Why you should buy a label maker

April 29, 2017

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I love label makers. I am a list maker, an organizer, a detail person, so label makers are right up my alley. But label makers are a good tool for anyone looking to get a bit more organized, and at a cost of just $20 for a good quality label maker (see The Sweethome's review of the Brother P-Touch, currently on Amazon for $19.99), it's quite affordable even if you just use it a few times a year.

Spice Jars

A label maker lets you add clear, legible labels to your spice jars. I printed labels and stuck them on my jars 7 years ago, and haven't had to replace one yet.

Drawers or Shelves

Label drawers, or even individual shelves, to keep track of what goes where. This is especially handy if you live with roommates and want to designate what's yours, or if you have kids (or, let's face it, significant others) who sometimes help put things away but don't always know where things go.

Travel Mugs

Do you take a travel mug to work every day? Throw a label on the bottom so when you accidentally leave it next to the copier, your colleagues know it's yours. The same goes for your tupperware or lunchbox.

Power Cords

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Have a mess of cords behind the TV? Yeah, so do I. Wrap a label around each cord, preferably at each end, so you know what you're unplugging. Or if the cord gets separated from its device, you can easily reunite them. This is also a great way to make sure other people in your household don't accidentally borrow your smartphone power cord thinking it's theirs.

Bulk Grains

Do you buy grains or rice or pasta in the bulk food section? Throw a label on the baggies so you know what's what after you get home.

Freezer Bags/Tupperware

I often put half batches of muffins or cookies or bread in the freezer for another day. Put a label with the name of the item and the date you froze it so there's no question about how long it's been languishing at the bottom of your cold storage. Also, peeling a label off to reuse a tupperware is a heck of a lot easier than crossing out your notes written in Sharpie. This is especially handy if you freeze a lot of leftover soup. Without labels, I'm often left wondering, "Is this vegetarian chili, beef stew, or turkey tortilla soup?"

Hardware

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We have many boxes of assorted screws, nails, bolts, nuts, and washers from various projects lying around in our basement. Adding labels with the hardware size (and, for unusual items, what you used it for) can help you quickly find the right hardware for your next project, and maybe save you a trip to Home Depot.

Consumables

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Do you make your own cold-brew coffee concentrate? Kombucha? Yogurt? Pickles? Jam? If yes, label your jars with the date you made the item, so you never again have to wonder if it's time to throw it out.

Kids

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No, don't label your kids. I doubt the labels would stick for long. But if you have a child old enough to spell, take a deep breath and hand them the label maker. You'll probably end up with every door in the house labeled, but you might get an hour or two of quiet time out of it, so it's totally worth it! 

Erin Fife