How To Organize Warranties & Manuals

Today's mission is to organize warranties and user manuals that you've got in your home, so when you have a question about how a piece of equipment works, or need to diagnose an issue with an appliance, or something breaks down and needs to be fixed by the manufacturer you can find the right documents and information.


How to organize warranties and manuals in your home in three ways, in your home filing system, in binders, or digitally {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
This mission is designed to be done when working on the Organize Passwords, Warranties & Manuals Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.

It is also a follow up to yesterday's mission where we decluttered manuals and warranties that were old or no longer useful from our filing system to reduce the total paper clutter in our homes.

Once you only have current warranties and manuals in your paper piles it is time to organize them.

How To Organize Warranties

You can keep warranties separate from your user's manuals in files within your home filing system, or you can attach them, and the receipt which acts as proof of purchase, to the user's manual it goes with, using a stapler.

I personally suggest keeping all of these documents together, by stapling them to the front of the manual, just because it makes it easier to find them all at once when needed.

How To Organize Manuals

There are two main ways to organize owner's manuals if you keep the paper version, and another way to organize them digitally, and you can choose the method that works best for you.

How To File Manuals

The first way to organize paper manuals is to add them to your home filing system. To do this you merely create a file for them in your file drawer or box called "user manuals" or "owner's manuals" or something similar.

What often happens with these manuals though, is that there are a lot of them that accumulate with time, and if you throw them all into a general file it can be hard to find the one you want when you need it (although periodically decluttering the ones you no longer need is helpful in minimizing this problem).

Therefore, I suggest creating subfolders within this main owner's manual folder, to help you organize your manuals more efficiently.

Here are some suggested categories for these subfolders:
  • appliances

  • cameras

  • computers and software

  • electronics

  • kitchen

  • phones; and

  • other household
Adding the manuals into the subfolders will make it easier to find the one you need more easily within your filing system.

Make A Manual Binder

The second way you can organize manuals is to create a binder that holds them. Instead of punching holes into these manuals, all of which seem to be varying sizes, I suggest instead using pocket folders or sheet protectors to place the manuals in.

You can use tabs with similar categories to those suggested above for the filing system to subcategorize the manuals within the binders, if that's necessary, or, depending on how many manuals you've got, you could instead create separate binders for various manual categories.

The advantage of keeping all kitchen user manuals in a binder by themselves is that, for example, you can keep the binder somewhere in the kitchen. Then it is convenient, when you need to reference the information, to have it close at hand. If you use a filing system you may need to go to another area of the house to access the manuals, which is not near the actual equipment.

How To Digitally Organize Manuals

How to organize owner's manuals digitally
Finally, you can organize manuals digitally, and get rid of the paper manuals all together. I discussed how to do this, in more detail, in yesterday's mission article here.

I've got photos below submitted by readers who've already done this organizational mission, showing off how they organized their manuals and warranties. Make sure to scroll down and see them to get ideas and inspiration, and once you do the mission for yourself be sure to submit your photos here. The best photos will be featured here on the site.

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Organizing Owner's Manuals In Filing System

How to organize owner's manuals in a filing system {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
As mentioned above, one possible way to organize your manuals is to add them to your filing system.

You can either add them to the other files in your file drawer or box, or you could file them in their own file box, like a reader, Linda, did. She explained about her photos, to the right, that she sent in, "Here's my owner's manual file. I had a Sterilite portable file box and I converted it over to putting all owner's manuals in.

I make a copy of the receipt of purchase and staple it in the cover page of the manual. As something is discarded I pull out the manual. Garage sale, I pull the manual out for the item being sold and that's given to the new owner. I get more in sales for items at a garage sale when owner's manuals are included, it reassures the new buyer the item was in fact well taken care of.

When keeping owners manuals I do toss the foreign language copies often included into the recycle bin. This is a quick access method and one location! Frees up real file space in my filing cabinet!!"

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Use A Warranties & Manual Binder

How to use a warranties and user manual binder to help you organize these documents for reference in your home {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}


A reader, Leigh, sent in the photo above, showing how she used a binder to organize these documents in her own home. She said, "My organization project for today. The manuals used to clutter up two areas and drove me crazy.I turned an old three ring binder into a user manual holder today. It's a great way to take all of those manuals that I can never find and keep them in one place. Now they're easy to find and store. I used my planner paper and made a sticker to make it my own."

More Home Storage Solutions

{A-Z} Storage Solutions & Ideas
I hope you enjoyed these ideas and instructions for how to organize user manuals and warranties in your home to take control over this paper organization issue.

There are even more ideas for storage and organizing on the site in the {A-Z} Storage Solutions & Ideas round up page. Go check it out if you'd like to see even more ideas.

In addition, if these ideas have inspired you to organize even more types of paper make sure you check out the Paper Organization Series here on the site.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Join The 52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Getting Rid Of Paper Clutter Hall Of Fame

Daily Declutter 365 Missions

Go From How To Organize Warranties And Manuals To Home Page

Comments for Use A Warranties & Manual Binder

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how I use binders to organize mine
by: Helen

For years I have used a 4 ring binder for my manuals, warranties etc. I even made one up for DGS when he moved into his own flat a couple of years ago. Lately I have updated to a lever arch binder.

I staple the receipt to the warranty and file it with the instruction book in plastic sleeves. When an appliance is thrown out, the paperwork is thrown out as well.

Appliances that I use frequently - e.g. the breadmaker - I file in a display folder with my recipe books in the kitchen.

I put mine in old notebooks
by: Anonymous

I have my manuals alphabetized and in old notebooks. I think I have 4 or 5 notebooks by now. Thanks to the person who mentioned recycling the part in a foreign language. Never thought of that before. I am going to make an index sheet for each notebook like we did for the files.

Receipts for Warranties
by: ChefRee

Maybe this was already mentioned, however, If you're keeping a receipt to go with a warranty, I'd recommend scanning it. Most receipts these days fade over time, and I've found most of ours are now illegible. So scan and then keep or toss the original.

Filing warranties & manuals
by: Lonna

Rather than using a filing system by use (appliances / computers, etc.) that relies on what you categorize them as now, I file them in general hanging folders by letter of the alphabet-all together in one place. Usually there's a brand name stamped on the item like Sony, so it goes in the S folder. For as often as one has to refer to an owners manual, it's not a big deal to pull the folder and flip through the 6 manuals that are there.

what do you do with piece parts?
by: Shopping Deva

I was wondering what people do in cases where there are piece-parts and accessories since these are not really "file-able".
- A lot of products come with piece-parts you don't use frequently, or probably won't use, but should keep for resale purposes. This is especially true of electronic gear. I currently keep all the paper and parts together in combinations of document holders/protectors and labeled ziplock bags and store them in small plastic tubs by product type/category (cameras, phones, kitchen, etc). It's not pretty but I don't use the stuff often and this gets it out of the way.
- Samsonite dealer recommended keeping the receipt and warranty info inside the zippered lining of the suitcase!
- Scan receipts cuz they fade!

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