Must-Read Organizing Tip! {How to Organize Papers}

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How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

If you’re following along on the printable January Organizing Calendar, you may have noticed that this weekend’s tasks involve organizing important papers– namely, how to organize instruction manuals and warranties (with tax materials being a task on Sunday). I wanted to share a QUICK organizing tip that’ll take 10 minutes of your time but will SAVE hours, headaches, and clutter down the road.

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

I don’t know about you, but instruction manuals, directions, and warranty sheets take up a bulk of my paper pile. What’s worse is that moment when something breaks or malfunctions and I need to search through a pile of old papers just to find information– not fun when I’m already frustrated about the broken toy or appliance in the first place! Once I figured out this organizing trick, I saved lots of time and aggravation by having every single manual at my fingertips in seconds.

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

Start with an expandable file folder.  This one cost $3 at Family Dollar.

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

Label each section for a category.  As you may know, I super-puffy-heart adore my Dymo LetraTag Lablemaker (that’s an affiliate link to Amazon so you can get more information about it) for creating labels because it’s easy to use and the labels look professional, but handwriting the labels works just as well.

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

Here’s the categories I used for the labels, adapt as needed– for example, you could organize the manuals by the room where the item resides such as kitchen, living room, etc.:

  • Appliances: Large
  • Appliances: Small
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry (washing instructions for items like curtains and comforters)
  • Outdoors
  • Phones
  • Sports Equipment
  • Tools
  • Toys

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

Then, simply add the labels to the file folder and now all your loose instruction manuals and warranty information has a nice new home!

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

There you have it– a 10 minute organizing tip that will have your papers rounded-up in no time flat.  And the next time you need to figure out how to use the crazy attachment feature on the vacuum cleaner or call about your wishy-washy washing machine, you’ll know EXACTLY where to find the information.

Do you have a tip on how to organize papers?  Please share!

How to Organize Instruction Manuals and Warantees

How to Organize Papers is linking up with:

{Tip Me Tuesday | Monday Funday | Link Party Palooza | Six Sisters Stuff | Home Stories A to Z | Made U Look | The Mommy Club}

Meet Carrie Higgins

Dreamer, thinker, + lemon squeezer; you'll usually find me clutching a mug of coffee, glue gun, fandeck of paint colors, and a child at any given time. This mom of two (and wife to one) loves to share freshly squeezed ideas for home and family. Join the adventure as we learn most lemons can indeed become lemonade-- with generous amounts of sweetness, perspective, and love.

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  1. This is a great idea! I definitely need to do this. Thanks for the idea.

  2. I LOVE this!! Such a great idea. They always have those folders in the $1 section at Target too! Totally doing this. Thanks!!

  3. Great filing (and labeling) idea. What has saved us is a bin where the info gets tossed when the item arrives in the house. We have a dresser in the family room and I found two plastic rectangular bins that exactly fit the bottom drawer. At least I’ve got everyone trained to throw paperwork from a box into a bin. Now I can use your idea to organize regularly and make manuals and warranties findable!

  4. This is great! I definitely need to do filings this. Thanks for the tips.

  5. We do something similar and it works really well for us. Our categories are: Home, Baby, Software, and Hardware. Those computer instructions and backup discs take up so much space!

  6. Great idea… i put all the toy manuals in my daughter’s bottom dresser drawer, kitchen appliances in a kitchen drawer but honestly like your idea better. thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow, you are so organized! Can you come to my house? I would love to set something like this up.

  8. My husband is insanely organized about this too. Every few years or so we have to go through them to see which ones we don’t need anymore. Chances are we have the manual long after we have gotten rid of the product!

  9. Wow what great ideas! I despise loose papers everywhere!!

  10. Additional tip: staple purchase receipts to the warranties :)

  11. This is awesome!!… Man… If I only knew this beautiful idea last month when the washer went out one week n no joke… Dryer malfunctioned the next week… I tell you what… When it rains it pours sometimes!

  12. I have a similar system, it works great. I also attach the receipt and a copy of the receipt for those stores that use disappearing ink! Lol. Like Home Depot,
    Lowes, etc.

  13. I take a photo copy of the receipt, for those stores who use disappearing ink, lol. I’ve had ink on receipts disappear after only 2-3 months.

  14. I use an accordian file for my homeschooling records, but for the household warranties, I actually use letter folders. They are like file folders, but have the sides closed, so nothing slips out.
    On the tab, I write general things like “refrigerator” “clothes dryer” and on the front, I write the date & place purchased, and the expiry date for the warranty. When I buy a replacement item, I just cross it out, or I put a sticker over top the old information.
    We have a folder for each item with a warranty. We did this for all the farm implements, too. It makes it very easy to find the repair manual when needed!

  15. Gina Comer says:

    I like to download manuals and toss the paper copy. I just keep them in one file – the search function will pull whatever I need at the moment.

  16. Great idea, I have used this method to keep manuals for years but instead I have them organized by the room where the device is in use. For example, “Kitchen” has all of the devices used in the kitchen; “Bathroom” has the things used mostly in the bathroom, and so on.

  17. I have a very large binder where I keep all my manuals in page protectors. I staple the cash register receipt to the manual, and put the date the item was purchased on the manual, as well. However, it’s rather bulky, so I think I may switch over to your accordion file method. Either way, I can attest to the fact that keeping them all in one place helps tremendously when you need to find one!! :)


  1. […] Your Instruction Manual binder. Keep it handy and file all the instructions away right then and there; no more lost booklets! If […]

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