Manual Mayhem

This “thing” is not working – now what?

Can you put your hands on the manual and receipt for your non-working refrigerator in less than 5 minutes? Found the manual? Great. Is it still under warranty and when and where did I purchase this anyway? Product manuals and invoices/receipts for all our many items can be overwhelming. I recommend using an alpha file for organizing most purchase information.  When you buy a new item (appliance, furniture, pricey clothing item), place the manual with the attached receipt in the alpha file. As an added step, write on the front of the manual the purchase place and date for easy reference. Most manuals and product information can be downloaded as a PDF online if you prefer.  But I do recommend holding onto the original receipt. Yes, lots of folks like to keep these receipts in email format but a hard copy is always easier to retrieve in a hurry. So, should all product manuals and invoices go in an alpha file?

Creating an “Electronics Manual Box”

If you counted all of the major product purchases you’ve made over the past year, would technology items be a majority? For most of us, our homes are filled with smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops, Kindles and readers – each with its own manual and receipt. Unlike an appliance or piece of furniture for which we rarely need the manual or purchase information, repair and upgrade to electronics is constant. To manage this process, keep those receipts and manuals separate. Use a clear box with a lid and put this in an out of the way but easy to find space – think under the bed. No one wants to be frantically searching for purchase docs and receipts when their phone is dead or computer crashes.

When you purchase a replacement item – like a new washing machine – be sure to discard the old manual.  In your electronics box, mark product boxes and receipts with simple notes – “Lisa’s iPhone6 purchased Sept 2017”. When you need to have an item repaired, you don’t need to be searching through a pile of manuals and receipts for the right one.