If you’re getting organized and have been looking for organizing inspiration on Instagram or Pinterest, you may have noticed that nearly every image of an organized space has two elements: containment and labels. While labels and containers aren’t always essential for organization, they can be helpful—specifically labelling. Labels for organizing has a lot of benefits and helps you take charge of your space.
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When you use labels for organizing, you…
- Hold yourself accountable for putting that item back in its “home”
- Know where to look for that item should you need it
- Tell family members or visitors in your home where to find things/put things back
Plus, they look nice, and who doesn’t want that?
Labeling is generally the last step in the organizing process, and it’s not even always necessary—such with a junk drawer—but it can be oh-so-satisfying. It’s icing on the cake when you’re getting organized.
There are a ton of labelling options that range in look, style, and cost. I’m going to share a few of my favorites today.
9 kinds of labels for organizing your life
The first label on my list is one of my favorites. It’s my first choice when I want something quick, cute, and cheap: Scotch Chalkboard Tape! A roll of 15 feet of tape is less than $7, so it’s a good value. Plus, you can customize the size of the labels to make them fit just right. This tape comes with a non-adhesive sheet that peels off when you’re ready to use it, just like stickers. Simply cut the tape the size you want, write on it with your chalk marker, and then stick it on! This tape sticks securely, but also peels off easily if you change your mind. Low cost, low commitment, high style.
Warning, not all chalkboard tape is created equal. Stick with Scotch! And don’t be misled by the title “chalkboard”… these labels aren’t erasable if you use chalk markers or paint pens.
Label-Maker Labels for Organizing
No nice handwriting, no problem. If you have a label maker, you know what I’m talking about. Those small white labels with the uniform black font. My label maker is almost 15 years old and still going strong. I’ve replaced the label tape several times. As with the chalk tape warning above—don’t skimp out on the off-brand tape. There are a lot of great tape color options such as clear, gold, and colors. I’m usually a basic white kind of girl, but go crazy.
Newer label makers also come with a ton of great options such as different size tape, fancy fonts, pictures, and even apps that allow you to print right from your phone.
Paint Pen on Plastic
I’m loving the simplicity of this one. A white paint pen written directly on a bin is simple, fun, and effective. Plus, if you change the purpose of your bin, it wipes off with a little nail polish remover. This is perfect for labeling bins and labeling jars. Nice handwriting makes these especially cute!
If you have baskets made of natural fibers or metal that have an uneven surface, you may have a hard time getting a more traditional label to adhere to the surface. A great option for these bins is hanging tags made from materials such as wood, bamboo, metal, or cardboard. With so many options, it won’t be hard to find one that matches your style. Plus, they’re usually inexpensive and easy to swap out if your purposes change.
Hyacinth baskets and bins are all the rage these days, but their woven texture is a challenge for most labels for organization. Enter the clip-on tag. These ingenious clips allow you to use your fancy handwriting, print out a sticker, or cut out some vinyl and attach it to the tag. You hang the clip over the side of the basket and there you have it. While they can be a bit pricey, they are noble quality and can easily be changed if you use the paper inserts or dry erase marker.
We all have them. Those organizing bins or magazine holders or cardboard boxes with the little flap to insert the paper label. If the manufacturer was really helpful, he’s included the perfect size perforated cardstock to fit in the slit. If not, you may have to cut your own. Index cards or scrapbook paper cut to size are quick and simple. If you don’t love your handwriting or want to get fancy, create a quick title in a word processor and run it through your printer. Laminate it for long-term durability.
Stickers Stuck Together
I’ve come across a few situations, usually with wicker baskets, where clips won’t work, I don’t have any hanging labels, and stickers just won’t stick. So I’ve created a sticker “hack” that I use occasionally. I’ve done this with both the pre-cut stickers and chalkboard tape. Simply write your label sideways along the right side of the sticker, peel it off, loop it through the handle of the basket, fold it over and stick the ends of the stickers to one another. Ideal? No, but it provides a label and gets the job done when it might not otherwise be possible!
Finally, my absolute favorite, but most complex and expensive labels for organizing are custom vinyl decals. I have a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I measure my bin space, design what I want cut, feed vinyl in the color I want into my machine and watch it do its thing. This method of labelling requires a financial investment, it can be time-consuming, and there’s quite a learning curve while you learn to use the software and the machine. If you’re a professional organizer or enjoy crafting, consider purchasing a Cameo.
Love the looks below? Find them in my Etsy Shop. Use the code LABELYOURLIFE for 10% off your purchase!
Not ready to commit to labels for organizing? Never underestimate the power of… The Post-It!
Many of the labels listed above cost money, take time, and may be difficult to remove or replace if you change your mind. You know what’s none of those things? Post-It’s.
Post-It’s come in different sizes, colors, and stickiness. They’re inexpensive and easy to replace. Before making a big purchase or label commitment, try Post-It’s as a placeholder. Make sure your system is working and the labels are helpful.
Labeling Your Life
What’s your favorite method to label your life? Leave a comment below and let me know!