10+ Ways to Get Organized With Labels

Do you label everything? Our tips will save you time and money, and make your home even more efficient!

After you address a package with a felt-tip pen, weatherproof the label by rubbing a white candle over the writing. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will smear the label now.

See more uses for Candles.

Coat Hangers
Need some waterproof markers for your outdoor plants? Cut up little signs from a milk jug or similar rigid but easy-to-cut plastic. Write the name of the plant with an indelible marker. Cut short stakes from wire hangers. Make two small slits in each piece of plastic and pass the wire stakes through the slits. Neither rain nor sprinkler will obscure your signs.

See more uses for Coat Hangers.

Masking Tape
You don’t need to buy labels or a fancy machine that makes them. Use inexpensive masking tape instead to mark food containers and freezer bags before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer, and don’t forget to write the date! You can also use masking tape to conveniently mark kids’ schoolbooks and supplies.

See more uses for Masking Tape.

Nail Polish

  • Find your measuring cup markings faster, especially if you like to measure “on the fly” while cooking. Use a very visible color of nail polish to trace over the basic measurement levels. This also works great for those dimly lit, late-night bottle feedings, when you need to see how well Junior has tanked up. And you won’t have to squint to find the correct dosage on little plastic medicine cups if you first mark them with a thin line of dark polish.
  • When you’re mixing in a big bucket, you don’t typically have the opportunity to lift the bucket to check the quantity. Besides, the bucket you use for mixing might not have the measurements clearly marked at all. Make sure you know you’re using the right amounts by marking pint, quart, and gallon (or half, full, and other liter) levels with lines of nail polish. Use a color that stands out against the bucket’s color.
  • If everyone in your home has easy access to your cupboard, prevent someone from grabbing dangerous items in haste. Use dark red or other easily visible nail polish to label the poisons. Draw an unmistakable X on the label as well as the lid or spout.
    See more uses for Nail Polish.

Popsicle Sticks
Is that parsley, sage, rosemary, or thyme popping up from your garden? Remember what you planted by using Popsicle sticks as plant labels. Just write the type of seeds you planted on the stick with indelible marker.

See more uses for Popsicle Sticks.

Return Address Labels

  • Address labels aren’t only for sticking on envelopes. They can be an effective, inexpensive way of making sure your lost items stand a chance of finding their way home. Place an address label — covered with a small piece of transparent or clear packing tape to prevent wear — inside your laptop bag, eyewear case, gym bag, knapsack, and all pieces of luggage, whether they are tagged or not.
  • It’s one of the universal truths of parenthood: Kids’ pencil cases, folders, markers, and other school supplies are forever disappearing. You may be able to lessen the losses, however, by affixing address labels with a piece of transparent tape to the contents of your child’s desk and backpack.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest