Sunday, December 2, 2007

Be Your Own Professional Organizer, Part 3: Label

moving boxes with labels, and cats

We all know to label our file folders - and we all know we better label our moving boxes. But many of us don't think about labeling other containers so that all family members remember what goes where.

Here are some suggestions for effective labeling.

purple plastic tabs for hanging file folder labels

1. Make sure the labels are easy to read. Make the lettering big enough. Don't use those colored plastic tabs if they interfere with legibility. I originally scoffed at them, but label makers do indeed make nice labels that are easy to read.

stuffed animal tag on toy bin

2. For small children, consider labeling with pictures, as Laura did.

3. If you have a housekeeper or other helpers who speak another language, consider adding labels in that language - or again, use pictures. Your household helpers would like to put things back in the right place; make it easy for them.

4. You can have labels and still have a nice-looking room. We all know about the basic labels you can buy at any office supply store. Library supply companies such as Brodart also provide a number of good options. Here are a few more to get you thinking.

aluminim tag holder; label says special projects 1999-2001

This aluminum tag holder comes from Doug Mockett. You can also get label holders in brass.

four bins with puzzle labels

Label It Now sells label pouches and inserts; you can use them to label freezer containers, toy bins, holiday decoration storage bins, etc. Organizer John Trosko shows how nice these can look on storage cabinets. Update on July 6: Label It Now seems to have disappeared, but you can get a similar product from Stash Mob, formerly known as NackIt.

scrpabook label holders, two different styles

The scrapbooking company Making Memories sells a number of label holders that can be used on album covers or spines. Update on May 25, 2011: I'm no longer seeing these on the Making Memories web site, but — at least for now — I found some available through

chalkboard bin

A chalkboard bin makes labeling easy! Update on May 25, 2012: This bin came from Target, but I'm no longer finding it there. However, you can find chalkboard bins from Great Useful Stuff and Outblush.

wooden stick on letters

These wooden stick-on letters come in a set of 43. Update on May 25, 2012: These came from Cox & Cox, and I'm no longer finding them there.

Related Posts:
Part 1: Decide What to Keep
Part 2: Containerize

[lead photo from Matt Brett]

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