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Once upon a time I bought myself a label maker. Here I was thinking it would help with organization a bit, you know, like using it to label files and things like that. Oh no. It’s literally the greatest discovery of my (otherwise boring, apparently) adult life. So let me pass all the wisdom of how to organize with a label maker on to you.
How to Organize with a Label Maker
First of all, go get yourself a good quality label maker. There’s a lot of options out there, but something simple and popular like the Brother brand label makers are a good choice. Once you’ve figured out how to use it and satisfied your need to label silly things like the cat and your coffee mug, it’s time to get started organizing with your label maker.
Organizing with a label maker is a lot more than just labeling things, though. With a bit of creativity you can use your label maker all over the house!
See also: Re work your kid’s arts and crafts supplies to stay on top of the clutter. Check out our article on organizing kid’s craft supplies for more info if you’re in a cleaning spree!
In the kitchen
Get your kitchen neat and tidy once and for all with the help of a label maker. Organized kitchens and pantries are easier to cook with and for your family to stop asking you where everything is all the time.
Organize your spices with a label maker
This is probably the most obvious, but also one of the most useful ways to organize with a label maker. Head to the store (the dollar store probably will even have them) and get enough matching jars for all your spices. Then use the label maker to label the jars so you always know what’s inside.
Another trick is if you have the spices in a drawer (even if you leave them in their original containers) is to label the lids. That way you can see what’s what without having to pull them out and look at the side.
Label the shelves
If you (or your family, let’s be real here) have a hard time putting things back where they belong labeling the shelves can really help. First, organize your pantry. Then print labels out like “cereal” and “canned goods” and fix them to the shelves under where those items belong. When they’re removed it will be easy to see where they should be returned.
You can also use this technique in the fridge the same way. Use your label maker to make a spot for regular items, like the milk, so your family can find it easily. Or “go crazy” and label the inside of your utensil drawer so everything always gets put back in its place.
Switch out boxes for clear containers
Instead of having a bunch of different sized boxes in the pantry, get a uniform or space efficient set (whatever fits your space) that you can clearly see what’s inside. Then whip out that label maker and go to town! If you don’t think they need labelling, you can also use it to including cooking directions (for example, pancake mix ratios) or nutrition information that would be lost with the packaging.
Use it for food labelling
If you like to shop or cook in bulk this is super handy when popping portions in the freezer. Use the label maker to clearly indicate what’s inside the package, but also the date it was frozen so there’s no guessing. It’s also handy to use a label maker to date food leftovers in the fridge (or claim them, if you family is like mine.)
Organizing with a label maker in the office
Beside the kitchen, offices are the next best place to use that label maker. Get things organized (finally) and stop spending hours searching for something that should be easy to find.
Replace handwritten labels
Look around your office and find everything with a handwritten label. Most commonly this is going to be on your files, but also think things like photo boxes, burned CDs, binders, and storage bins. Having printed labels makes everything look neater and making sure they’re accurate means things will be easier to find.
Label USB drives
A lot of people have a tonne of USB drives laying around… And no idea what’s on each of them. Use a small font to label them with the dates or a general idea of what’s on there. Think like “Summer vacation photos 2019” or “Files Q1, 2020”.
Make tag labels
These are super useful when it comes to cords. Create a long label with the writing doubled up and a space in between. Then fold it together around the cord and you have a “tag” style label that will tell you exactly what it’s for.
Organizing with a label maker around the house
Although kitchens and offices are usually the biggest problem areas when it comes to home organization, there’s plenty of ways to use your label maker all over the place.
Organize kids toys
If your label maker does pictures it will help, but either way labelling the kids’ toys can be a real organizational help. If you keep things in bins, label the outside of the container for easy finding and clean up. Or label the shelves with where things should be put back so clean up is easier.
Label the linen closet shelves with a label maker
This is another spot that can get a bit confusing. If you print out labels and affix them to the shelves in front of where different linens are stored it might just save you guessing whether or not you’re grabbing a bedsheet or a tablecloth.
Teach the kids to read (or learn a new language)
This is one of my favourite “unusual” ways to use a label maker. Print out labels for everyday objects and hang them next to those things. When kids are learning to read, this can really help them learn sight words. It’s also a great technique for improving your foreign language vocabulary. As you get better, change the labels to more complicated words.
If you have kids this is especially handy. Give everyone a designated spot for their toothbrush (I personally use a utensil tray in the drawer) and label the space where everyone’s toothbrush sits. You can also label the toothbrush itself, but you’ll have to remember to do it each time you replace the toothbrush.
Honestly, wants you get going you won’t be wondering how to organize with a label maker anymore… You’ll be trying to stop your labelling addiction! Joking aside, though, having a label maker and a well organized, labelled home is totally worth it.