Clutter Cutters & The Paper Academy

How to set up a System for your Warranties and Instruction Manuals!

Anytime we buy a new product, we receive a warranty and instruction manual. We usually use this to set up the product/item, and then frequently, we do not need the instructions or warranty information again. I don’t know about you, but I find that these papers can really stack up. However, we need to keep them to prove when we bought it, in case the item breaks, needs a replacement part, or if it does not work as intended.  

So I devised an easy system to keep all the warranty and instruction manuals paper copies contained and easy to find – I use an A-Z Pendaflex filing system. I staple the purchase receipt to the front inside cover of the instruction and warranty manual. That way, the receipt is safe from getting accidentally torn off and lost, and I know exactly when the item was purchased, and what store I got it from.

I then file the warranty and instruction manual by the manufacturer’s name – and here is why. Say you have a cordless telephone. There are many names that somebody might file under…“cordless phone”, “telephone”, “phone”…which leaves you searching under three different tabs looking for the warranty. If you file it under the manufacturer’s name (which by the way, they are proud to print and market on almost any item) you always know what tab to look under.

Having this system set up allows you to quickly and easily find what you need when an item breaks, or you experience a power outage and everything gets wiped and you have to set it up again. You don’t get into this paperwork frequently, but when you do need it, and you can find it, it can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.

True story: Several years ago now my husband and I repainted our house. We loved the color and how it looked freshly painted, however after 2 years we went to touch up an area, and wow, the difference in color was significant! I called the company and told them what was happening.  

Because I was able to provide my receipts that were stored in my Pendaflex folder, I was able to file a claim and get all the paint, tape, plastic, and additional supplies paid for. Everything we needed to repaint the house, garage, and outbuildings, totalling over $1600, we got for free. However, this story could have had a very different outcome if I did not have a system in place for the receipts, warranties, and instruction manuals.  

One final note – when you are setting up the system, make sure that you go through and edit out all the papers for the stuff you no longer have. Clearing out those old warranties and instruction manuals makes things clean and manageable. When you are finished, you will have a beautiful system that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it, and easy to add additional warranties and instruction manuals to.

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Terina Bainter

I started my professional organizing business, Clutter Cutters, in 2012 to help others reach their potential by decluttering and organizing their homes. Having someone support you and teach you how to break each decluttering task into a step-by-step process makes any overwhelming project doable. Helping my clients create and maintain streamlined systems of organization is so rewarding! 

Through my work as a professional organizer, I have learned that the number one thing that clutters people’s homes and stresses them out is paper! That is why I founded The Paper Academy, to help my clients learn how to sort their mail, process their important papers, and create filing systems that keeps them on top of their paperwork. 

Ultimately, my goal is to help you improve your life and save you money by reducing the anxiety, time, and expense that your cluttered environment causes. Learning the skills to manage your items and your paperwork is the perfect place to begin your organizing journey!

Everyone deserves to feel empowered in their home and confident with their paperwork – including YOU!