The $35 Product That’s Become My Organizing Savior

published Nov 8, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Every few months or so, without fail, I get the urge to reorganize my whole life. Seemingly overnight, I want to clean out my closet, create a whole new system for storing beauty products, redo my kitchen pantry, or—more commonly—do all of the above.

It’s taken me years to learn that when that urge presents itself, sometimes the best thing I can do is to choose one small change. This is not only more sustainable, but it prevents me from doing things like throwing every piece of clothing I own into a pile on the floor and then neglecting said pile for weeks at a time.

One small way I like to create organization without creating a mess: A P-Touch label maker. The pros back me up on this, too. The humble label maker is also a favorite of Hannah Fofana of Spruced Milwaukee, a business that provides custom home organization services. Here, some places Fofana says a label maker is particularly useful:

The pantry

If you’ve gotten into the habit of decanting grocery and dry goods (cereal, pasta, etc.) as a way to avoid clutter and ugly boxes in your pantry, a label maker Is a great way to not only label the goods, but also serves as a way to put nutritional, cooking, or other important information on the back of each container.

“If you are decanting items that change often, you can simply cut out the packaging labels and attach to the back, but if it’s a staple item that’s more universal (rice, oats, quinoa, etc.), you can use the label maker for things like ‘1 part rice to 1.5 parts water,’” Fofana says. 

The coffee station

Another idea? Make sure everything at your coffee station is labeled clearly. You might be used to your usual coffee routine, but early-waking houseguests may not be, says Fofana. Use the machine to sort single-serve pods by type (decaf, flavored, roast, etc.) and identify add-ins (creamer, sugar, syrups, etc.). If your machine is complicated, you can also use the label marker to leave clear instructions.

The houseplants

“It’s a super common mistake to buy a plant and throw away the name tag with the sun/watering instructions thinking you’ll never forget” Fofana says. “Stick a label on the bottom or back of the planter for a more fail-proof system.” 

Really, the options are endless…

When it comes down to it, the organizational options are endless. You can also use a label maker to:

  • Categorize your most important documents into files and label them accordingly.
  • Break down your makeup collection by type and then label that, too. (Don’t forget to add expiration dates!)
  • Put labels on the fridge so everything has a specific place and you know exactly when you’ve run out of a certain type of food.
  • Tag electronic cords, so you don’t end up with a basket of rogue wires.
  • Assign laundry baskets to each family member.