Organizing Your Appliance Manuals – Time Well Spent

Financial appliance documents in folders

It’s always exciting to purchase a new appliance. You take pride in keeping it in good shape so that it will look its best and perform well for years to come. 

So, often it’s only when something breaks down or malfunctions that you look for the owner’s manual. At that moment the last thing you need is to be wondering where the manual could be. 

Why Should I Keep (and read!) My Manuals?

Before plugging in a new appliance, it makes sense to read through the owner’s manual thoroughly. It’s easy to just skim through the manual if you experience a problem in setting up but in order to avoid mistakes it pays to opt for a thorough read through. 

Manuals tell you how to install, set-up, use, and maintain the appliance. The installation recommendations in a user manual are essential, as they help you ensure proper operation.

They give you warranty and servicing details, energy information and power requirements.

User manuals come with the recommended manufacturer settings for optimal energy consumption, such as the ideal temperature settings for fridges and freezers. Also, you might find some troubleshooting tips, as well as answers to FAQs. 

The “do not” section of the user manual cautions the owner against mishandling the appliance. This tells you what things could reduce the lifespan or affect the performance of the appliance, what could invalidate your warranty, and how to reduce potential hazards and injuries.

Manuals are very useful, particularly for appliances that have multi uses and whose usages may not seem intuitive. 

First Things First: Locate Your Manuals

If you’re like many people, your manuals are tucked away in various places in your home. Wherever they are, take the time to find them.

Make Piles by Type

Once you have collected all the manuals, make piles by type. Hereʼs a sample of a couple of categories you might have: large appliances (stove, fridge, furnace, washer, dryer) and small appliances (coffee machine, mixer, toaster oven).

Dispose of Outdated Manuals

There’s likely to be some manuals for items that you donʼt even own anymore. Pitch those directly into the recycling bin. Then go through and decide if you need the manuals that remain. 

Organize the Materials 

It’s important to know the date of purchase, the serial number, have the purchase receipt handy, and know the warranty period. Find the receipt if it’s not with the manual. Once you find that, you can see the date of purchase so attach the receipt to the cover of the manual, then write the serial number, date of purchase and warranty period on the cover of the user manual. 

Storage Ideas

Storing the hard copies of your manuals/warranties/receipts should be a fairly straightforward task after you’ve rescued all the documentation. You can decide to store all your appliance manuals in one place such as in a separate filing cabinet, or simply in a box with dividers.

A popular method is to store all the items in binders, making it easy to store like items together. All your kitchen appliance manuals can be stored on a shelf alongside your recipe books. If your washer/dryer is in a separate room, the manuals for these can be stored in a binder in that room. Do you have a freezer in the basement? The binder can sit on a shelf beside the freezer.

Storage Box with Dividers


  • Easy to move around
  • Can be stored anywhere out of sight

A box with dividers is a simple, unfussy way to store your manuals. You can use headings for location (kitchen, basement etc.) and subdivide by item. Make labels to fit into the plastic tab that should accompany the dividers so that you don’t have to rummage through the items before finding the correct manual. 

Filing Cabinet


  • Large enough to store all your manuals in one place


  • Stationary

If you have a large number of manuals, you might want to store them in a filing cabinet, one that is large enough to contain all types of manuals besides your appliances such as HVAC or computer manuals. 

If you have appliances in different areas of the house, you may want to use broad location categories, such as Kitchen, Laundry Room, Basement. Next, you may want to subcategorize your appliances into large and small appliance categories and then by item. Of course, use category names that make sense to you. Keep your files current by throwing away old documents when an appliance is replaced.

Large Width 3-Ring Binder 


  • Easy to look items up if labelled well
  • Very convenient
  • Easy to set up in multiple spots
  • Neat and tidy


  • More Work to set up
  • Can take up a lot of space

Use dividers to separate your manuals for quick scanning to find what you need. 

Use sheet protectors to place one manual / warranty information card / receipt per document, so you can flip through and find what you need. Place the tabs on the outside edge of the plastic sheet protector with the name of the appliance.

Storing Owner’s Manuals Electronically

For those of you who like to save items electronically to save physical space, you’re in good company. Some manufacturers are opting to only include “Start Up” guides with the product and putting the full manual online. It’s a good idea to keep the hard copy of the manual until you’ve captured an exact online copy.

If you prefer to keep electronic manuals rather than hard copy, you should first: 

  1. Record the model numbers, serial numbers, and dates of purchase electronically on a simple spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel, or a spreadsheet app. For receipts, scan and save to your computer or cloud storage.
  2. Search online for your specific model’s manual (probably in pdf form) to make sure it’s available online.
  3. Download the user guide and warranty and save it in a folder on your computer or Google Drive.

To keep all your major appliances operating at their best, you can count on C&W Appliance Service for all your repair and maintenance needs. Call us at (855) 358-1496 or contact us online for prompt service.


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