An Owner’s Manual is something consumers feel they must keep. And for many reasons. They help us put an item together, troubleshoot and provide phone numbers to call the manufacturer. But do we need to keep the owner’s manual?
Why do people keep an Owner’s Manual?
Afraid it will void the warranty if you throw it away?
Just in case you want to take it apart again?
You are organized and have an elaborate filing system?
First, you will not void a warranty if you throw away the manual. Trust me, there is no association between the two.
Second, if you need a phone number, do an internet search for the company’s Customer Service number. At times, telephone numbers often change between the time you buy the item and when you need to call. The company’s website might also have a Customer Service email address, Frequently Asked Questions or an “online chat” to help.
Lastly, I’ve seen people who develop storage solutions to save their manuals in one place. They corral all of their manuals, put them into sheet protectors and stuff them into binders. Or, they dump the manuals into a two-gallon Ziploc bag.
To me, the excess paper is unnecessary!
What are my options to a paper Owner’s Manual?
A physical Owner’s Manual is not your only option to find instructions on your product. Unless your item is very old, most manuals are easily found on the internet. Do a Google search for your manual using a simple query:
Manufacture Name + Model Number + Owner’s Manual
This query can take you to the manufacturer’s website where you can access and download the Owner’s Manual.
One bonus of searching online is if the manufacturer has recalled your item, that information will typically appear. You won’t find product recall information your paper Owner’s Manual!
You can also find manuals on websites dedicated to Owner’s Manuals. One I use frequently is ManualsLib, “the ultimate manuals library”. ManualsLib has over two-million manuals on their website.
Owner’s Manual Storage Options
I want the information but not the paper. So, what do I do?
When I buy an item, I download the manual to my hard drive and toss the paper. It is easier for me to access a file on my computer than to dig around the house for the manual. Downloading a manual allows me to save the information but rid myself of clutter.
Interestingly, the days of an Owner’s Manual may be waning. Some electronics, like the iPhone no longer include manuals with their device. If you require the product information, you go to the Apple website.
In conclusion, when you find an Owner’s Manual in your home, first determine if you still own the item. If you do, find out if the manual is available online. When it is, download it to your new “Manuals” folder and toss the paper. If you need assistance, please Contact Clear The Clutter Ohio to help.