Crushing the Controversy: The Benefits of Labeling
How do you feel about labeling? I know that for some people the thought of pulling out a label maker or creating DIY tags to indicate categories around your home seems so far fetched or even unnecessary. Maybe the effort to do it just seems too time consuming (why spend time making labels when you can barely get out of the door on time as it is?) or the aesthetics of having text stuck around your house and belongings just doesn’t appeal to you. I totally understand...but before you toss all hope of using the labeling method out the window I want to share some reasons why I am and always will be pro-label.
As cheesy as it may sound, labels are the glue that hold your systems together. They are the structure to support the system that you’ve worked hard to put into place (like organizing your pantry) and keep categories together. In your pantry, for example, when there is no indicator for where the food should be put back it will likely be put wherever it is most convenient which can lead to categories quickly becoming lost and undone. Labels help to identify categories, give a home to every item in your home, and make it possible to keep up the organization over time.
Organizing should be intuitive for the user (which is why I always say to keep like items together) but when there is room to be more specific a label can cut out wasted time and energy and direct the user to exactly what they are looking for.
In my home we label areas that are touched by multiple users, which for us is primarily in the kitchen and with my kids’ stuff. During our back to school prep we introduced more labeling techniques to make our morning routines easier. I’ve included what’s worked for us and why I recommend using labels (of any and all kinds!) to our clients.
MAKES IT EASY TO IDENTIFY THE USER
With identical twins who not only wear similar clothing but also really don’t want the other twin borrowing their clothing, shoes, or accessories, having personal labels on their items has made it possible to know which items belong to each kid, which is a lifesaver during outfit selections the night before each school day. The girls have loved the labels so much that they have even started labeling their school supplies...that way they know which pencil is always theirs!
CUTS DOWN ON TIME AND MONEY WASTED
Honestly, before I became a mother I would have never understood the importance of labeling my kids’ clothing. But after the many times where clothing gets either left behind at the end of the day at camp or just confused in the sea of similar items during dance class, I can’t say how much MONEY and TIME I have saved over the years simply by throwing a label on my kids’ stuff. From the inside of their clothing and shoes to the outside of their school supplies and bags, labels have made it possible to keep all of their stuff in check so we make it out the door and back home with everything that we left with at the beginning of the day.
HELPS MAKE DAILY TASKS EASIER
Like most families, my kids go through a lot of laundry between school and their many activities. Oftentimes I can’t tell the difference between their clothing (a common problem with identical twins–ha!) so having labels on their clothing tags makes it so quick for me to divide the load between the correct rooms.
Also, when it comes to meal prep we often find ourselves reserving leaning on leftovers for quick meals at the end of the week, so it is incredibly handy to know when I actually made the food that we’re about to consume just in case it’s time to toss it. But don’t just limit labeling to the fridge! Pantry labels make it not only super easy to navigate between the categories but also gives everything a designated spot, which makes it easy to tell when something needs to be replaced (and therefore add it to the grocery list) and easy to unload the groceries in their correct place.
I’d love to know: do you use labels in your own home? What areas do you keep labeled? Or are you completely against them? Tell me in the comments section!
*This post is sponsored by Mabel’s Labels, a company that our family has used and loved for many years. Mabel’s Labels is offering 10% for all Rachel and Company readers now through September 15th. Use the discount code RACHEL10 to receive your savings at checkout!