Today I thought I might bore you all with howÂ to digitise your user manuals rather than allow them to take up space in your home. Feel free to disagree about the sense of digitising if you like, I have no problem with how you choose to use the space in your home. I live in a two bedroom apartment so space is at a premium and not to be wasted.Â
There are so many manuals available online in PDF form that you can download to your computer. Today, as an example, I googled for the PDF of my Brother P-Touch PT65 label maker. It must be at least 12 years old. I found the PDF in one try, downloaded and saved it to my computer and decluttered the paper copy.
A PDF filed logically on your computer is so much easier to access than digging around among twenty other manuals in a file box. In my case that box is in the bottom of my linen closet. I created a subfolder in my Documents folder call “Household User Manuals” and that is where I am now saving any user manuals I can find PDF’s for online.
Below areÂ some instructions I put together for those who don’t know how to go about finding and saving the PDFs they will need.
- Find outÂ the make, name and model number for your gadget/appliance. It may be printed on the paper manual or you may have to check the information plate on the item itself.
- Go to your computer, find the Documents file and create a new folder in this file and name it Household User Manuals (or whatever name suits you).
- Close out of Documents and open your internet browser.
- Use the search engine thereÂ (I use google) and the details you have collected on the item, to find the user manual you require.
- Hit the download button provided at the website to download the document.
- Once fully downloaded (there is usually a timer in the bottom righthand corner of the screen) wave your curser over the bottom lefthand corner of the document/screen. A row of symbols should appear prompting you with the usual options (print, enlarge, reduce, save…). Simply hit the save option.
- A box will drop down from the top of the screen prompting you to give the file/document a name. Type in your chosen file/document name that will identify the appliance the manual is for. (eg, in my case Brother P-Touch labeller PT65)
- This box should also show what folder the document is to be filed in. It may open to a default of the last folder you saved something in, and not the one you need this time. Make sure you choose the folder you created in step 2. (Household User Manuals (or whatever name suits you). Then hit save.
- Job done and you can start on the next manual.
YouÂ could likely haveÂ manuals for appliances/gadgets you still own and use that a really old – like my forty year old Elna sewing machine. You may have no choice but to keepÂ original user manual such as these, Â as a PDF may never have been created of it. An occasion could ariseÂ where youÂ need this manualÂ to get the instructions to use a function that you as yet aren’t familiar with.
However by chance I happened to google this manual and, lo and behold, a PDF has in fact been created for it. Downloading that is next on my to-do list.
If you can’t get your head around going digital I have another suggestion to reduce the paper clutter in this area. Get out the manuals and remove and recycle all the extra pages transcribed in foreign languages. You most certainly won’t be needing those. There may also be installation instruction for the appliance. Chances are you will never again need those either.
I must point out two things at this point.
- I use a laptop or notebook computer, so it is easily moved to the appliance I might need to access the PDF manuals for. If you only have a desk top computer (no laptop or tablet) it willÂ be moreÂ inconvenient for you.
- It may also be prudent to back upÂ these files to an external drive or a cloud for extra security in the case of a computer crash. This is only necessary if you are insecure about the possibility of the PDFs becoming unavailable online once they get a little old. I’d say there is little chance of that, given that I can access that manual for my 40 year old sewing machine.
Today’s Mini Mission
Digitise receipts for things you either need for insurance or warranty purposes. Chances are you will also never need them in either in digital or original form. Check with your insurance company if it makes you feel better about decluttering them.
â€œIf we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think weâ€™d beÂ happy withÂ more?â€ â€” Unknown
Eco Tip for the Day
Add a few one pot meal to your weekly menu. Cooking everything at once saves on electricity and your precious time. I often also cook the meat portion of my meals separately but cook all my vegetable together one way or another. A slow cooker or a set of steamer saucepans come in handy for this method of cooking.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when Iâ€™m slow