Come To Order: The joys and benefits of labeling

Labels serve as reminders, make it easy to find things

Labeling is a frequently overlooked part of the organizing process.

Clients often tell me they’ll remember where things go, so there’s no need to label storage areas or containers. But how many times have you put something where it doesn’t quite belong, plopping it any old place and vowing to put it away later?

I had a client who used to hang her clothes in the first spot she could find in her closet. Once we labeled the various sections of the closet using Closet Rod Organizers from The Container Store (they look like the size markers you find on clothing racks in retail stores), she spent the extra 3 seconds it took to actually hang things where they belonged because seeing the labels wouldn’t permit her to do otherwise.

Labels can serve not only as a reminder of where something goes, but also make it easy to find things when you need them. For example, I have several small bins in my linen closet that hold a variety of medicines. They’re labeled “Cough & Cold,” “Pain” and “First Aid.” The labels make it easy to find the aspirin or a bandage at a time when I may not be feeling like hunting through a jumble of containers to find what I’m looking for.

Labeling is also helpful if you share a home with others. Labels will allow them to easily find things and put them away. Well, I’m at least sure it will make it easy for them to find things!

I suggest you use a label maker (they’re widely available at office supply stores and general merchandise stores) or print labels from your computer. It makes a huge difference to have printed labels rather than handwritten ones – they look neater and are more “official.”

But no matter what kinds of labels you choose, make sure they’re neat and legible and adhere securely. You can label what goes in a particular container, or label the spot where the container goes.

Not only is labeling useful, it’s also fun.

Once you start, especially if you’re using a label maker, you’ll find excuses to label everything. And if you want to incent your kids to organize their rooms, the promise of being able to use the label maker will be a great incentive.

Let’s face it, labeling makes finding things and putting them away almost mindless.

Happy labeling!

Sue Becker is a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization who helps individuals and businesses discover the simplicity, harmony, and freedom of being organized and productive. She also speaks to companies and organizations about how to get organized and make the most of their time. Sue can be reached at or 630-724-111

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