Like color-coding, filing, and categorizing, labeling is one of those things that come to mind when you think of “organizing.”
In my opinion, labeling is definitely one of THE most important things to do when organizing a space because it designates the bin, basket, divider, section, area, or shelf for that specific purpose and nothing else. When you are looking for something? You know where to find it because that is where it lives. When you need to put something back? You know where to put it back because that’s where it goes home.
I know that might sound cheesy but it’s true – labeling is like giving an item its own address!
- saves time
- kicks frustration to the curb
- makes cleaning-up less annoying
- tells everyone else in your family where to find/put things away, so all you have to say is “look for the label.” (The less things I have to say in my “mom voice” throughout the day – the better.)
In short, labeling is one of those things that just makes life easier. I encourage you to try it in a small space of your home to start!
Here are some of my favorite types of labels and when to use them::
Craft Tag :: I typically use these to wrap up NEAT gifts and certificate envelopes, using my stamp or embosser to put the NEAT logo on it. However, I love using these in very rustic spaces or in very bright spaces where a chalkboard label would be too heavy. I get them in packs at Michael’s – it’s the best deal I’ve found and they are really smooth to write on with any pen.
Chalkboard Tag or Label :: When do I NOT use these? The main reason because they make the label re-usable by using a wet-erase chalk marker on it. That way, when you change the contents which totally happens as the use of the space or the people using the space changes, you can adjust the label.
Rectangle Chalkboard Label :: These give clean lines and are excellent in garages and storage. I also will use these when I need to cut specific sizes and also when making custom spice labels. If you want to make anything permanent on these labels, a white permanent paint pen does the trick. I like to use these (click here.)
Colored Tags :: Playrooms, nurseries, and kids rooms!
Chalk or Paint Marker On Glass or Acrylic :: When you have an ingredient like rice or a grain or a pancake mix, binning the ingredient into a food storage container keeps it fresher, longer. But what happens to the package instructions? Especially when you have an absorption ratio and time that you need to know to cook it? Easy – scribble it onto the back of the container with chalk marker. You can also cut the instructions from the back of the box or bag which is what I used to do, but now this method of just writing it on the back with a wet-erase marker does the trick. If it’s something you use all the time (my staples? Quinoa, Kodiak protein pancake mix, short grain white rice, and steel cut oats) then go ahead and write it in maybe even permanent marker.
Good Old Label Maker :: The only times I really use a label maker is 1) in an office space for file labels or on document boxes and 2) in the inside rim of a drawer. I do not think these are necessarily pretty; they are functional. And that’s sometimes all you need.