Spring Cleaning: Model and Serial Numbers

Recently a client contacted me, asking how to clear the “calls” list in her land-line telephone. Since the method to do so varies from model to model, I had to ask her to send me the model number for her phone. Once I had that info, I could easily look up the manual for the phone online, and tell the client the specific steps to accomplish what she needed.

She had to get back to me, after looking over her phone to find the model number. Some phones display their model numbers prominently; many others are a little more subtle, hiding model and serial numbers on the underside.

This got me thinking about the electronics and gadgets in my own home. What would happen if I needed to look up the manual for one of my devices? What if I were on the phone with tech support (yes, sometimes I have to call somebody, myself) and they ask me for the serial number?

I then spent a weekend going through my home and writing down the model and serial numbers on all my electronic devices. These numbers are usually found on the underside, or on the back, or sometimes, inside the battery panel.

In some cases, these devices even had their build dates written on them. That bit of info is useful, because once you know the build date of a given device, you can make an informed decision whether it is worth investing the time and money into repair, or whether outright replacement makes more sense.

After cataloging each and every device’s model and serial number, I had 111 devices accounted for, from my televisions to my toothbrush. Now, a full list of all your electronics may not stack up quite that high, but no matter how many (or few) you own, it’s a very good idea to make this list.

Consider such an undertaking part of your annual “Spring Cleaning” ritual.

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