31 May Where should you store all of those darn instruction manuals?
Owners manuals. They come in all shapes and sizes. And they come with just about everything you buy. So what exactly do you do with them? Toss them? Store them?
If you can get rid of it, you would free up space for other items you own which are more essential. So ask yourself, “Can I get this information online?” If so, bookmark the website and toss the manual into the recycling bin.
If you can’t find the instructions online or you just feel most comfortable keeping it, set up a storage system which will allow you easy enough access when you either need to refer to something or add to the manual family.
Most people rarely have to go back to the instructions, so the key is not to set up a fancy filing system for it, but simply remember where it’s stored so you can get to it. A medium-sized plastic container with a lid (roughly twice the size of a shoe box) is usually large enough to store the manuals and parts. Adjust the size as necessary for your situation. If the parts aren’t in a baggie, put them in one and either tape the baggie to the manual or have a baggie that’s large enough to hold both the manual and parts. This bin will most likely not be referred to on a daily basis, so store it in an out-of-the-way place which won’t take up valuable real estate, yet it’s easy enough to reach when you need it – like the back of a utility closet, the top shelf in a laundry room, the back corner of a guest bedroom closet, etc. I wouldn’t keep it in an attic because that would be hard to reach when you need to put something new in it.
Normally I preach about going vertical because you won’t have to dig for anything. In the case of manuals, since in theory you wouldn’t have to look for something but maybe once per year, it’s OK to have everything stacked in the bin.
For those folks who fear they’ll need the manual constantly, keep the manual and parts in a baggie right near the actual appliance. Stereo – in the entertainment center. Washing machine – in the cabinet above. Chainsaw – in or under the chainsaw case or nearby in the garage.
Which do you think you prefer – one centrally located bin or individual manuals near the appliances?