When I first started teaching, I bought a label maker. I used it to label all of my art supplies and other teaching supplies in my big cabinets. I loved to open the doors and see all my neatly arranged and labeled plastic containers. Now I do the same in my home.
Labeling has many benefits:
– Cooking is easier because we can find (and put away) what we need.
– We can keep track of our inventory of dry goods in the basement and easily see what needs to be replenished.
– Our toys are organized, which makes cleanup easier and helps reduce the number of lost parts and pieces.
I have a few methods of labeling at home:
– My trusty label maker: I bought one of the Brother P-touch label makers from Office Max. The label tape comes with ink built into the cartridge. I love to use it in combination with the Gladware Deep Dish containers to store dry goods and other ingredients. I use a piece of white electrical tape (or blue for dairy items) and then adhere the label onto that. See the below picture. I have containers up and downstairs for various items like beans, rice, barley, etc. I have also used the label maker to label other things in our basement like clothing containers, our shelves, and a plastic storage cart with various household items. At school I use different colored electrical tape to categorize the containers by academic subject (math, art, science, general supplies, etc.).
Label makers sure have come a long way since the ones I remember as a child. (They had a dial on top to pick the letter or character and the letters were punched onto the label tape). My label maker has a keyboard and you can choose between several different sizes and styles of characters. The results show up on the screen before you actually print it on your label.
– The computer: I love to use the business card template on Microsoft Publisher to create labels for other non-food things in the house. I print the labels on cardstock, cut them out, and slide them into plastic id tag holders from Office Max. This keeps them clean and makes it easy to change them as needed. I have used these for my scrapbooking supplies in the basement, the kids’ toys in the living room, and their clothing baskets in the bedroom. I attach them to the basket or canvas box with a safety-pin hanging from the hole at the top. For my Elfa scrapbooking drawers, I used ribbon to tie them to the drawer handle.
This may be too much for some of you, but this act of organization not only makes me smile and feel happy any time I find something new to label, but it helps our home run just a bit more efficiently — which always saves money!
* P.S. When my label cartridge runs out, my next task is to find a place online that is cheaper than the office supply stores to get a new one!