How to Organize Home Manuals

How to Organize Home Manuals

Happy 2014! I hope you are still enjoying a wonderful holiday season and are excited to see what we have in store for you here at Pretty Handy Girl. It is going to be an amazing year! Since you might be recovering from the fun last night at a festive celebration, I’m going to make today’s project very easy for you. Easy but productive.

A new year always makes us want to be more organized and this project will start you off on the right foot in that department.  Today you are going to organize all those manuals you have floating around the house. You know the ones you can never find when you need to? But have been meaning to organize? Check that item off the To-Do list, here is how to!

There are a few options for getting home paperwork in order, but I’m a binder kind of girl. I tend to organize all of my must-find items in binders, that way I can move them around from room to room if I need to, and I can re-organize the items inside, plus binders can hide a great mess but look so pretty doing so.


  • All those pesky, unusually-sized, random manuals, warranties, instructions and information for things around your home
  • A binder {or two if you have a lot of manuals}
  • Dividers with a label option – Can be cut up file folders, purchased dividers or card stock paper
  • Clear plastic sheet protectors
  • Hole punch {optional}

Organize Your Home Manuals


1. I know you are excited to get started with the binder part, but first we have some hunting to do. Around the house, to gather all those manuals that is. Collect them all in one room and sort them however you think makes sense to you. Usually that can be Appliances, Electronics, Insurance, Outdoor Equipments, Tools, etc. Ask yourself when you want to look for something, what will you think of to look for it?

Now you may come across more organizing you have to do, but don’t get distracted! Keep your eye out for manuals and take a bag or box to hold them. Try the car, garage, basement, kitchen drawers.

2. Once you have everything you think you’ll include in the binder, now is the time to do some prep. There are various ways to separate the manuals, I used purchased dividers with tabs to insert labels into. You can pick these up at an office supply store.

Binder Tap Dividers

They also have the kind you can write on, which is super fast and easy for those without a printer. I used these for grad school organizing and such too. You’ll probably want a few packs.

Write On Label Dividers

3. Since you have sorted your manuals into piles, now is the time to make a list of all the “categories” you’ll use. Here are the ones I included in my binder, again, just as an example, this is how my mind thinks around organizing my manuals. You can use any titles to the categories you want.

  • Appliances – Office, Outdoors, Kitchen, House, Basement were all separate categories
  • Bedroom – Master, Guest, etc
  • Furnace
  • Furniture
  • Garden & Outside
  • House Hunting and Moving
  • House Reports {we had reports from the previous owner on lead and the like}
  • House Utilities – Water, gas, electric, internet, phone, etc. can all be separate categories
  • House Insurance
  • Lighting
  • Paint
  • Recreation {hot tub anyone?}
  • Security System
  • TV and Cable
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Water Tank

Things like washer, dryer, furnace and hot water tank could all go in a basement category. Do whatever works for you.

Home Binder Labels

4. Once you’ve labeled your dividers, now you can start putting the manuals in the binder.

For most of mine, they fit into the plastic sheet protectors. Carefully put them in and then into your binder.

Organizing a Home Binder

For other manuals or materials, I used a 3-hole punch. Many of the information you have is probably 8 1/2 x 11 sized and will fit nicely into the binder. Like all that Ikea furniture. Am I right?

Organizing a Home Binder

Soon enough you’re going to see all of your random manuals and paper finding a nicely organized home in the binder, all clearly divided and labeled. I ended up with two large piles, and put the info into two binders.

Home Manual Binder

Then you can neatly store your binders anywhere that works for you. In your office, maybe in the kitchen, or on the bookshelves? And you can consider yourself officially organized today! Congrats on this project, see I told you it would be easy.

We store our binders in my office. I pulled out one the other day to read the instructions on how to self-clean the oven {love that!}.

Home Organization Binder

Now, tell me, do you have organization goals this year?

Think you can handle a little home manual sorting today?

I hope you see you at my blog, Decor Adventures soon. Happy 2014!

Jessica at Decor Adventures Blog

~Learn more about Jessica~

19 replies
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  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I find that a number of appliances come with spare parts (nozzles, knobs, screws, etc.) so I have always stored them in big gallon baggies with the extra parts, and the baggies in a nice looking lidded box (a basket or drawer would work, too). I have to dig through about 20 baggies to find the one I need, but I rarely have to look at these to be honest, so that only happens about once every 3 or 4 years. The spare parts are there, though, which is helpful.

  2. Amy Caplan
    Amy Caplan says:

    Hi. Lots of these manuals include extra parts (gaskets,washers, screws,connectors, cords, etc). Those pieces will tear page protectors. How can we deal with manuals plus extra parts?

    • LilaMarie
      LilaMarie says:

      I still put those parts in the binder inside sheet protectors and it made it bulkier but it is so much easier to find what you need so I am going to need a total of two binders. Maybe a nice box will work for those that came with bulky stuff but I would still organize them (put tools with that particular manual in a clear plastic bag or a sheet protector — who says only a sheet can go in there? lol).


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