Ever spend time organizing a space only to have it undone in a week? This is a common problem, especially in a space where there are multiple users. The best way to make yourself and others put things back in the right space is… LABELING! Putting a label on a space provides a strong visual reminder of what should (and should not) be put there.
How do I make and attach labels? There are a variety of options, each of which lends itself to a particular situation.
Ways to Create Labels
Grab a sharpie or paint pen and simply write directly onto a storage container.
Use a label maker. This makes for clear, easy-to-read labels that look professional.
Buy blank labels to write/print on. You can get sheets of labels in a variety of shapes and patterns at a store like Staples.
Download printables. Many sights offer printable labels for every need. Check out a sight like Pinterest for ideas.
Use pre-made labels, such as luggage tags.
Design your own. If you are creative, you might enjoy drawing your own labels or designing them on your computer. Use your imagination and explore different materials, such as fun foam, burlap, linen, etc. For young children, consider using images in addition to words.
How to Attach Labels
For flat, non-porous surfaces, adhesive work best. Labels which have built-in adhesive (e.g. those from a label maker) are simply “peel and stick.” Labels that have been printed on regular paper can be attached by covering with wide, clear packing tape.
For fabric, sew labels on or attach them with iron-on fuse tape. Labels can also be stamped onto fabric with indelible ink.
When labeling a rough surface (e.g. a basket), tie labels on with a ribbon, string, or key ring.
[Note: Consider gluing labels onto cardstock or laminating them if they will be dangling.]
When available, slip a label into a bracket, such as you find on a file box or hanging file folder.
Ideal Places to Use Labels
The sky (or your family’s/coworkers’ tolerance) is the limit on what you can label, but here are a few common areas:
Shelves in a pantry, fridge or closet
Bins/boxes in a basement, attic or storage area
Insider a drawer (e.g. underneath a clear sorter in a desk drawer)
On the front edge of drawers
On sporting equipment (dance bag, golf clubs, etc.)
Baskets (e.g. in a mudroom)
Cords for cameras, phones, chargers, etc.
* * * * *
Labels communicate what goes where. If you have a “problem area”, why not try using labels and let me know if it helped.
What areas have you found helpful to label?