Saturday, March 20, 2010

Organizing Instruction Manuals

Well, let me start off by saying that the weather is just SO, so, so, so, SOOOOO nice! I just don't want to do anything inside. My house is seriously dirty. Not just messy, but I haven't cleaned the floors, vacuumed cat hair off the couch or touched any kind of cleaning spray bottle in a few days now. Quite honestly, it's a miracle I got anything crossed off my list!

Last night I started working on organizing all the instruction and owners manuals we have around the house. I had a stash of all the manuals that came with all the baby stuff (crib, swing, pack n' play, high chair, etc.), a stash of all the small appliance and electronics manuals and a pile of all of the manuals that came with our house when we bought it (HVAC, water heater, appliances, etc.). I picked this project last night because I thought that I had everything I needed. I had one big binder, a package of clear page protectors and some sticky tabs to label everything. Well, I quickly realized that I definitely did not have enough page protectors. So, I went to the store at 9:30 at night and got another package. Once I got home and started putting everything in the binder, I realized that there was NO WAY I was fitting everything in one binder! In fact, it took FOUR! I had to go pick up the other three today at Walmart.

So, here is what I did. I divided everything into four categories: Infant & Toddler Gear, Electronics & Small Appliances, Power Tools, Home Appliances & Major Systems (meaning the central heat and air and the water heater, etc.) Then I put each owners or instruction manual in it's own page protector and put a sticky tab label on it so that I can quickly find what I need and not have to search through an entire binder. It worked out great! I also made cover pages for each binder (because I'm nerdy like that) and then made some labels for the bindings. I put them all up in the cabinet over the fridge (which was not being used for anything other than to store the gazillion ice cube trays that I used for freezing Andy's baby food) and I'm all done!
Super easy! And (relatively) inexpensive. So, even though my house is a disaster, at least I got something done today. Now we are going to make popcorn and have movie night, and the cleaning will just have to wait until tomorrow! Oh darn!

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