While going through the items in our office closet, I stumbled upon our instruction manuals…which were beginning to overflow their current container (and were making it just too difficult to quickly find what I was looking for).
I knew I had to do something about this, as this was not cutting it to meet my organizational requirements. One problem with this system, was that it was too easy to throw manuals on top of the box whenever we got something new. It would sit there for a couple of weeks (at least!) until there were enough to file them together. I was not a fan of this. I wanted to come up with a system to store all of these manuals, that would make them easily accessible, and quick to find when needed. I thought about scanning all of the manuals into my computer and storing them digitally, but wasn’t sure that was worth the effort. I also thought about downloading all the manuals online and storing them on my computer, but, if we were ever to sell some of these items, I liked the idea of having the paper manual to go with it.
In order to really organize these, I created four categories: (1) Baby/Child (2) Indoor Home (3) Outdoor Home and (4) Electronics. As I was sorting through everything I found plenty of manuals for items we no longer had. I tossed what we didn’t need anymore and found a much more reasonable stack of manuals remained.
I used 3″ binders to organize everything. I found binders at Costco that I loved – they were big enough to hold everything in each category, they were white (neat looking), and they fit perfectly on the shelves on our desk. I should mention that they were also really reasonably priced — I had no idea how expensive larger binders were!
Within each category, I created sub-categories to further organize each item. For example, in the Baby/Child book, some of the categories I created were Swing, Feeding, Toys, and Baby Carriers. I used sheet protectors for each category and put all the manuals into a sheet protector for each. I had to use two or three for the bigger manuals, such as televisions. To separate each of the sub-categories, I used extra-wide dividers (regular dividers didn’t extend past the sheet protectors, making them somewhat useless if I wanted to see what I was looking for).
The other item I found was this great dry-erase calendar. I had been on the hunt for one that had large enough date squares to fit everything. I use GoogleCalendar to organize my life, which works great when I’m not home, but I really liked the idea of having something to hang in the office that was visible to everyone in the family. I found this calendar at Hobby Lobby for $8 (I used a 40% off coupon). Using fine-tipped dry erase markers has really allowed for plenty of room on each date.
Where does this leave us on the office? We are almost done!
- Find a new desk with better storage (Done!)
- Craft organization (Done!)
- Instruction manual organization (Done!)
- Decor (i.e. create my own canvas photos)
- Obtain a calendar that can fit our busy schedules (Done!)
P.S. The canvas pictures are done! My next office post will show you how I made them and what they look like. I LOVE them!
Looking for more?