Manuals, Manuals and More Darn Manuals
With every gadget you buy, you get an instruction manual with it. If you have kids, those manuals seem to multiply like Gremlins because they come with Every. Little. Thing. (Whatever you do, keep the manuals away from water.)
When is the last time you looked at the manual — if you can even find it?
Most of your manuals can be recycled. That’s because the information is online. And, if you can’t find it online, you just make an appointment to talk to the 20-something who knows what she is doing.
A lot of folks whose spaces I have organized keep the manual with the item. While it seems like a good idea, manuals somehow grow legs and walk away. If I leave mine out, my kids use them as “workbooks” and write their names all over the pages.
For the few manuals you want to keep, such as stroller manuals for when you sell the stroller, I suggest you put them in one file in your filing cabinet. That includes extra parts and those pesky Allen wrench sets. (Why must they all use Allen wrenches?) I tape mine to the manual.
With manuals in a file, you can quickly find them. But, I advise you to go through them once a year and throw out manuals you have not looked at, as well as manuals for items you no longer have.
This brings me to one more thing: boxes. I come across so many Apple boxes and TV boxes when I go to people’s homes. You don’t need to keep boxes unless you are returning the items. But, you say, you are moving and want to use it to pack your electronic item. You are not going to pack your iPad or your laptop — at least I adivse you not to pack them. You need to take it in the car with you.
So recycle, recycle, recycle those boxes and manuals. Get rid of them and create space.
Leah Friedman is a mother of two and a professional organizer, who owns Raleigh Green Gables. She works with clients to help them clear the space to be in deeper relationships with themselves, their loves and their lives. And, yes, she lives what she preaches at home with a clean playroom, a clothes closet organized by color and an empty attic.