I’m a Pro Organizer and This Is My $15 “Absolutely Essential” Find for Moving

published Mar 17, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Prop Styling: Alex Brannian

Throughout my years as a professional organizer, I’ve come across new products or tools that seem like a good idea in theory. But I either don’t get around to trying them or, more likely, am too set in my old ways of doing things so I stick to what I know instead. However, sometimes it’s worth experimenting with something new because it just might work better. This is especially true when it comes to technology, and I recently learned that lesson firsthand.

As someone who moves frequently and has had off-site storage units for the past few years, I’ve always tried to manually keep track of my stuff. When life gets busy, though, the system that I’ve worked meticulously to put together can unravel in the blink of an eye. More often than not, it happens because I move stuff around in a hurry, don’t update the inventory list I keep via Google Sheets, and then all my bins become disorganized. At least until I find the time and energy to put everything back in its place, which — and I bet you can relate — rarely happens.

So when the company Argosy QR asked if I wanted to try their labels, I took them up on it. I’ve heard other pro organizers rave about smart labels, claiming they’re a must-have, especially for projects that involve moving. I’m the type who wants to understand how well a product works first before recommending it to anyone, so I figured now was the time to test it out for myself.

I admit that I was a little intimidated to use the labels at first. Well, that is, until the package arrived. It was so small that I somehow instinctively knew this would be a breeze. And I was right.

There are 40 sticky labels included — each containing a QR code and space to write a general description of the box or bin you stick it to. There is a free app (available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store) that you need to download to scan the codes and keep track of your stuff. Off the bat, I noticed that it’s incredibly simple to navigate and use. The task that took the longest was reorganizing my storage bins which were in disarray, thanks to a busy past few months.

Once I had everything sorted, I slapped the labels onto each of my 18-gallon Sterilite totes and got straight to scanning. The app allows you to note the label name (i.e., holiday decor), location (i.e., garage), the contents or inventory list, plus photos of what’s inside.

As usual, I was a little pressed for time so I skipped over listing out the contents of each tote and only took an overhead shot (and uploaded it to the app) before closing up their lids. It was still enough for me to feel like I had a good idea of what items were in what bin. 

Credit: Mary Cornetta

Going forward, anytime I want to grab an item out of a bin and am not sure which one it’s in, I can simply scan the QR code on a label within the app and get confirmation (and have said item in my hands) within seconds. This is especially helpful because my Sterilite totes are opaque, but even if had clear ones it takes all the guesswork out of figuring out their contents. When I embarked on a long-distance move a couple of years ago, I really could have benefitted from sticking these on my mish-mosh of boxes in the truck.

Seriously, I’m kicking myself for not trying a product like this earlier. Being that these are the only smart labels that I’ve used, I can’t speak to the quality of other brands. But I can confidently tell you that the Argosy app is straightforward and the leftover labels take up minimal storage space in my office supply drawer. I no longer dread heading to my storage unit to find what I need. The only thing that is required of me after scanning the label and uploading the info is to update it as needed. 

If you’re looking to get your storage spaces in order without spending a ton on fancy new products, a set of smart labels might be your best bet. And if you want to stay organized during a move (I mean, who doesn’t?), they are absolutely essential. Gone will be the days when you walk around, opening box after box, only to realize the movers placed them in the wrong rooms or you don’t need to unpack a particular one yet. Moving or not, the less you shuffle around your stuff in search of something, the longer it’ll stay organized — which means less work for you in the long run.