Why I DON’T Use A Label Maker

posted by Andrea | 04/19/2018

why i don't use a label maker

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what label maker I use, or what label maker I would recommend… I would have A LOT of nickels 🙂

And while I completely understand why I’m asked these questions over and over and over again, I have to admit that I do NOT use a label maker — and I haven’t used one for a very long time.

Yes, back when we first got married and settled into our first home, I was slightly obsessed with the idea of labeling everything. I purchased a label maker from Target (it was similar to this DYMO one) and dutifully got to work labeling anything and everything from my limited array of craft supplies and kitchen spices to yard tools, extra pantry staples, and more.

At the time, even in the midst of all my labeling glory, I vividly remember thinking: “This is taking forever. I really don’t need these fancy labels to know what I have. Wouldn’t masking tape and a Sharpie work just as well and take less than half the time?” 

Nevertheless, I continued to label just about everything they would stick to. Then the label tape that came with my label maker ran out… and I realized how ridiculously expensive label tape refills were! 

There was literally no part of my extremely frugal, extremely practical nature that could justify the cost to continually pay for label tape refills… and then take an enormous amount of time to type out cute little labels in matching fonts, print them off, stick them on, etc. etc.

So I quit… and I’ve honestly never looked back 🙂

Believe it or not, I don’t even use printed labels for our filing cabinet — just hand-written pieces of paper and stickers.

Now certainly, I have no issue with anyone who loves using decorative labels or a label maker — after all, it does put a nice polished look on things. It’s just not something I’ve chosen to make a priority in my own home and life.

That said, I DO still think there are many things that need labels in order to function efficiently (freezer foods are a big one!) but as I mentioned above, masking tape or any type of white sticker and a Sharpie marker work just as well, cost significantly less, and rarely need to be replaced!

So why is someone who loves organization so “anti” label makers?

Here are the 2 main reasons why…

1. Labels are not necessary for proper organization.

I’m fairly confident that anyone who looked in my freezer, my pantry, my bedroom closet, my bathroom cabinets, or anywhere else in my house would be able to find whatever they were looking for — even though nothing is labeled with a label maker.

I still have my things organized in a logical manner and (when necessary) labeled with masking tape and a Sharpie.

So if you were looking for extra deodorant in my bathroom, all you’d have to do was quickly glance in 2 different baskets to find the one with extra deodorant. It might take you 30-40 seconds… but I think your eyes would tell you when you found the right basket, even though that basket was not properly labeled with “extra toiletries”.

And if you searched our deep freezer for a frozen meal, chopped chicken, or peanut butter cookies, you would still have to quickly scan each shelf — but I’m guessing you would soon realize that all the baking items are on the top shelf, the full meals are in the middle, and the cooked meats and other prepared ingredients are towards the bottom. Then, you could read my masking tape labels to find which meal or which package of cookies you wanted to remove.

In my own personal opinion, there is no way the search process would go any faster if I used valuable time to label every item with a label.

My home is quite organized and I honestly don’t think adding professionally typed labels would help to improve anything except aesthetics (and who really cares what the inside of my freezer or cabinets or storage closet looks like!)

After all, I don’t think my ability to choose the right color of craft paper would be any simpler or more efficient if I had cute labels notating each different color.

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2. Labels are not practical or efficient for me.

I realize that “practicality” and “efficiency” are relative terms that are different for everyone. But for me, when it comes to menial tasks like labeling my frozen foods, my pantry staples, my extra toiletries, or my shoes, my #1 goal is to do it as quickly, as frugally, and as easily as possible.

Yes, there are times when I like my spaces to function well AND look visually appealing (like on open shelving or in our main living spaces). However, the inside of my freezer, the inside of my spice drawer, and the inside of my closet are not those spaces! 🙂

There are SOOOOO many blogs I’ve read over the years that are real families with real kids living in real homes on real budgets… but with ridiculously perfect photos of matching containers (that cost $15-$20 each) neatly stacked and organized, with cute little labels that cost 10 times more than my roll of masking tape.

Yes, the pictures look great; however, I can’t help but wonder what happens the minute they finish their blog post, their kids get a hold of things, and real life happens.

Maybe there are some households where every tiny piece and part and Lego get put back in the exact right place — but not at my house (and I would consider our house to be pretty orderly).

Our play areas function just fine without labels — and for the most part, everything gets put back where it belongs.

And although I DO have most of my spices labeled, they are not all in matching bottles with matching labels and matching fonts. They are just in the bottles they came in from the store with a white sticker on top that I write the name on (or sometimes, I write directly on the lid).

Nothing fancy — and no, they aren’t even in alphabetical order — but it works for me (and it’s been working just fine for about 9 years now!)

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I’m a huge advocate for labeling things for practical purposes — but I’m living proof that you can be organized without a $25 label maker or $10 tape refills 🙂

What are your thoughts on label makers?

Do you love them? Are you somewhere in the middle? Or are you a masking tape gal like myself?

By the way, there is NO “right answer.” I just find it interesting that I’m asked about label makers so often — and also, how shocked people are when they find out I don’t use a label maker!

why i don't use a label maker

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65 comments

  1. Kim

    04/19/2018

    My time saving tip is keep a sharpie marker in the drawer with the zip loc bags for quick marking of freezer foods. The file folder labels from the dollar store are also great for sharpie labeling of all kinds of things..

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    this is such a great idea! I keep my sharpies and masking tape in a separate kitchen drawer (not far from the baggies) but I can see how it would save time and effort to just keep them all together!

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  2. Wendy

    04/19/2018

    I always write the date I start using my makeup. I write it directly on the container, then put a piece of scotch tape on top so it won’t rub off.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I do this too! Especially for mascara and for my toothbrushes!

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  3. pw

    04/19/2018

    Well then, you are not married to my husband. I label most stuff with my label maker because for some reason he can’t find anything. But we also have a very diverse food supply and clothing. If I hear one more time “where is…” I want to smack. To stop my stress and I am sure his, I use my label maker, his clothes labeled white, my clothes labeled yellow. This winter he got into my drawers looking for winter long johns and ended up trying to wear mine, complained they did not fit. Yeah..duh. His are in his drawer but he said he didn’t see them. His drawers now labeled Male long johns, male lite weight socks, male hiking socks, oh please. Hope this makes you laugh but it made me go crazy. I have everything labeled in the fridge and in our pantry, yet still he asked me “where are the pickles” honestly they were labeled. I also have things on lazy susans in our pantry. I use masking tape and marker a lot on other things, turn to front easy visible. Makes me crazy when I am trying to cook and I get the “where is the..” and a lot of my friends have the same problem. I try to solve problems and so far this works the best. I do my labels when I am waiting for an email reply from work, or the rare times we watch tv. But I also have my label making to a science. Hopefully this got you laughing. We use different deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo handsoap bath soap lotions so when he can’t find his he takes mine.I am at this moment ripping apart our bathrooms and labeling his stuff for his drawer and mine for my bathroom and he better keep his mitts off my stuff. we have separate bathrooms but keep everything in a closet and I am moving my stuff to my bathroom and his to his bathroom. he will have the tp he likes and I will have mine. He doesn’t like my tp so doesn’t bother it. Hands off my stuff buddy boy!!

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  4. Debbie

    04/19/2018

    I’m somewhere in the middle. I do love my label maker and use for certain things but NOT ALL things. I mainly used it for organizing our pantry a few years ago where I transferred staples like baking flour, rice, beans, etc. in mason jars and labeled them. It’s pretty handy to just grab the mason jar instead of a big bag of flour. The pantry looks tidy and from time to time I do have to refill the jars but it doesn’t take much time. I also used it to label my plastic bins containing travel size toiletries, travel size containers, craft supplies, etc. that goes in closets. I also use the chalk board black sticker on other things in the kitchen. Overall, I like to use it but mindful that it doesn’t work for everything. I also hand write on zip lock bags that goes in the freezer, and folders that go in our file cabinet.

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  5. Lisa K.

    04/19/2018

    I don’t have to label much, but when I do I am also a masking tape person. I have pretty masking tape that is in a seafoam/white pattern, and it’s funny how much the color/pattern gives it a little something extra and makes me smile. I don’t think it costs much more that regular masking tape so I will purchase it again when my current roll runs out.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I will have to look for the pretty stuff again — i can only find stuff with heavy patterns on it (and then I can’t see my writing). I need something light colored, but pretty!

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  6. Amy Dahm

    04/19/2018

    First off who knew a post about Label Makers would have so many comments but then again I was compelled to comment too.

    Ours is always used for labeling the kids stuff. In fact I don’t think it’s been changed from my daughters name since September. Water bottles, folders, etc. Even my husband knows where it’s at. Just turn it on and hit print and her name comes out.

    My mom gave us a whole kit about 14 years ago and the only thing I’ve changed on it is the batteries and I still have one roll of labels left. I tried ordering stickers with the kids names but they get misplaced or mis-used. 🙂

    I did label bins when my son was younger but he was very OCD about where things went which was why we got it.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sounds like a good system Amy! I do wonder if we will start to use labels more often once our kids get into school. Nora hasn’t had to label much yet — but I’ve heard it’s coming!

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  7. Christine Meurer

    04/19/2018

    I have always been tempted to buy a label maker but the main thing that stopped me — I hate the font they use. Ha!

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  8. Jen

    04/19/2018

    I am Team Label Maker all the way! I like how they make things look uniform and I don’t enjoy seeing my handwriting on everything. LOL! I haven’t found the cost to preclude my use of it. Maybe I just don’t label much. I also print sheets of labels if I need them for a lot of things.

    Now the alphabetized spices are a non-negotiable for me. It’s so much more efficient not to have to hunt for what I need when I can easily organize them and put my hands right on what I need.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ahh… so we have TWO things we don’t do exactly the same! I don’t think I could ever alphabetize my spices. I keep them in the order I use them — most used in the front of the pull-out cabinet, least used in the back.

    of course, this would be a nightmare for anyone else to try to use — but it works for me for now 🙂

    [Reply]

    Becky Reply:

    That’s sort of how I do it, too. “Main” spices on lower shelf, less used on higher shelf, grouped by type. Like, Italian seasoning/basil/oregano together, garlic powder/garlic salt/onion powder/onion salt together, cinnamon/nutmeg, etc.

    Alphabetized would make me crazy because Cream of Tartar just doesn’t need a prime location on my shelf. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha yes! no need for cream of tartar right in the front. I also rarely use AllSpice so it’s in the back too 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Lynn

    04/19/2018

    Great post! I am somewhere in the middle. However, I don’t use the label maker I have near as much as I used to either. I am finding a piece of tape and a sharpie work great sometimes, depending on the item. That label maker in the picture above happens to be the exact one that I have!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    That’s the exact label maker I used to have too! It’s nice, but I just like tape and marker better!

    [Reply]

  10. Rhonda

    04/19/2018

    I don’t own a “label maker”, but I do find a lot of use in my “Label Once” by Jokari brand of labels and marker. I mainly use those on my plastic containers and date my leftovers in the fridge (or label any food put in the freezer that’s in a plastic reusable container). I find that the labels stay on for a long time, and I like being able to wipe off the marker (I use rubbing alcohol, rather than the “eraser” that comes in the kit) and reuse multiple times. The Label Once kit wasn’t too costly, and even when the marker runs out, you can really use any permanent marker, and it still wipes off with alcohol. I also put the stickers in my 2nd grader’s folder and we write each week what her schedule is for getting home – we have a mixed system with work and childcare, so they use this to remind themselves each day where to get off the bus at (grandparents vs home). I bought a kit over 5 years ago, and still haven’t use all of the labels.

    You are right, it is tempting to buy a lot of organization bins, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in the consumerism, but a lot of organization requires $0. I do what you do with my spices. I cut out some instant oatmeal boxes, and have the tall spices in two bins (A-G, H-Z) in the cabinet. I write with permanent marker on the top cap of the spice, so I can easily read it from the bin and find it.

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  11. Tina

    04/19/2018

    Never had one. Too expensive.

    Might use it if I got one as a gift though.

    [Reply]

    Janet Reply:

    I got one as a gift from my father and I am surprised at how much I have used it – not for myself, but for other people! It is great to have the more durable labels to be able to label my brothers items he loses frequently like water bottles, phone, lunch bag, tupperware, etc. And my husband has been able to keep the cupboard organized with the little labels that state ‘tea’ or ‘baking’. The masking tape I used before just fell off, adn the stickers left a gross residue.

    The only place I use it for myself has been the filing cabinet, because I hate the look of my own writing! And if I already have it, might as well make taxes slightly better. 🙂

    The refills are something I have only purchased once – my dad likes the fact that he just wraps up a new batch of label cartridges every year for my stocking. Win for both of us!

    [Reply]

    Tina Reply:

    Aww. Dads are the best!

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  12. miranda

    11/28/2015

    Hey, I’m with you on the label maker thing. I’m told I’m a very organized person,…but I’m also a minimalist to an extent. I don’t need/want so much stuff that everything has to be labeled.

    Also, the cost really adds up when you think about tape, batteries, and then the electronics on these fancy gizmos always goes out for me right after the warranty is up !

    I label my spices in the kitchen drawer and my files of course. Have always done it by hand with small stickers or tape. I thought about getting a label maker, but when I saw how nice your handwriting was, I decided, “nope, you just need to take your time and write neatly and your handwritten labels can look as nice as this woman’s.”

    Thanks for the well written article, MIRANDA

    [Reply]

  13. Eva

    04/17/2015

    My label maker labels are peeling off of plastics that I put them on. I am contemplating refills or searching for another option that will be stickier. Any suggestions? For bins, plastic drawers, bathroom baskets.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Mine always peeled off too – which is one more reason why I stopped using them 🙂 Sorry!

    [Reply]

    Janet Reply:

    I would try cleaning the plastic with a little rubbing alcohol first, letting it dry, and then putting it on with a credit card.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the tips Janet!

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  14. Katherine

    04/16/2015

    Masking tape is one of my favorite kitchen tools! I label everything that way!

    [Reply]

  15. Bev @ The Make Your Own Zone

    04/16/2015

    I love how practical you are Andrea! I’ve had a label maker for many years too but only use it once in a while. The main thing I like about labels from a label maker is that they are quite waterproof. That’s makes them a good choice for my homemade cleaners (which all look alike if you don’t label them!). The thing I don’t like is sometimes they are really hard to rip off again if you want to re-label. I’ve done a lot more labeling with post-its, tape and sharpie markers too than I have with my label maker, but they’re kind of nice to have around for certain projects.

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  16. Julie G

    04/16/2015

    So I have to use a label maker. If I didn’t I would never get anything done. I was constantly redoing my file cabinet because I didn’t like the way that it looked. Once I got my label maker I have not had to redo my file cabinet. Yay!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — that’s funny! sounds like you have just a teeny tiny bit of perfectionistic tendencies 🙂

    enjoy your organized files!

    [Reply]

  17. Debbie

    04/15/2015

    Gotta agree with you there, Andrea! I use tape and sharpies, too. Lately I’ve been using washi tape to make “prettier” labels if I am so inclined.

    [Reply]

  18. Courtney Edwards

    04/15/2015

    I love that you’re standing up against label makers. The tape is outrageously expensive and printing labels is very labor intensive compared to handwriting labels. Labeling each and every storage container limits flexibility and the ability to adapt to daily life changes. There are certain things that require labeling such as file folders, but hand written tabs provide a personal touch and less hassle. Thank you for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Well, I dont’ know if I’m really “standing up against label makers” because I do think they are cool and make really pretty labels. I more just wanted to share the reasons I personally don’t use a label maker — because it’s a question I’m often asked.

    I don’t think label makers are bad in any way — just not a good or practical fit for my life 🙂

    [Reply]

  19. Becky

    04/15/2015

    I don’t use a label maker, but I do label a lot of things. My main go-to is masking tape and Sharpies, but I use address labels to mark toy bins. I noticed that my boys would dump everything out of their toy bins in search of specific things, so we organized and labeled so that there was actually less mess in the end. This was long before my kids could read the labels, but it helped the grown-ups remember where things went and then the kids learned by habit. The beauty of the labelled bins is that other people can help clean up, too – play-dates, grandparents, baby-sitters, etc. It’s especially nice when I reorganize something because it’s a better fit. I just slap a new label on and everyone knows where the stuff goes.

    [Reply]

  20. Tracey

    04/15/2015

    Right there with you, Andrea!! I’ve occasionay consider getting one, and then always come back to the same reasons as you. Good ol’ Sharpies and tape are quick and simple.

    [Reply]

  21. Margaret

    04/15/2015

    I do love my label maker, but I only use it for naming kids’ school stuff – drink bottles, lunch boxes etc have been going through the dishwasher for over five years now, and the laminated labels have never peeled or faded. I buy the generic compatible tapes from eBay, and they work as well as the genuine tapes, but boy, even they seem expensive!

    For everyday label-leftovers-to-pop-in-the-freezer kind of labels, I just tear a slip of paper and tape it on the lid of plastic ware, or write straight on a ziplock bag. Quicker and cheaper than the label maker, and the label peels off easily. I’ll have to try your masking tape idea though, that looks like a winner!

    [Reply]

  22. Natalia

    04/15/2015

    HaHa! You brought back some interesting memories. I thought the label markers were one of the coolest inventions ever and I coveted one, until my controller brought hers to work and asked me to label the supply room. It went like this: Small Post-Its, Large Post-Its, Pens, 3×5 cards,… you name it. Like if someone would be reading labels if they needed a pen, instead of grabbing a pen that looked like pen. Then, if we needed to make room for a new item on the shelf I had to re-do the labels! Aaaagh!!!
    Now, I LOVE organizing and I was even paid for the hours it took to label everything. The company covered the (very high) cost of the labels, but I KNEW that I didn’t want to own a label maker anymore. I was cured!
    (I’ve also realized later on in life that I like flexibility and being able to re-arrange, re-configure, come up with a better way to do things, or use the space. I don’t want to be stuck just because an expensive label says so)

    [Reply]

  23. Erica

    04/15/2015

    I think fancy labels are only necessary if you’re in a place where they’ll be seen all the time – if you’re in your own home and no one’s going to see them, it shouldn’t matter! Besides, label makers and the tape or whatever that goes in them are expensive.

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  24. Melinda

    04/15/2015

    A good friend of mine told me about the Post Its that are full sticky on the back, so I’ve been using those. I love them compared to regular Post Its that fall off of frozen foods, but I hate that they have a noticeable cost to them. When I’m out of these I’m going to give your masking tape a try. I might even splurge too buy the colorful painter’s tape instead like a poster suggested.

    Thanks for the great post!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I have some of those and they are great!

    [Reply]

  25. Meg

    04/15/2015

    I don’t use a label maker, but it’s because I don’t like the way the labels look. I love cute labels though. I know they might not be necessary, but I don’t care! I am not super frugal though, I am pretty much always willing to pay more for the solution that is both cute and functional. Right now my favorites are chalkboard labels marked with a chalk marker. They look cute, and thr use of the chalk marker makes it practical- it wipes clean with a baby wipe or damp cloth but doesn’t smudge if you bump it. Pretty much every bin, jar, basket, or box in my house has a chalk label- when I decide to use the container to store something different I can just wipe it off and relabel it. (My toys bins are all separated and labeled too- I actually don’t have any trouble with things getting mixed up or put away incorrectly- it doesn’t take any more time to put things into the correct bin, and the labels ensure that everyone: kids, guests, my husband, babysitters, etc. Know which toys go where).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I LOVE the look of the chalkboard labels too — I think I might even have some that I’ve never opened. Maybe I should try them out sometime!

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    Michelle Reply:

    I love the chalkboard labels too – I use them mainly in my sewing room. Once a project is done, I can wipe the label and re-use the 12×12 bin for my next project.
    I’ve never owned a label maker – I’ve never even thought about getting one. That is really interesting for me to think about because I love to organize 🙂 (But I don’t plan on buying one.)

    [Reply]

  26. Char

    04/15/2015

    Totally agree with this! Been married 25 years, love organization, but have never found a label maker necessary. IF that’s your thing, great, otherwise tape and sharpies work great and look nice too!

    [Reply]

  27. Barb

    04/15/2015

    Andrea, the edges of your masking tape labels are so straight…you must use a scissors to cut them?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    maybe it was just a good rip — I don’t cut the edges (at least not normally) 🙂

    [Reply]

  28. Jennifer

    04/15/2015

    I have a label maker, but user it infrequently. When it’s out, the kids print out nametags for themselves and use up the tape on me. I keep a sheet of white removable address labels in the kitchen drawer, and probably make up at least one every day. I label leftovers and baby food, cooking instructions for ingredients I dump into jars from their original package, bins of kids clothes, file folders…my 4 year old has been using them to make traffic signs on popsicle sticks. Much more multi-purpose for me.

    [Reply]

  29. Anne

    04/15/2015

    My splurge is painter’s tape because it comes off easily without (typically) leaving sticky residue on virtually any surface (please share your masking tape brand because I am sure that is cheaper than painter’s tape!).

    If I really need a container of some sort I usually walk around my house to find it and consolidate items when I am able. A more permanent label ends up feeling like a hassle to scrape off, cover, or leaves too much room for debate (e.g., “I can’t possibly reuse this [box, basket, whatever] for XYZ because it is labeled ABC and then what will I do with ABC??…)

    I like to leave stuff as interchangeable as possible – is that just me??

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Ah yes, painter’s tape — gotta love it!

    And yes, I understand what you are saying about having an already labeled but empty bin. Another reader comments about chalkboard labels that you can easily just erase and start over again without unpeeling them. That might be an option for you??

    [Reply]

  30. Carlen

    04/15/2015

    I’m in the middle. I don’t use a label maker at home, and I don’t really label anything except the different toy baskets in my daughter’s closet and the stuff in the freezer.

    I have a printable label maker at work, and I use it ALL the time. But, I’m an accountant, so everything has a file and sometimes others might need to find them, and I have terrible handwriting. Terrible.

    I also was crazy about my handheld label maker that I used when I was in charge of our church’s nursery. With different volunteers every week, it was so important for everything to have a place and everyone to know where it was.

    [Reply]

  31. Katie

    04/15/2015

    The biggest benefit to me of my label maker is that the labels (with my kids names) stay on through the dishwasher for months. So much cheaper to make my own with label maker than buy fancy/cute name labels from an online place – and I can make endless sizes for different size tupperwares/sippies/silverware 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s awesome. I think my labels weren’t very good because they ALWAYS peeled off (even when they weren’t wet).

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    I had that problem too with a Dymo… the one I have now is a p-touch 🙂 I’m still all about masking tape for many things, but having two kids in daycare (where every little thing needs to have their name on it), it’s been a life-saver to be able to print my own (and have them actually stick!).

    [Reply]

  32. Siobhan

    04/15/2015

    I completely agree! I usually use masking tape for things that are in cabinets. Sometimes I use Washi tape I got on sale if I need to hang up or label something that is not in a cabinet.

    [Reply]

  33. Wendy

    04/15/2015

    So I’m a hybrid label maker/homemade labels gal. I used to thing my organization systems were obvious, and I still think they would be to another woman, but my kids don’t always have the same thought processes. Labels sure help them put things where they belong. Also, with six children (and recently a couple of lovely in-laws) coming and going, I am constantly re-organizing my things. Labels help everyone when I change things up yet again.

    As for homemade labels vs. label maker, it depends on the application. I usually handmade my labels until I know I like the system, then I’ll use my label maker, particularly if the labels need to be too small for me to neatly make my own. It mainly comes down to aesthetics and permanence.

    [Reply]

    Liane Reply:

    I’m in the same camp, Wendy.

    For food in my pantry in permanent containers where the food came in something not suitable for storage, I made labels using my p touch. I also made permanent labels to attach to the ends of the 4,000 speaker wires and HDMI cables and power cables and coax and on and on behind our home theater unit. For things like cheese or mayo (I grate block cheese to avoid natamycin and make my own mayo to avoid soy and canola) I use those little bookmark labels that are only sticky on one end and then scotch tape them to the container. When the container is empty and being washed I stick the label inside a cabinet door.

    My husband labeled all his plastic bins in the garage with blue masking tape written on with a sharpie.

    For food in the freezer I write directly on the ziplock bag in the provided area with a sharpie. When the bag is empty I pitch it. Mostly everything in my fridge is in clear containers and it’s not all that hard to distinguish celery from mushrooms.

    We don’t have a file cabinet. Everything is scanned and originals shredded except things like insurance policies and deeds to property and those go in a safe deposit box at our bank, about 10 minutes away. We also have a gun safe and some stuff is on a top shelf like firearm registrations etc. no label needed. Just big Manila envelopes with large block printing.

    I bought the Brother labeled when we had a file cabinet and I saved every scrap of paper. Also my motor home came with everything labeled and I have made a few extras for added tech equip. Some outlets are 110 shore power only and some run off our inverter. It’s not a good idea to plug something in to a shore power outlet and discover it’s not charged cuz you picked the wrong outlet!

    Finally, I got tired of turning on the garbage disposal instead of the light over the sink so I made labels for those two switches. There are three identical switches in a row. And there is a switched outlet in the bedroom that has a permanent label saying do not turn this off. It is where a clock radio is plugged in and it needs to be reset if unplugged.

    So I do make labels for things that need permanent labels and I use temp labels for the rest.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    I have an outlet that shouldn’t be turned off by my front door. I put a piece of Scotch tape on it, so it’s permanently in the on position. This helps other people from accidentally turning it off and it’s invisible unless you really look hard.

    [Reply]

  34. Marie

    04/15/2015

    Sorry but I love my labelmaker. Got it for under $10 and buy refills only when on sale or markdowns(school clearance usually). Just like post its, can’t live without them. So go ahead everyone and bash me. People usually do whenever I leave a comment that differs.

    [Reply]

    Rose Reply:

    Why do you think some folks would bash you if you leave a comment?? Everyone of us has an opinion…(don’t think people really care about little things enough to bash you–) Not that big of a deal….sorry….I had to give my opinion on this–people have bigger issues….enjoy your labels.

    [Reply]

    Janet Reply:

    I’ve never seen bashing on this blog! Maybe this is one of those magical places on the internet 🙂

    [Reply]

  35. Alicia G

    04/15/2015

    Agree 100%! I keep a page of address labels clipped to our fridge & use those for everything. If I need smaller labels, I tear it. If I need bigger labels, I overlap them. Most just use one strip. Easy & done then I label with a pen. And really I only find myself using them a few times a month anyway.

    [Reply]

  36. Ivy Miller

    04/15/2015

    I am mildly obsessed with my label maker ! But I do agree they aren’t necessary tape and a marker work just fine.
    For me the prettier something is make’s me more likely use it lol .

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well if you’re more likely to use it and organize it, then label away!

    [Reply]

    Janet Reply:

    I just want to say Andrea how much I enjoy two things about your blog:

    1) You always do what works for you with no apologies but also agree that there are other ways for other people and that that is a-ok!

    2) You post every day like clockwork. I so appreciate the consistency because your blog is one thing I like to do on my lunch break every day!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks SO much Janet!

    [Reply]