Best Way to Organize Owner's Manuals

3 Materials
30 Minutes

Every year it seems like we get more of them. Owner's manuals are good to have around when something goes wrong with your new appliance, but how do you remember where you put them?

I came up with an easy solution for those manuals that I keep around 'just in case' something were to go wrong.

Cardboard box full of owner's manuals

This was my original filing method. It took forever to sort through all of the manuals I threw into a box, trying to find the one I actually needed.

I finally decided I needed a better system.

What you will need:

  • A filing cabinet
  • Files
  • Labels
Owner's manuals in a pile on the floor

1) Sort the manuals

First sort the manuals into type. (ex. Small kitchen appliances, garage tools, TVs, vacuums, kid’s toys, etc.)

This is a great time to weed out any manuals you no longer have the item for.

2) Label

Label the file folders with the correct category. I typed my labels on a printer and cut them out to fit in each file tab.

3) Insert Manuals

Stick the owner's manuals into the correct category and put your filing cabinet on a shelf where you can find it when you need it.

I would love for you to visit my blog, Practical Whimsy Designs, if you need more organizing and decorating ideas.

Suggested materials:

  • File folders
  • Filing Cabinet
  • Pen or Printer for making labels

Practical Whimsy Designs - Erin
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

4 of 15 comments
  • Elcka Elcka on Dec 06, 2021

    Hi. No need to login in your computer, just pull your phone from your purse or pocket anywhere you are and do a search for the specific question. No need to get home, pull the file box, find the folder, find the manual, go to the index, look for whatever you need (hoping it’s in alphabetical order), find the page find the answer. Fix whatever you are fixing, go back to the folder, put in in the file, put it in the cabinet until next time.

    Going on line you eliminate all those steps, plus you have YouTube to walk you through instructions, if you have to troubleshoot, the truth is that you’ll go to YouTube anyway if you can’t figure out the manual instructions.

    if there’s a product recall, you’ll find it on line. If there is an update, your manual will be obsolete unless of course, you find out on line

    There is a vast community of folks that had solve the same problem and they can share advise and expertise. Yes, you can call the 1800 number listed in the manual for technical support, during business hours, but who has time to sit in the phone while a voice in the other end wank you through instructions

    Of course, I usually do whatever works for me regardless if advise, but I’m always open minded and acknowledge that someone MAY have a better route. Enjoy your evening

    • Ama22428489 Ama22428489 on Dec 12, 2021

      Do you keep your purchase receipts/invoices? If so, how do you store them?

  • Elcka Elcka on Dec 12, 2021

    Hello! I’m very selective with what I keep. I mainly save the receipts that are good for tax purposes, those go in a shoe box until the end of the year when I organize and record for my accountant, after tax season they go in a Manila envelope together with my income tax print out and in the attic. I keep them for 3 years

    the other receipts I keep are they ones from large appliances that have a warranty, those are just a few do they are in a plastic envelope in my desk drawer.

    have a great start if your week!!

    • That is great! Sounds like you found a balance of papers that work for you. I like to keep a few more things on hand and chose to organize them this way. Of course, there are many ways to organize your home and having different options and suggestions is a fun way to find your unique organizing style. Glad you found a solution for your paperwork.