A few weeks ago, I reduced the amount of stuff I keep on my desktop. I relocated a number of binders that I wasn’t using often. I assigned them a home in an empty drawer across the room. Today I needed one of those binders. Hmm... where did I put them? I know what you’re thinking, “See, that’s why I don’t organize, because then I can’t find anything!”
I knew I had given them a home in my office, but what slowed my search was having to open a few containers that weren’t labeled to see if my binders were inside. Perhaps I thought I’d remember what was in them, or had been too lazy to get my label maker out. Regardless, it was now taking extra time. Soon after, I discovered the binders in the drawer. My next step was to label my nameless bins.
If you like the idea of spending less time looking for things and more time doing what you love, consider making it one step easier to find what you need. Pick up a label maker on your next trip to Costco, Target, or shop Amazon.com. Even a roll of masking tape and a marker will be better than nothing. Check out Timely Tips for some great labeling ideas that will simplify life.
TIMELY TIPS - You name it! The time you invest up front will be multiplied back to you when (at a glance) you can find what you're looking for!
1. Kitchen - Label the front edge of the shelves inside the cabinets with what goes there-- dinner plates, glasses, mugs, etc. Then everyone who's emptying the dishwasher will know where to put and find them. In the pantry label open-topped bins for snack foods, pasta, beans, seasoning packets, tea, etc.
2. Closet - Containerize and label stacking bins for batteries, candles, sewing supplies, lights bulbs, craft supplies, photos, keepsakes, party supplies, and whatever else you need and use.
3. Kids' Rooms -Label the front or top edge of drawers (pants, shorts, shirts), so kids can keep their own clothes organized. Containerize and label bins for toys like cars, balls, ponies, Legos, action figures, etc. If kids aren't reading yet, print a picture of what's inside to post alongside the label. It's a great way to teach them sight words.
4. Bathroom - Label edge of shelves for items like bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, TP, etc. Use labeled open-topped containers for daily use items and stackable containers labeled for back-up supplies.
5. Office - Label the spines of binders on your bookcase so you don't have to remove them from the shelf to remember what's in them. Likewise label music, picture, and video disks so you don't have to pop them into a device to figure out what they are. Give your file folders clean and readable labels. Containerize similar office supplies together and label the bins.
Labeling is not just for kids. It ensures that things get put back where they belong, making cleanup a quick, painless, and mindless activity. - Julie Morgenstern