To Label Or Not To Label

To label or not to label? Before I became an organiser, I wasn’t drawn to labels. The written word didn’t grab my eye. But after many years working in homes of clients with diverse needs, I’ve become a label lover; but not a label lover in the sense of perfect writing on a crisp expensive label. I love labels because it helps us and to easily find what we want.

Why label? Labeling has many practical uses.

  • A label can help classify items by visually showing us categories of belongings.
  • A label is versatile, it can be placed on a container, tub, shelf, drawer or door.
  • A label shows ownership. Labeling is great for items going out of the home. School items are a good example of this or something being borrowed by a friend or family member. Items can be returned if they are lost or when they are finished with.
  • A label allows us to easily find items. This is important if items aren’t visible. A label on tubs or boxes (especially those that are in cupboards and not often accessed) will make all the difference when you want to know what’s inside or you’re on the hunt for something.
  • Labeling will make a difference in areas where several members of a family or in-home support are using and putting items away. They will know where to find what is needed and what’s just as important, they will know where to put items back.

What type of label?

A label can come in several forms; written, picture, a physical item, braille or an electronic “talking” label.

Written:
A written label doesn’t need to be expensive. It could be a sticky paper label with coloured pen. A piece of masking, packing or sticky tape with a black sharpie. Or a piece of paper or card tied with ribbon or string. You might like these colourful, printable labels from I should be mopping the floor.

Picture:
Yes, picture labels are commonly used for children but children don’t have exclusive use of them. Read more  here about helping children be organised. Picture labels can be fun. They can be a photo of the item or area and works well for draws. A picture label can be hand drawn, something cut from a book or a picture downloaded from the internet.

Physical item:
Physical items are tactile and usually small. They work exceptionally well for toy and craft storage. A piece of Lego, a car, crayon, fabric or knitting needle. The item can be taped or tied. 

Braille or “talking” label:
Labels are not just for those with vision. Braille or electronic “talking” labels work well for people who have no or low vision and are great for easily identifying and accessing items.  

With all the choices of labels, it’s important to remember a label is there so you can easily find and put away your belongings. A label doesn’t need to be picture perfect. It needs to allow you to find what you need when you want it and helps you to easily put your items away.

Have fun with your labeling and enjoy making it unique!