where store owner's manuals?

usafarmerApril 24, 2006

I have thought of storing user owner's manuals directly with the piece of equipment - for example the dehumidifier manual taped directly to the top of the dehumidifier. In some cases, it would be hazardous, for example a paper manual next to a hot TV cable box that needs air circulation around it. Ideas?

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In so many cases, the owner's manual is not really needed day-to-day. Once I get to know the machine, I don't need the book unless something goes wrong. So there's no benefit to me, to keep them right next to the machine.

(machines like the dehumidifier, even DH knows how to run it without reading the manual)

And I find that owner's manuals are hard to store near the device. There's no easy way to *keep* them there, so they drift off on their own anyway; if I tape them in place, then they get ripped or something, and it's a pain to untape them. They look messy floating free, and they get damaged.

And for things like the dehumidifier, I might want the manua to order new filters, for example, so I do that in my bedroom/office.

So I stash all my owner's manuals in a single folder or box (currently I use the Iris "document cases" you can buy at Staples). When I *want* an owner's manual, I can find it easily *enough* by leafing through the stack; since I want it, I'm willing to spend energy to go look for it.

When it's time to put it away, I just stick it back in the box. This follows the organizing dictum:
"Make it easy to put away, even if it's a bit harder to get it out."

I *do* sometimes *label* the machine w/ important info. I got out the P-touch labeler and put the exact size of the A/C filter on the AC itself. Then, when I buy a new filter, I can cut it down to size without remeasuring the machine. On the humidifier, I stuck a label w/ the exact name of the filter, in case I want to buy it at BB&B.

This tiny piece if info is often the only thing I need out of the owner's manual. But it takes up a lot less space, and it doesn't fall off, stray away, get wrinkled, etc.

I staple receipts, etc., to the inside cover of the owner's manual.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 11:59AM
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The last sentence you typed was the key:
"I staple receipts, etc., to the inside cover of the owner's manual." The issue is larger than the owner or user's manual only - its - how do I invoke the guarantee if the machine stops working within the warranty period? Dehumidifier stopped working; basement is getting dank; almost no hope exists of proving I bought it. Disaster. If I can establish a policy...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 3:44PM
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well, if you store the owner's manual in the basement, it'll get lost in the basement. I bet you can't easily, tidily, or attractively tape the owner's manual to the machine--it'll look ugly, not fit, block the vent holes, or get wet. It'll be annoying while you wait for the months to pass and the machine to break.

And if you don't tape it to the machine, where will you put it, BY the machine? And will it STAY there, until that time, months from now when/if the machine stops working?

So, do this with ALL machines you buy: Staple the receipt to the inside of the front cover, when you unpack the machine, and put the booklet in a single folder or file with all the other owner's manuals somewhere you are likely to look for it again.

Do you have a filing cabinet, or an "office area" on a shelf somewhere? That would be a great place to put your "owner's manual" file. Or, if you have a workshop, or a pantry cabinet. (though frankly, I'd consider this to be more a "paperwork" sort of thing, and I'd put it wherever my OTHER "paperwork" is)

Since we redid our kitchen, I've separated my owner's manuals. I have a "things that stay with the dwelling" file (A/C, stove, dishwasher, kitchen cabinets, vinyl flooroing), and a "things that come w/ us if we move" file (stereo, humidifier, Cuisinart, area rug). Oh, and I have a "kids' stuff" file--it had the crib, stroller; now it has toys, bunk-bed manuals, etc.

Otherwise, I find that lumping them all in together works just fine. I don't need to keep the stereo separate from the Cuisinart. I need them so seldom that it's just not worth the effort of separating them.

Then, should you need it, it'll be there. Safe and undisturbed, in the file.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 5:13PM
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I keep them in a file cabinet drawer, Making a file for- washing machine and dryer for example and keeping everything in alphabetical order. I also staple the receit to the manuals. This may seem to be a lot of bother but I have not lost one of these manuals or a receit since I started doing this. The information is easy and fast to find when there is a repair or warrante issue and the manual is needed

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 5:30PM
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Get rid of the foreign language instructions. You will have a lot more room in your file. Staple the receipt to the instructions. Keep all you instructions in one file. It's much simpler that way. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 6:25PM
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I put each of the instructions manuals/warranty cards/receipts in a plastic sleeve and then put them in binders. I have the binders separated by "Garage" (tools, yard equipment), "Kitchen" (washer/dryer, dishwasher, etc.), "Small Appliances" (Mixers, Cuisinart, vacuum), and "Electronics" (stereo, cordless phone). This method has worked for me for years. I keep the binders on a shelf in the hall closet, which makes them easy to get to. For these binders, I have created a master index that I keep on the PC. This master index includes the item name and model number - these are invaluable in the case of a burglarly or fire. Whenever I update this information, I email it to my sister (who lives across country) - that way if there's a big earthquake or fire, she'll have the information tucked away for me.

I also have a binder like TallySue - receipts/product information cards for items attached to the house (for a future owner, I suppose). I also keep another binder with fabric samples and paint chips and formulas. And finally, the last binder is full of CDs/instructions manuals for the PC.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 7:54PM
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Ok, I know I am not the most organized person but...I do this and it works for us.
We staple the receipt to the inside cover and store in a file cabinet drawer in the basement. Not in any order but they are all laying in a file cabinet drawer and thats all that is kept there. We have manuals for everything from the lawn tractor to the tiller.
We both know where they are and its really nice if you sell something to include the owners manual.
Karen L

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 1:34AM
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I do the same as Tommeca, I keep them in . I tear out the foreign language pages, staple the receipt to the book, and make an entry in my on-line house diary.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:32PM
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I used to do it Tommeca's way: staple receipt to the inside cover, insert in plastic sleeve in a binder (without the PC index -- smart girl!). But my ugly pink leftover-from-undergrad binder got very tired and rather than replace it, I just put them all in a magazine file. I may go back to the binder if I find one I like. I never thought about tearing out the foreign language sections, though -- that's smart!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 12:12PM
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I also do the binder thing... receipts stapled to the manual, then inserted into the page protector in the binder. At Christmas time (which seems to be when I get a LOT of this type of stuff!) I purge anything I don't own anymore.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 11:08PM
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I just want to clarify--I don't do a binder. Too much work.

I stick 'em in a folder.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:27AM
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I have most of them in a folder in the file cabinet, but when we redid the kitchen, I stashed the manuals for the new appliances with the cookbooks and phone books.

They were easy to find when I was learning my way around the dish drawers and the new stove (now I know what the sabbath setting is!), and even though I don't use them much any more, they are still not in the way.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 6:31PM
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