So let’s LABEL ALL THE THINGS!
I think it is only natural to want to start the year off more organized than the last. Lots of new stuff comes into the house over the holidays, and we have to find somewhere to put it all. Just the simple act of making a dedicated space (shelf, cabinet, tote) with a label means that these items must pass a test of how much they mean to me. I have made labels with plain paper and tape, a portable label maker, or lately with my Cricut Maker. I find that no matter how simple the label, the process makes a difference, however, as I have gotten fancier with my labels, I have also gotten more selective of the items that make the cut. Here are some of the things that have really worked for me:
We purchased pull-out spice racks, that are mounted inside the cabinet next to the stove, and blank spice jars. I love that the jars are tucked away where they don’t just become something else that I need to clean. Since the jars are the same shape and size, and have similar labels, it makes it easier to find what I am looking for. We also save a bit of money by buying spices in larger quantities, and refilling the jars. I am planning to use my Cricut Maker (cutting machine) to make fancier labels at some point, but decided not to let perfection prevent me from getting started, but these were just labeled using my little portable Brother label maker.
We struggled with bags and boxes on all the shelves. It was hard to find what we were looking for, and it looked very cluttered.
We found these bulk food containers with handles that hold a lot and are easy to access from the higher shelves.
Labeled totes and can storage bins make it really easy to tell when items are getting low and need to be added to the shopping list. I again used my Brother labeler because it seemed like the best size for the labels I needed. I may make fancier ones at some point though.
I love my overhead garage storage. The items I keep up there are seasonal things I only need once a year. They are all stored in white totes, with labels, so they are not real obvious and yet I can easily find what I am looking for. Originally, these were all just labeled with different seasonal duct tape, but I found myself having to take several down to find what I was looking for. Adding small labels with specifics was useful, but I love how the Halloween labels turned out.
My IKEA Expedit (new version is called Kallax) storage is over 20 years old, and I love that no matter what I store there, the shelves don’t sag. Just this year, I decided to commit to making iron-on labels for my fabric craft boxes using my Cricut Maker. These usually contained miscellaneous combinations of things, and I would have to open half a dozen to find what I was looking for. Decluttering my craft supplies is one of my biggest challenges, but this really helped.
I was having trouble letting go of some crafts that I rarely used, so I decided to share them instead. I grabbed some plastic shoeboxes and scrapbook totes with handles, packaged and labeled them up as kits that could be loaned out. I actually found that I really loved being able to just grab one down off the shelf and I would have everything I needed to do a specific project. What makes it really fun is that I have them labeled with actual library cards to track check-out.
Ultimately, if an item is labeled and has a place to live, it is more likely to be put where it can be found again. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.
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