Friday, February 5, 2016

Is It Still Under Warranty?

A few months ago I blogged about manuals & warranties and how to keep them organized with this post.  After I wrote it, I put together my own manual and upon completion, took it one step further, based on a great tip that I learned from a client, which I'll share later in this post.

If you've been putting this organizational task off, but would still like to do it.  You can follow along here, step by step.

First, gather up all of your manuals & warranties, along with a 1 1/2 inch binder and lots of clear plastic sleeves.  If you have more manuals then can fit in one binder, you can certainly use 2 or 3.


As you can see, most of mine were in folders, filed away in the filing cabinet.   The idea as that if something goes wrong, one can easily locate the binder and all of the information you (or the repair person) needs is at your fingertips.  

By compiling them in a binder, makes the manual easy to find if you decide to sell the machine and if you ever sell your home, the buyers will love you!

Manuals you'll want to include are: Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave, Garbage Disposal, Washer, Dryer, Water Heater, Water Softener, Freezer, Humidifier, Air Conditioner, Thermostat, Fans & Lighting, I even included the Compost Bin!


The cover doesn't have to be anything fancy, and be sure to label the spine.  You'll see why at the end of this post.  If you use a binder with a clear sleeve, you can simply type up an index and slip it in.  


Then it's a matter of simply slipping each manual & warranty into a sleeve.  I placed mine alphabetically, but if you're using more than one binder, you may want to place them by category such as one binder for the kitchen, one for the basement, etc.


After that step is complete, it's a good idea to make tabs so it's easier to locate each manual.  You could use something like this.  Or if you're like me, use what you have.


I used a very thin sharpie to write the name of each machine on the tab.


After it was completed, we purchased a new humidifier, so I just wrote it in on the cover and added it to the book.  No need for perfection here.

Then I decided to take things a step further...

One of my clients told me that now that she's organized her warranties, she logs the expiration dates into her online calendar.  Then as that date approaches, she evaluates how the machine is working to decide whether to contact the company or not about a repair or replacement.  

Brilliant!

At our house we're always kicking ourselves that the warranty has already expired - usually within a few months of us taking action on a glitch or a break.  Always too late.

So, I used this template and logged in all of the information for each machine. But, it didn't take very long as all of the warranties require a receipt!  

Of course our receipts for most of these purchases are long gone or the warranties had long expired. 

Here's to long living machines and a new practice of filing the receipt with the manual & warranty from now on.

I did find the receipt to the water heater though....25 years old.  Not good.

When I went to put the binder back in the filing cabinet...uh oh, forgot to measure.



So I tried it this way.

That just takes up SO much room for potential files!



 In the end it went here, next to our books on home remodeling in our "library".  I've easily located it 2 or 3 times since it was placed.  Place yours where it makes the most sense.  Like with like.

Color coding books makes for a restful space.
It's easy to create a separate calendar just for appliances in your online calendar program. Remember the final step of logging in your warranty expiration dates!

What is the oldest appliance in your home?  

Would replacing it save you time or money?











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