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So here’s the thing. I’m NOT a label freak. Definitely a freak in many other ways but labels not so much. I don’t walk around with my label maker glued to my hand, foaming at the mouth just waiting for the opportunity to label something. I promise you my kids do not have labels on their foreheads :)
I label when it is warranted. When it’s necessary for my sanity. In my book, Clutter Rehab, I talk about the importance of not striving for perfectly organized but just organized enough so as not to complicate life more than you need to. This will look differently for each of us, it’s about finding our own groove and knowing when enough is enough.
So how do you know when it’s a good idea to label something and not just your desire to do it because that’s what all the “organized girls” do?
Let’s start with an example. I don’t label where my food goes in the cupboard..in other words I don’t have a big label beneath my soup cans that says soup cans here. I’m the only one in my house that puts the groceries away after I purchase them (my choice…if I’ve got helpers they are to put everything on the counter for me) so it’s just me that needs to know this. Anyone else taking something out of the cupboard knows where they pulled it from and typically puts it back in the same place. If they don’t I just rearrange it myself…no big deal. Remember because I menu plan I only purchase what we need for the week so my pantry stock isn’t huge. Now having said all that, this situation may be a big deal in your house. Like is not with like in your cupboards (ie: boxes of crackers in every corner), no one can find what they are looking for and it’s downright annoying to you. In this case labels are warranted to knock your stress level down. Just do it, what are you waiting for? :)
Next, I think anytime you have a closed container that you can’t see into warrants a label. If you have to open it up every time to see the contents you will waste precious seconds of your life each and every time. Believe me, those seconds add up throughout the day! Save yourself this valuable time and smack a label on it. For other things in clear containers labeling might not be necessary. For instance, I use one of these clear plastic drawer units on wheels to store some miscellaneous stuff including my lightbulbs and batteries. You’ll notice it’s not labelled.
I can see what’s inside so I just can’t be bothered to do it. It’s good enough for me. However my good enough may look different from your good enough.
Now when it comes to kid’s toys though, I do think labels are necessary. It’s a visual aid to help them and if you want to get them on board with clean up you need to remember to do what you can to set them up for success. That usually means labels…picture labels are especially important for young ones.
Get your free printable toy labels here.
It’s all about paying attention to the things that annoy us and asking ourselves, could this problem be solved by putting a label on it? Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Label makers are fun I will admit but if you don’t have one don’t sweat it there are many other ways to label your stuff.
- masking tape and permanent marker
- mailing labels either written on by hand or printed off on the computer
- pretty scrapbook paper taped or attached with velcro
- simple key tags tied on
Some of you might remember I told you a couple of months ago about the annoying problem I had with my labels not sticking on my plastic bins?
I came up with such a great solution (if I do say so myself..lol) to solve this problem and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But I’m going to be mean and make you wait until next week. I think it deserves a post all on it’s own because of it’s awesomeness :) hahaha
In the meantime I can’t wait to see what organizing tasks you’ve been up to this past week.
Questions to Ponder:
- Are you a label freak or not so much?
- What did you organize last week (and yes every little bit counts!)? Did you run into any problems?
- How are you feeling about the progress you have made so far?
Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.
One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!