:
Product Manuals (Indoor)
Product Manuals (Outdoor)

I keep sheet protectors in the notebooks and as I get manuals I slip them and any relevant paper work in a sheet protector. I pull out any that are not longer valid or if I sell something at a garage sale, I am sure to include it with the item (it helps to sell it).

I keep them on the bookshelf in the home office.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 2:36PM
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bouncingpig

We do it like Good36. We staple the receipt to the inside cover of the manual, along with the warrantee and they are filed in the filing cabinet.

Brenda

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 4:28PM
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kittiemom

Ours are kept in two clear plastic boxes. One is for indoor things, the other for outdoor. The indoor one has several categories: computer, entertainment, phone, kitchen & misc. for things like the humidifier. I've thought about using other methods, but I don't want to use space in the filing cabinet or bookcase for them, since I very seldom need them. Like this, they can be stored in the top of a closet until we need them.

Greta

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 7:45AM
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talley_sue_nyc

I feel very strongly about this: I do NOT divide them up. I stick them ALL in a big, plastic accordion file, and leave 'em there.

Remember that oranizing wisdom? "people will spend extra energy to GET things, but they won't spend more time to put them AWAY." Make it easy to put away, even if it's harder to get out.

If I had to make sub folders, I'd just leave the paperwork lying around. But I don't--I just stuff it in there.

And then, on the rare occasions that I want something, i go dig through the stack. It doesn't take THAT long, and it gives me a chance to toss paperwork for appliances I've already gotten rid of.

It works really, really well.

I stick the accordion folder up on a shelf. I agree that I wouldn't want to spend precious filing-cabinet real estate for them.

I do staple the receipt to the inside of the front cover (inside, not outside, so it's protected as things slide in and out of the folder).

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 10:58AM
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marie26

I keep all the electronics manuals in one drawer and all the others are kept in a file in no particular order in the filing cabinet.

Each time I have to look for an electronic manual, though, I wish that they were alphabetized by brand. I will probably do this and place each brand in its own large ziploc bag.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 12:45PM
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steve_o

File cabinet for me, too, roughly subdivided into audio-video; computer; kitchen appliances; "infrastructure" (furnace, water heater, gas fireplace -- stuff that will stay with the house when I leave it); and "everything else."

System has worked fine for years.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 9:28AM
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graywings123

I divide my manuals according to where they are kept in the house. I have a file for each room of the house, or for several rooms, such as:
-- kitchen
--living room, dining room, first floor hall
--basement
--garage.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 9:02PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I like Steve's division of "infrastructure" manuals--hot water heater, stove, etc. I realized, when i saw his post, that I do in fact divide them a bit this way. I'm in an apt., so it's only the stove, dishwasher, fridge, but I've got them separated from the other stuff.

I didn't use to, but then, I was really sure then that I was here for the long haul. The end of the long haul is now something I can visualize, and I had these separate bcs of the kitchen remodel. But I'll probably keep them separate once I break down the remodel file..

    Bookmark   February 14, 2005 at 1:18PM
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OklaMoni

I like the indoor out door division. Thanks, great idea. My plastic container is getting rather full. I will get another one, and divy up the indoor and outdoor stuff.

Moni

    Bookmark   February 15, 2005 at 10:05PM
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Shades_of_idaho

I always stashed ours in a file folder in the drawer of our buffet. I really like the idea of a binder and the plastic sleeves. Going to do that tonight while watching TV since it is a bit brainless to deal with.Where I do a lot of my organizing. Makes a not so great task a little better. Especially if I would be watching mission organization. LOL Thank you Good idea!!! Just ran it by my husband and he also likes the idea.:^)))

Chris

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 9:36PM
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michie1

I keep manuals to child related items in a ziplock in my daughter's closet. I keep cookware & small appliance manuals in the kitchen cabinet. I keep the tv & vcr ones near the units & then all others in a large pocket folder in the office. Those that you need to refer to the most I like keeping in those rooms so I don't have to go searching for them when I need them.

Michie

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 9:22AM
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cupofkindness

Perhaps the easiest way to organizing product manuals is an accordian file or a binder with page-protectors. then wherever you store it, you can pull it out, sit down, and page through/sort through until you find what you need. It's easier to find a binder than a little booklet. And now that everything is online, you don't need to save as much anymore. Plus, it seems like stuff just isn't warranted like it used to be.... but that's another story!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:41AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

In the filing cabinet, I have a guide card labeled "Warranties and Receipts." Behind that I have a folder that I put all of the manuals (most manuals also include the warranty) with the receipts stapled inside the first page. If the manuals does not include the warranty, I staple the warranty to the second page in the manual. This system has worked very well for me for many, many years.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:34PM
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mustangs81

Revisiting this old thread and things have changed.
Save it on my PC (which has automatic backup) if the manual is on a website, I
For hard copy, cut out the foreign language pages and add it to the appropriate binder (outdoor, indoor).
Small kitchen appliance (blender, FoodSaver, etc) manuals are kept in the kitchen.
Scan the purchase receipt and file it on the PC.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 3:07PM
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lazy_gardens

We cleared out the manualsfor products we no longer have, and all appliance manuals are in a binder -either punched to fit the rings or stuck in a sleeve.

Computer part manuals, and accessory manuals, are filed by the computer they are in ... we have several franken-puters.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:16PM
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musicteacher

I file all my manuals together in a fat file called "owner papers" except the outdoor things like lawnmower and other yard tools. They are in a large ziplock bag hanging in the garage wall near the tools. Then we don't have to trudge through the house all dirty and muddy to find out how to replace the edger blade.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:03PM
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sleevendog

Binders with clear sleeves. About 8 of them. They have a clear front sleeve that i put a picture or some hint what is inside. I like to take it to the breakfast table and scan through. Usually flipping through i am reminded of something i had been meaning to check. (and then forget what i was looking for)
One is just yard stuff like plant tags for trees that were put in, etc.
One is small appliances, one is for the big stuff.
Not terribly organized but the clear sleeves keep it all in one place and that's as far as i'm gonna go with it. We tried a filing system years ago and they ended up all over the place and never put away.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:41PM
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sleevendog

Binders with clear sleeves. About 8 of them. They have a clear front sleeve that i put a picture or some hint what is inside. I like to take it to the breakfast table and scan through. Usually flipping through i am reminded of something i had been meaning to check. (and then forget what i was looking for)
One is just yard stuff like plant tags for trees that were put in, etc.
One is small appliances, one is for the big stuff.
Not terribly organized but the clear sleeves keep it all in one place and that's as far as i'm gonna go with it. We tried a filing system years ago and they ended up all over the place and never put away.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:43PM
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emma

I keep the main collection in a kitchen drawer. I keep electronics like TV's, DVD players, in the TV stand in a manilla envelope with "Phillips TV, sony dvd player marked on the outside of the envelope. I keep manuals for the tablet and PDN with them in a drawer.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:24PM
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fynite

Mine go into a folder in the File cabinet. Once every couple of years, I go through it and throw out the manual for anything I don't own.

I haven't read one of them in the last 6 years though, because when I need one I usually google "brand model number manual" and that usually gets me the manual faster than I can walk to the filing cabinet. (and usually lets me do a text search on the manual)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 8:28PM
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lodalady

I did the cataloging in a three ring binder for a while, and then realized that it was a lot of work for no more often than I needed a manual. Now they are in a dish sink tub, in a cabinet in the laundry room. The ones I use most often, like the manual for the stove needed for resetting the clock when the power goes out, is on the top.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:52AM
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skywatcher

What Fynite said.

Mine are in a folder in a file cabinet and I rarely need one, but when I do, they are all in one place. I felt almost triumphant when I could go straight to the refrigerator manual when our ice maker went out. I suppose you could organize folders by "Electronics," "Appliances," etc., but basically you'll just want to have them handy and easily found.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 12:21AM
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EstimatedEyes

I've tried binders, I've tried drawers. I've tried breaking them up in separate files and throwing them all in a big accordion one to keep them together. Invariably, though, the one I need is never the one I can find.

Finally, though, I have hit on the perfect solution:

I keep them all on my hard drive. As soon as I get one, I go to the manufacturers website, download the .pdf file, and save it to one of the subfolders in the Users Manuals folder on my hard drive. They are always there when I need them, and I can throw the paper ones away which helps declutter my drawers, my file cabinet, and my life.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 8:29PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Glad you found what works for you!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:40AM
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talley_sue_nyc

EstimatedEyes, that's great!

It's also something that might not have been as easy to do back in '05 when this thread started!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:40AM
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ssf806

We have a drawer we call the owners manual drawer---All in one place--so encase of fire we can grab the drawer on the way out---sometime down the road want to put all--info on disks to be stored away from home (ie sisters house)--

I work retail and I reccommend to all the folks who come in not knowing what brand say of weedeater they have to look in their owners manual drawer for the information they need---I always get that blank eyed look like what am I talking about---

Reccommend that all receipts be scanned and printed and stapled to front of owners manual (because the thermal imaging fades quickly)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:03PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Funny how different people think of different things!
Owners manuals are not even on my radar for what to grab in case of fire. I figure everything will be lost in the fire, or at least so heavily damaged to be replaced. Other things are more important to me....

Glad you have a system that works for you also! :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:14PM
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annkh_nd

Mine are in a file drawers, organized by room: kitchen, garage, laundry, workshop, plus one for electronics. When I get something new, I go through the folder and pull out the ones I don't need any more.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:42PM
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daybydaybyday

I have a tall 4-drawer file cabinet that is in a large closet. All of my manuals for everything I own is stacked in the bottom drawer of that cabinet.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 12:40AM
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