Today, I want to tell you about how I organize owner’s manuals. We all know it’s smart to keep the owner’s manuals to our products but it can be hard to keep them organized. I used to just throw them all in a drawer and then when I needed to find one I would have to dig through the whole drawer. And then I thought to myself, there has to be a better way.
How I Organize Owner’s Manuals
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I started organizing my owner’s manuals with this system and it is SO MUCH BETTER than the mess in the drawer I had before! I know exactly where each owner’s manual is and I can find them super fast when I need to.
This took a little bit to set up in the beginning. I’d say it took me about 45 minutes to go through all of my owner’s manuals, sort them, and file them appropriately.
But once it’s done, it’s done!
As long as I put a manual back where it goes if I need to pull it out for something, that is.
What you’ll need for this system
- binders – I use 4 small binders and organize my owner’s manuals into categories. You could make the choice to use one or two bigger binders if you think that would work better for you. Make sure to use binders that have a plastic front that you can slide a piece of paper into, like these ones.
- page protectors – one for each owner’s manual that you have an a few extra in each binder for the owner’s manuals you’ll probably acquire in the near future.
- my free printable – this is optional, but pretty! I’ll link to this printable below.
- all your owner’s manuals
I create a few small binders of my owner’s manuals. I categorize them in a way that makes sense to me. Then on the front of the binder I index the manuals in each binder, in order from front to back.
This makes every user’s manual easy to find when I need it.
Let me tell you more about how to set this up for yourself….
When I first started categorizing, I thought creating a binder for each room (or type of room) in the house would make the most sense. What I found was that most of my manuals were for products in the kitchen and the garage. The rest of the items didn’t fit neatly into a room. So I created a category of big expensive things (things like our air conditioning system) and random things (things like the thermostat).
Don’t worry, I’m going to show you exactly what this looks like below.
How to start
To save time I recommend doing two things at the same time.
Put each owner’s manual into a page protector. As you do this sort the manuals into piles based on the category of binder you want to put them in. You can use the same categories that I did, but I encourage you to decide on categories that make sense for the products that you have.
Once you have each of your owner’s manuals in a page protector and they are all sorted into the categories that you’ve decided on, you are ready to put the manuals into the binders.
Put your manuals in the binders (with the category they belong to) in any order that makes sense to you.
You will use the printable (link below) to list the order of the manuals. Then, you will slide the list under the plastic cover over the binder. This will make all of your owner’s manuals super easy to find.
Let me show you how this looks….
This is the cover of my garage binder. It includes the manuals for our lawn mowers, weed whacker, hedge trimmer, leaf blower and our ladder that we keep in the garage.
The manuals are listed in this order on the cover.
This is the cover of my kitchen binder. It includes the manuals for our oven, refrigerator, coffee pot, Keurig, crock-pot, and Ninja blender.
The rest of my owner’s manuals didn’t fit neatly into a room like my kitchen and garage ones did. After creating my kitchen and garage binders, I looked at my remaining owner’s manuals and I decided to create a category for big expensive things and another category for random things.
In my big expensive things binder I have the owner’ s for our washing machine and dryer, furnace, air conditioning system, doors, faucets, and kitchen sink.
When I think of these things, I think big and expensive. So, they are a perfect fit for my big expensive things binder.
In the random things binder I included the owner’s manuals for our Nest thermostat, Dyson handheld vacuum, Shop-Vac, grill, treadmill, blinds, and printer.
These items don’t fit into the other categories for the random things category is perfect for them.
Use this printable cover or make your own
Here is the free printable that you can use to make the covers of your binders. You’ll need to print a cover for each binder that you use. Write the category that the binder is for on the top of your printable and then list the owner’s manuals that will be included in that binder in order.
If you choose not to use the free printable I’m providing, you can still implement this system. You could really write the category and order of the manuals for each binder on a any piece of paper.
Just make sure to slide whichever cover you create under the plastic cover of your binder.
I hope this posts helps you organize your owner’s manuals!
If you have any questions (or suggestions) for this system, please leave them in the comments below.
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