How to Organize Home Manuals

How to Organize Home Manuals

Happy 2014! I hope you are still enjoying a wonderful holiday season and are excited to see what we have in store for you here at Pretty Handy Girl. It is going to be an amazing year! Since you might be recovering from the fun last night at a festive celebration, I’m going to make today’s project very easy for you. Easy but productive.

A new year always makes us want to be more organized and this project will start you off on the right foot in that department.  Today you are going to organize all those manuals you have floating around the house. You know the ones you can never find when you need to? But have been meaning to organize? Check that item off the To-Do list, here is how to!

There are a few options for getting home paperwork in order, but I’m a binder kind of girl. I tend to organize all of my must-find items in binders, that way I can move them around from room to room if I need to, and I can re-organize the items inside, plus binders can hide a great mess but look so pretty doing so.

Supplies

  • All those pesky, unusually-sized, random manuals, warranties, instructions and information for things around your home
  • A binder {or two if you have a lot of manuals}
  • Dividers with a label option – Can be cut up file folders, purchased dividers or card stock paper
  • Clear plastic sheet protectors
  • Hole punch {optional}

Organize Your Home Manuals

Instructions:

1. I know you are excited to get started with the binder part, but first we have some hunting to do. Around the house, to gather all those manuals that is. Collect them all in one room and sort them however you think makes sense to you. Usually that can be Appliances, Electronics, Insurance, Outdoor Equipments, Tools, etc. Ask yourself when you want to look for something, what will you think of to look for it?

Now you may come across more organizing you have to do, but don’t get distracted! Keep your eye out for manuals and take a bag or box to hold them. Try the car, garage, basement, kitchen drawers.

2. Once you have everything you think you’ll include in the binder, now is the time to do some prep. There are various ways to separate the manuals, I used purchased dividers with tabs to insert labels into. You can pick these up at an office supply store.

Binder Tap Dividers

They also have the kind you can write on, which is super fast and easy for those without a printer. I used these for grad school organizing and such too. You’ll probably want a few packs.

Write On Label Dividers

3. Since you have sorted your manuals into piles, now is the time to make a list of all the “categories” you’ll use. Here are the ones I included in my binder, again, just as an example, this is how my mind thinks around organizing my manuals. You can use any titles to the categories you want.

  • Appliances – Office, Outdoors, Kitchen, House, Basement were all separate categories
  • Bedroom – Master, Guest, etc
  • Furnace
  • Furniture
  • Garden & Outside
  • House Hunting and Moving
  • House Reports {we had reports from the previous owner on lead and the like}
  • House Utilities – Water, gas, electric, internet, phone, etc. can all be separate categories
  • House Insurance
  • Lighting
  • Paint
  • Recreation {hot tub anyone?}
  • Security System
  • TV and Cable
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Water Tank

Things like washer, dryer, furnace and hot water tank could all go in a basement category. Do whatever works for you.

Home Binder Labels

4. Once you’ve labeled your dividers, now you can start putting the manuals in the binder.

For most of mine, they fit into the plastic sheet protectors. Carefully put them in and then into your binder.

Organizing a Home Binder

For other manuals or materials, I used a 3-hole punch. Many of the information you have is probably 8 1/2 x 11 sized and will fit nicely into the binder. Like all that Ikea furniture. Am I right?

Organizing a Home Binder

Soon enough you’re going to see all of your random manuals and paper finding a nicely organized home in the binder, all clearly divided and labeled. I ended up with two large piles, and put the info into two binders.

Home Manual Binder

Then you can neatly store your binders anywhere that works for you. In your office, maybe in the kitchen, or on the bookshelves? And you can consider yourself officially organized today! Congrats on this project, see I told you it would be easy.

We store our binders in my office. I pulled out one the other day to read the instructions on how to self-clean the oven {love that!}.

Home Organization Binder

Now, tell me, do you have organization goals this year?

Think you can handle a little home manual sorting today?

I hope you see you at my blog, Decor Adventures soon. Happy 2014!

Jessica at Decor Adventures Blog

~Learn more about Jessica~

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Comments

  1. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who uses this method. I started using it a couple years ago and it’s so much easier to find what I need when I need it. Happy new year!

  2. Hi Leslie,

    Glad it works for you! I put most things in binders, they are so easy to use for organizing.

    Happy new year to you!

  3. Brittany, I used to love my binders although they took a bit of time filing the paper & not losing things before they got into the right binder. Now I’m trying to move all this paper online, e.g. why store a manual when I can get a PDF or link to manufacturer’s website?

  4. Hi Tina,

    Very good question! In fact, I actually got rid of a lot of paper and try to access most things digitally. These are only a small number of binders I even have. I’ve kept these manuals since they came with our appliances, and we can get to them very quickly without searching. Some of them are receipts too. Hope this helps and good for you for going green.

  5. I’ve been meaning to do this since my file drawers are bursting at the seams. Thank you for this. Happy New Year!

  6. That is such a great idea! Mine always end up in the junk drawer which is a massive mess that needs organizing. Happy New Year!

  7. We have two homes and are constantly moving one set of manuals to the other house. The good news is we have the sorted nicely in Binders. The news we have them in a blue bag that travels were we go because, even though the appliance might be at the other location, we need the info where we are to purchase the parts. Great way of getting organized while regrouping from the hectic holidays. Wishing Pretty Handy Girl and all of you on Team Britnay a wonderful New year!

  8. Super idea to start the new year! thanks for the share both. Happy and organized 2014! ~jb

  9. Wow I so need to do this! I have manuals kinda scattered around the house so this is a great idea.

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