After you’ve built a desk or assembled a bookcase, you don’t need to save the instructions. The same goes for appliances (like a fan or toaster) that aren’t complicated to use.
Some Organizers suggest tossing all instruction manuals because you can get the information online. If that tip resonates with you, go for it.
I tend to keep the instruction manuals for more complex appliances (stove, washing machine) but I get rid of the parts of the book that repeat the directions in different languages. I only need one set of directions in one language and this can save inches of space in your file drawer.
You might not keep all instruction manuals in the same place. You should. Keep them with your house-oriented files or a handy drawer. When you find a manual and you still have the item, and you think it is a manual you’ll refer to, put it with your other manuals.
If you haven’t looked at a manual in a year or two, you probably won’t need it in the future.
Only if this doesn’t apply: Delete five emails you kept for reference, but you no longer need.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.