Organize Warranties and Instruction Manuals

When I first set up 'house', I never gave much thought to organize warranties and instruction manuals for all the stuff that goes into putting a home together.

That is until both my new coffee maker and new hair dryer went out in the same week. You may be thinking no big deal, but when you don't have the money to replace these things right away, it's a big deal. It was no fun getting by with a borrowed 'old time' stove top coffee maker and wet hair everyday, but I survived and learned a valuable lesson to organize warranties and instruction manuals for everything new that had a warranty and manual that entered my home.

My warranties and instruction manuals are so organized, they're the envy of everyone. Friends and family are amazed when I 'hand down' a baby item like a swing, and give them the warranty and instruction manual too. Most people have long tossed or lost these, but not me. These are too important to lose or toss... especially for baby items, you never know if a product is going to be recalled due to safety issues, so it's important to keep your info updated.

Now, onto how to organize warranties and instruction manuals.

You'll want to put your warranties and instruction manuals in a filing cabinet, hanging file box, or accordion file. This makes for quick and easy access when you need to retrieve them quickly. I have about ten hanging files with manila file folders in each to capture all warranty and instruction paperwork as follows:

  • Master set of ten hanging files for warranty info and manuals (amount of hanging files needed will depend on the amount of warranties and manuals you need to keep).
  • Manila file folders labeled with the item(s). For instance, kitchen stuff in my home takes up about three manila folders and are labeled as follows: major appliances, small appliances, bakeware (yes, some of my bakeware has a lifetime warranty) & misc. items.
  • I categorize the rest of my warranty info and manuals much the same way. For instance, the garage (includes garage door & opener manuals & warranties, freezer, hot water heater, power tools, etc.)
  • To save time and stress, keep the model, serial, and service numbers readily available written on the front of the instruction manuals for all minor and major appliances should you ever have to call for service.
  • Keep the receipt of purchase stapled to the front or inside the instruction manual.

Now, you may say this is too much work, but this system saves time and money, which means a lot less stress.

Stress from having to search for model, serial, and service phone numbers. And, stress from voiding a warranty because we didn't save the receipt, and therefore don't have a proof of purchase.

I've learned to organize warranties and instruction manuals the hard way... by having to wait until I could afford to replace items because I didn't have my warranty or proof of purchase info. My wish is that these simple tips to organize your warranty and instruction manual information will help you avoid this hassle.

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