How do you organize product warranties/receipts/instruction manuals? - Mothering Forums
Organize & Declutter > How do you organize product warranties/receipts/instruction manuals?
hopefulfaith's Avatar hopefulfaith 12:26 PM 01-18-2008
Tell me how you organize all of your "product information"! You know...all that *paper* that comes with the stuff we own: receipts, warranties, instruction manuals, etc.

I cleaned out my file cabinet yesterday and was shocked to see that a file folder I had generally devoted to the purpose had grown to over 6 inches and 2 folders worth of stuff.

I took it out of the cabinet and threw it into a box, and now I have to do something with it...but I don't want to make a separate file folder for each thing...that seems like it's using too much energy for paper I will likely never access...but I want it to be more organized than just a big folder full of stuff.



Jess A's Avatar Jess A 12:32 PM 01-18-2008
Could you have a different folder for each room in the house? All the things in the kitchen would be in the kitchen folder, for example.

Mine have always been in one big folder. I think I may do this myself .
turtlewomyn's Avatar turtlewomyn 12:55 PM 01-18-2008
When my parents bought their current place, the previous owner had all the instruction manuals and warrenties for all the appliances in a three ring binder with the plastic sleeves (so one plastic sleeve per appliance). Then like the previous poster said, you could have one per each area of the house.

And of course as you are doing this you can toss anything you might have for items you no longer own.

Ours are all stuffed in a file somewhere, I probably should organize them as well.
Savoir Faire's Avatar Savoir Faire 01:02 PM 01-18-2008
We do have these things in our file cabinet but since I freelance from home and have to SAVE ALL RECEIPTS for tax reasons...they're filed separately.

All my work tax receipts go into one.
Paystubs in one. Contracts (I have a lot) in another.
warranties and similar go into another.

Now that the year is over....we need to go through and get rid of what isn't needed but I find this works best, as long as you really stick to it!
maryjane's Avatar maryjane 01:22 PM 01-18-2008
Originally Posted by turtlewomyn View Post
When my parents bought their current place, the previous owner had all the instruction manuals and warrenties for all the appliances in a three ring binder with the plastic sleeves (so one plastic sleeve per appliance).
This is what we do! Gosh, my paperwork is typically a mess, but this is one area that I'm fairly on top of. Once every few years, I go through and yank the stuff that is past warranty or that we've gotten rid of.

I like the added idea of sorting it by rooms of the house. Right now, I have all the "house" stuff (kitchen + anything else) at the front and computer/office-related stuff at the back.
Defenestrator's Avatar Defenestrator 01:27 PM 01-18-2008
ikea (and I'm sure lots of other stores) sell these wooden (I've seen cardboard as well) magazine organizers -- they are these little boxes that are taller in the front than they are in the back and fit on a bookshelf to help keep the magazines upright and from flopping over. I use one of those for all of our instruction manuals since a lot of them are very magazine-y. Mine is kind of like this one.
anthasam's Avatar anthasam 01:28 PM 01-18-2008
Originally Posted by Jess A View Post
Could you have a different folder for each room in the house? All the things in the kitchen would be in the kitchen folder, for example.

I do this, and I find it works REALLY well. I also put the paint cards for the room, receipts, owner's manuals, fabric swatches, etc.
organic-momma's Avatar organic-momma 02:19 PM 01-18-2008
I have an accordion file devoted into sections like "large appliances", "small appliances", "tools", "baby gear", "electronics" and I keep everything in it's assigned section. It's worked out really well.
mrspineau's Avatar mrspineau 02:56 PM 01-18-2008
What I do is organize with oversized plastic ziploc bags.

In one bag, I keep instruction manuals,
In one bag, I keep warranties,
In one bag, I keep reciepts,

And then I keep all of those bags in a drawer in my kitchen.
Authentic_Mother's Avatar Authentic_Mother 03:08 PM 01-18-2008
We have some Envelopes that we save it all in. About Quarterly I got through it all and get rid of whatever we dont have anymore or doesn't work anyway. I do have a Computer folder, a Appliance Folder, and Misc.
The main thing is though ,that once the warrenty is void anyway, there is no point in having it anymore. Unless you are trouble shooting. A lot of that can be done online though!
Lilcrunchie's Avatar Lilcrunchie 04:27 PM 01-18-2008
Large binder in page protectors. Divided into sections for each room, plus a section for baby stuff.
2GR8KIDS's Avatar 2GR8KIDS 04:37 PM 01-18-2008
We keep ours in our file cabinet, divided into categories- Large Appliances, Small Appliances, Kids Gear, Furnishings, Electronics, Systems (things like the furnace), Other. I try to staple the receipt for each item to the manual, in case it's needed for warranty work. I go through the file cabinet periodically and toss manuals for things we no longer own.
starling&diesel's Avatar starling&diesel 04:45 PM 01-18-2008
I toss the instruction manuals ... most of them are online anyway and once you have it set up, how often do you really ever pull them out? Cuts WAAAAY down on the space needed.

As for receipts and warranties, I staple each set to a piece of blue heavy stock paper (lengthwise), label it clearly (PRINTER, FRIDGE) and file them alphabetically in my warranty file.
hopefulfaith's Avatar hopefulfaith 11:39 AM 01-19-2008
Thanks, everyone. I think this is something I can tackle this weekend. I love "knowing" all of you organized women ~~ thank you for the help!
rawbanana's Avatar rawbanana 05:57 PM 01-19-2008
We have an expandable file folder and that is where we keep all warranties and instruction manuals. We keep it on th shelf in our coat closet. Any receipts we need to save incase we need to return an item w/in 90 days or something goes in our mail basket on top of our fridge, then I try to remember to clean that out every few months =)

BinahYeteirah's Avatar BinahYeteirah 08:10 PM 01-19-2008
If you get rid of the manuals as you get rid of the appliances, you should have quite so much paperwork. I have a one fairly thin file folder. Some manuals I keep with the appliance. For example, the car seats have these pockets made to hold the manuals, so they are there. I actually look at my sewing machine manual from time to time, so I keep it with my sewing things. If I am keeping the box for something, I often keep the paperwork in the box, so everything is there if I need to return, repair, or sell the item. I have found in the past that the majority of paperwork I had when my file was too big was from stuff that I no longer owned.

Organizing by room is a good idea.
wife&mommy's Avatar wife&mommy 01:55 PM 01-20-2008
HOnestly this probably isn't very organized but it works for us since we rarely need the info, I just put it all in a drawer we have in the file cabinet. We have a lot of these because of all the tools my DH owns for work and home.