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What’s in that box? Label it!

Let's Get Organized

Do you know what is in every storage box and tote in your home? Do you know where to find any important papers you need? Do you get frustrated looking for things you have stored away and can’t remember where you put them? There is a solution to this problem and it is called labeling.

When I am putting things in a tote to store them, I always think I will remember what I put in there, but I will look months later and wonder what it was I put in it. There is a simple solution. Label everything you are keeping long-term. It really takes such a short time with some stick-on labels and a marker; you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I have found that many labels do not stick onto plastic totes so I use a piece of good packing tape to put over the labels. With cardboard boxes, you can write right on the boxes. Labeling lets you can go directly to what you are looking for.

If you are sorting and downsizing, needing to go through boxes a second and sometimes third time, just tape a piece of paper on the boxes so you can easily find what is in them. There is nothing more annoying than knowing you have something but having no idea where it is.

Sheet sets are one of my frustrations. We have beds of different sizes and I forget which sets go to which bed. One solution is to put all of the set inside one of the pillow cases. That way it stays together. I have labeled my shelf with the different sizes of sheets, but then it is important to always take the time to put them in the right place.

Papers can get out of hand if they are not filed into usable files. The important papers we have, like birth certificates and passports, are in a locked box for use only when needed. They can just be put into “Important Papers” and do not need to be filed individually. One can have too many different files.

Papers I want to keep for a shorter time are filed near where I open our mail so that I can easily file them away. These are papers I probably won’t need long-term, but I don’t want to throw them out. Again, don’t make too many different categories or it takes too long to both file them and look for that file. For example, you might have credit card statements. Instead of filing each one of your card statements separately, put them all in one file. Then clean it out at least at the end of each year.

My sister called the other day to say she was painting one of her garage walls after she had electrical work done. She was so proud of herself for saving the paint and went to the store to get it shook up only to find that it was the wrong paint! Lesson learned? Label your paint cans with marker. Include the date and the room you used it for. If you have any touch ups to do, you know you have the right paint. Get rid of the paint once you’ve painted a space a different color. It you want to know a paint color for future use, you could even save the empty can for easy reference.

Label everything you can for easy reference when searching for things. It will save you from getting frustrated as well as saving you both time and money.

Doris Puls, of D & O Decluttering and Organizing, is a professional organizer whose mission is to make a difference in the lives of the people she works with in homes and businesses. Contact her at organizealpena@gmail.com or at 989-356-9545.

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