Warranties go into one folder, and manuals go into a magazine box.
Staple the receipt to the warranty. Throw away the warranty if it’s expired. A lot of nice things have lifetime warranties.
Simple enough, right?
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t read the manual, then, recycle the manual.
If you read your manual, then keep it.
Personally, Here’s What I Do
I read my manuals, especially for the more complex products. Also, some products really require you to sit down and read the manual, and dedicate an hour or two to learning the product. (Yeah, I buy computer stuff.) Unfortunately, they don’t include printed manuals for these products anymore. You need to download them.
So, I download the PDF, and then put it into the computer, in a folder I keep for manuals.
If I only have paper manuals, I photograph it, and put it into the folder.
I’m totally serious.
If there’s a little wiring diagram in there, keep that sucker. You’re not going to remember or figure that stuff out in the future.
More more complex issues, like repairing the car, or repairing a machine, I use one of the video downloaders, and download videos and save them.
If it’s a really complex issue, I sometimes blog about it. I’m serious. I write little instruction manuals for myself, so I can re-do any configurations or changes I’ve made to the product. I put them online so people can benefit from what I did.
I can’t remember every little step I took to set up some computer thing. Some of these things require dozens of steps, and take a lot of time.
If you’re the kind of person who sells the item once you’re done with it, you don’t need my advice. Keep the manual in the box, and then sell it with the box, and celebrate the money.