Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Friday, May 23, 2008

Keeping Warranties/User Manuals Organized

Not a super exciting topic, I know, but worthwhile nonetheless. Keeping paperwork from household appliances, technology and products can create quite a pile and an organizing conundrum. Where do you put it all? Here are 2 schools of thought:

  1. Keep with the item. Thus the warranty and user manual for the refrigerator get hung up on the back of the fridge, for example.

  2. Keep all together in one place. This way, you keep all the paperwork in one spot to reference when needed.

Unfortunately, some products you buy come with a lot more stuff than others (think: computers with all the discs and user guides). It is not like you are filing a few sheets of paper. You also don't access or refer to product paperwork equally -- I am more apt to reference the paperwork that came with our dryer only when I have a problem, but I seem to need to program the phone a lot.

When weighing the pros and cons for the 2 options listed above, I feel it is more organized to have a centralized spot for all warranties, guides and manuals. You can use a plastic lidded tub or similar container that has enough space. If you want to make pockets or use accordion folders to hold specific categories of items, it makes it easier to find what you need (i.e. "Audio/Visual", "Kitchen"). If there are multiples guides or discs for one product, rubberband them together.

Store the container in a place on the main level of your home but not in prime real estate -- maybe a higher shelf or a location that is hidden but reachable. After all, the likelihood you'll want to access the paperwork significantly lessens after you install/set up/buy the item.