Most people today are trying to eliminate paper clutter from their lives. So is it really necessary to keep instruction manuals for your home’s appliances and other products? Let’s read up on cutting down the amount of paper around the house.
Why keep appliance manuals?
Sometimes it makes sense to keep paper manuals for appliances and outdoor equipment. It might be advisable to keep the instructions when:
- A product and its usage are complex.
- You don’t use the device often enough to remember how to operate it.
- You want information on service help, warranty contacts and parts replacement in one location. To ease future warranty work, be sure to register your new appliance under your name with the manufacturer, and keep the purchase receipt with the manual.
- You’d like to pass the manual on to the appliance’s next owner.
- Storing hard copies
Given the number of appliances in a home, paper manuals can quickly add up. Control the chaos by filing each appliance manual separately in a filing cabinet. Or devote an expanding accordion file to the appliance and device manuals. You can also store manuals in plastic sheet protectors in a three-ring binder.
Storing manuals electronically
With all of these methods, however, you’re left with paper clutter. Another option is to search for the appliance manual information online. The manual for almost every household or outdoor appliance or machine is available through a Google search, often in downloadable PDF format. Tip: A Google search also may turn up an online forum where owners of the same appliance have asked and answered operation and repair questions.
To find online appliance manuals, search the manufacturer and model number of the device. Once you find what you’re looking for, you can bookmark it or save the PDF to your computer, an external hard drive or cloud-based storage. If you go the digital route, be sure to keep your purchase receipt on file, either electronically or as a hard copy.
Another online source for help is YouTube. Search the appliance, its model number, and your question, and there’s a good chance someone has posted an instructional video that will help you. You often can find DIY repair videos, too.