How to organize user manuals and receipts (Day 5 of 31 days of Pinterest: Pinned to DONE!

31 days of Pinterest -  Pinned to Done!

This post is part of a series – “31 days of Pinterest: Pinned to Done”  You can read all the posts in this series here.  And to make sure you don’t miss anything you can sign up to have every post sent to your email, follow me on facebook, or subscribe in your reader.

Today I am doing a project from my “Organize Everything” board.  Yep, I definitely need to be spending more time doing and not just pinning things on that board – don’t we all?

How to organize user manuals and receipts

Here is the pin from Desiring Virtue – Organize your user/owner’s manuals in a 3 ring binder.

Why don't I already do this?   Put User Manuals in a 3 ring binder with their receipts.

Because for some reason THIS wasn’t really working for me.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

And neither was THIS!  Let me explain about this basket and this story goes from bad to worse, ok?  This is my “to file” basket.  Yep, I am not showing you how big is it.  At some point over the last 2 years I went from filing bills, receipts, and general paper every couple months to ONCE a year (at tax time.)  I don’t know how it happened but it just did.  I don’t really enjoy filing, we don’t have a functional office, and you know what  – the once a year filing/purging/organizing seems to be working ok for the moment.  UNTIL I need to find something that should be filed – let’s not talk about those times, ok?How to organize user manuals and receipts

Want to know why that Ryobi weed-eater manual is on the top?  Well, you may remember that my husband got me a new battery/electric weedeater back in the spring.  (Yes, I do all the yard work – I enjoy it, he doesn’t; I have the time, he doesn’t – it just works.  Maybe I should delegate the filing to him??)  So on Saturday, I was swamped with things to do, one which was to mow the grass, do a ton of weed-eating, do some fall cleanup in the flower gardens, along with cleaning the house and prepare a meal for company the next day, oh, and doing some prep for this series that started on Monday.  And lo and behold the weed-eater ran out of string and I couldn’t it get it to load right.  So I traipsed my dirty self in to the house, dumped out this basket, and began searching for the user manual.  All the while silently (ok, maybe out loud too) berating myself for not being organized, for this mess, for not being able to find the user manual when I needed it.  I finally found it, stuffed the papers back in the basket, figured out what I was doing wrong with the weed eater, and went on with my day determined to do something about my disorganization.

Which brings me to this project.  I even had the supplies on hand!  You will need a notebook (or a few, depending on how many user manuals you have), and some sheet protector sheets.  I ended up not using the file dividers.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

I started out grabbing manuals and all the paper that goes with them and putting them into sheet protectors until I sort of saw a pattern and figured out how I would divide them up into notebooks.  I had receipts for the items, I put those in the same pocket.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

I started out doing an “Electronics” book, a “Kitchen appliance” book, and a “Household” notebook.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

By the time I got done though, the “Household” notebook was way too full and I realized we had quite a few “Tools and Outdoors” manuals to deserve their own notebook.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

I was able to throw away these manuals for things we don’t even own any more! 

How to organize user manuals and receipts

And this??  We don’t have kids, have never owned a crib, and I have no idea where this came from?  All I can figure is someone out there got a manual for a blender in their crib box and we got a crib manual in our blender box??  Hilarious.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

I typed up a quick description sheet in MS Word and slipped it into the clear pocket on the front.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

And printed up another sheet and cut it into strips to slip into the pocket on the side.  So now I can put these on a shelf, see the description right on the spine, and just pull out the right one when I need it.

How to organize user manuals and receipts

And when I do my “once a year filing” come January/February (ahem!), I am sure I will find more manuals and receipts to add to these notebooks.

But for now, I am LOVING this! 

How to organize user manuals and receipts

How about you?  How do you organize your user’s manuals, receipts for those items, and things like that?   And are you a “filer”” or a “piler”?

I am joining Nester from Nesting Place in writing a 31 days series in October.  You can see all the other hundreds of people writing a 31 days series here.

And I am excited to have 3 blogging friends join me in the insanity! Check out their series by clicking on the buttons below.

31 Days of Blessings in Disguise    31 days of support for your special needs parenting journey   31 days of Homemade Living

And my sister-in-law is joining along too!   Writing about their transition as they move across the country with four children. 

31 days of Rockin transition



  1. Great idea for sure! We have all ours in a folder in a file drawer, but I like the idea of just adding the receipt with the manuals as well. Then if something goes wrong, you have everything together.
    Oh and I have a ‘to file’ box too that I get to, urrg, twice a year?! don’t feel bad!

  2. One thing I did when organizing my manuals (I wanted them to fit in a small expandable folder) was to get rid of all the language sections that I didn’t speak. Just removing the French of Spanish or international language sections saved me over HALF the space these manuals take up.

    Any manuals that are relevant items in the house that will be staying with the house (furnace, water heater, etc) I put in a ziploc bag and use packing tape to attach it directly to that item.

    Love your series!!! 🙂

  3. GGMcMurray says:

    Love the binder system, I did one for my bills. Thanks for the great tips.

  4. GGMcMurray says:

    Love the binder system, I did one for my bills. Thanks for the great tips.

  5. Genius. And I’m literally staring at the exact same IKEA baskets ten feet in front of me.
    Kerry @ Made For Real recently posted..Day 5 {Giveaway}My Profile

  6. Fab idea! I have ours stuffed in a filing cabinet but this would be so much better. I know what I will be doing in the next few weeks. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. I love this idea!! Thanks for posting! Reminds me of me! We r all human-not perfect! Love doing outdoor stuff too! Hate filing! 🙂

  8. You are not alone. I have seen this done before, but I still haven’t done it. Thanks for inspiring me to do this…pronto. I love it. (We are HUGE stackers, I’m ashamed to say.)
    Heather @ Thrifty Stories recently posted..Day 5: Fresh Squeezed LemonadeMy Profile

  9. Love this idea…:)

  10. This is a great idea! Someone in our church shared a similar idea to this years ago for phone directories (church, neighborhood, etc.), take-out menus, etc. Works great!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. I always admired anything you do, especially when it comes to saving. In to our world right now we need more of you.
    Have a bless day!


  12. Susan Williams says:

    A couple of years ago, we bought new appliances, stove top, double oven, dishwasher, microwave, and refrigerator washer and dryer. I used divided file folders. In one I put all the books of things that would stay in house if we moved. (Stovetop, ovens, microwave. In other things that go with us. Easy to find, and we keep them in a file drawer.

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