Continuing in my series of posts on controlling paper clutter in the home, I want to tackle the issue of manuals and instruction booklets.
In my recent past, I have had an obsession with holding onto every manual that came with what I purchased. I can only think that this hoarding had something to do with a little voice at the back of my mind saying, “but, what if I need it one day…”
Our filing cabinet is not the world’s largest piece of furniture, so finding more available space in it was a priority for my husband and me. When we started on our paper reduction plan, we had more than 50 current manuals in our top drawer, and now there are none. Here is the plan that we followed to clean up the clutter:
The obvious first step is to throw out the manuals for products you don’t own. (I’ll keep my mouth shut about how many of these we had in our files!)
The second step is to set aside the manuals for all major appliances that will remain in your house if you ever sell it. I put these manuals in a magazine file and then stored them nicely on a bookshelf. Manuals in our permanent file include the refrigerator, stove, built-in microwave, dishwasher, water heater, furnace, washer, dryer, and security system. It’s kind to pass these manuals on to the next resident of your house so that he or she will know how to operate the equipment properly. In addition to storing these paper copies, you also may want to apply the fourth and fifth steps listed below to these manuals.