Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
I put all my kitchen manuals together at one end of one of my cabinets. I clip them all together with a large size clip (I use those black and silver ones you find in the office supply section of any store) so that they stay together and none of them get lost. That way they don't take up much space, and they are always handy whenever I need one. And this is much, much safer than taping it to an appliance that may get hot or where the manual may get damaged in any other way.
Another thing, in my home "office" (where my computer and bill paying stuff is) I keep a separate address book that has all the 800 (or other-wise) numbers for all my appliances. I keep this in with all my bill paying stuff so it doesn't ever get lost. Whenever I buy something new, I add its numbers to my book before putting the manual in with my other manuals. Along with the phone number I also list the item's serial and/or manufacturer's number and any other important info. Then I don't have to be turning the item upside down and backwards while I'm on the phone with customer service.
As for non-kitchen items, I keep a file box with all those manuals in it. This box is kept in my "office" area too.
And any time I have an item repaired or have to spend money on it for whatever reason, I keep an envelope clipped inside that item's manual and put the receipt and any related paperwork in the envelope. That way it's all together and nothing gets lost.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
I have stored receipts and manuals in a file cabinet drawer for many years. Binders are a good idea if you don't have a file drawer, but can find shelf space for them. A binder (or two) with pocket pages or page protectors can accommodate most manuals.
If your printer is also a scanner and copier, you can save copies of the receipts as Word or PDF docs, or just make paper copies to save in the binder or folder. Some manuals are even punched to fit a 3 ring binder, and some can be punched. Manuals that come as sheets folded like road maps can be partially unfolded and slipped into pockets or page protectors.
By Pixiedust7 from Wantagh, Long Island, NY
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I called Customer Support for the manufacturer and they told me I had to pay $6.99 + $15.75 shipping! I had to hang up on them to keep from saying what was on the tip of my tongue! Several hours later I got an email from them saying that the manual would cost $9.99 + $6.99 shipping. I didn't even bother answering that one.
So now I have this machine that won't work and I have no way of knowing how to fix it. I learned the hard way that I need to be more organized with my manuals!
So I set up a plastic bin that's big enough to hold a lot of 10x13 inch manila folders. I gathered up all the manuals I could find, along with any other paperwork (including receipts) for each item. I put all the paperwork and receipt for each item in a manila folder and labeled it.
Now whenever I buy something new, even if it's something small or "insignificant", I'll put all the paperwork, including the receipt into a manila folder and put it in the bin. This should save me from having another appliance that I can't find a manual for!
Another thing, many times the paper and/or ink that the receipts are printed on doesn't stay readable over time. So I've started burning copies of my receipts when they are new and I'm putting this in the manila envelope too. If you have an extra drawer in your filing cabinet this would work even better. At present I don't have a filing cabinet but hope to buy one soon. When I do, I'll make sure I reserve one drawer just for this.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
I have been doing that for years putting manuals and the receipts into folders and file them away. Once a year or so I go through them and then take out or throw out the manuels of the items that I no longer own. (11/05/2010)
For some reason, I am a person who hates plastic bins. No matter where I live, I designate a lower drawer in my kitchen for all receipts and manuals. There is always enough room and even if I have to sift through the contents, I know it is in there. (11/06/2010)
Did you know you can download many manuals for free? Look up the appliance by model number. It's a good idea to keep the manuals with the receipts, extra warranty info in one designated area. (11/06/2010)
Are you like me and forever losing the manuals and receipts that came with all those appliances or whatever that you've bought? I was constantly forgetting where I put the manuals, and never mind the receipts! Which, of course, you have to have if it needs to be returned or if nothing else, to know when you bought it so you know whether it's still under warranty. Well I finally solved that problem!
Whenever I buy a new product, if the owner's manual is more than 8x11 inches, I look it up on the website and print out the manual. I have a bunch of sheet protectors from previous projects. On the owner's manual, I write the date of purchase and where. Then I put the it along with the receipt in one sheet protector and it all goes into a 3 inch three-ring binder.
I sort all the manuals alphabetically by brand name with page dividers and tabs with each letter of the alphabet. I keep this binder in one particular place (mine is on my desk) and it always gets returned immediately after each use. I haven't lost a manual or receipt since I started this. The only hard part now is finding all the ones I lost BEFORE I started the binder!
By Cricket from NC
Good tip. I keep all of mine in a big accordion type folder. (09/13/2010)
One of my biggest problems has always been how to keep up with manuals, receipts and model numbers of big appliances and other expensive items in my house.