A Guide to Keeping Instruction Manuals

Lately, almost everything I buy comes with instruction manuals.  Do you find the same?  Even simple garments come with washing instructions.  How do you store all that information?  Well, here’s what I ask myself…

  1. Do I really need to know this stuff?
  2. Will I still need to know it after the first wash of the garment, the seasoning of the pan, the setting up of the appliance?
  3. Can I find the information easily elsewhere, either online or in other instructions I’ve kept?
  4. If I decide to keep these instructions, do I need them in other languages?
  5. If I decide to keep these instructions, where will I keep them?

The answer to Question 5 is generally, it depends.  It depends on why I’m keeping them and how often I need to refer to them.  Here are some examples…

  • My car manual lives in the glove box of my car.  It wouldn’t do much good in a filing cabinet or kitchen drawer.
  • My microwave rice cooker manual was several pages long, in several languages and included washing instructions which I don’t need.  But I do need and use the quantities guide and cooking instructions every time I use it.  So I tore out the one page I need, laminated it and it lives inside the rice cooker, ready for action.  Or I could have pasted it into my display folder recipe collection.
  • Special garment washing instructions live in a special spot in the laundry until no longer required.
  • Other manuals which I keep for now include the oven and dishwasher, the heater and airconditioner.  They are rarely required but don’t take much space in my big house, and live in a drawer in my kitchen.  (I’ll let you know if that changes when I move to a smaller place.)

What instructions do you keep?  And how and where do you keep them?

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