I would be willing to bet that most of us have the same mystery “something” in our junk drawer. Let’s get the label maker out and watch this video to find out about that and four more things you forgot to label.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/lmlabels.)
Hi, I’m organizing and lifestyle expert Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet. You’ve heard me talk about labeling for years, but today let’s talk about a few things you may have forgotten to label. First of all, how many of you have one key, at least, on your key chain that you have no idea what it unlocks? If you don’t have just even one on your key chain, you probably have a bundle of them in your junk drawer.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this happening. Because once you don’t know what it is, you can either try every lock you have or throw it in the garbage. That’s pretty much the solution there. Don’t let that happen. Just keep some of these little paper key tags in stock. They’re very inexpensive. Or you can use your label maker and do a little small label and put it right onto the key. Either way, that’s going to save you a lot of headache later on. What happens often is people move into a new house and the keys from the old house come with them. At least you would know then, after you move, if you label all of them as a policy.
The second thing is small appliance parts. I got a new rice cooker and this measuring cup came with it. It was pretty flimsy, but it’s the right cup to use. It’s kind of an odd measurement for just that rice cooker, so I labeled it so I wouldn’t accidentally toss it out. Anyway, there are a lot of other parts that you could do this with for small appliances that help you keep it straight. Obviously, gadgets like cameras and other things that have cords and accessories, same thing.
The other thing is that we freeze a lot of things and we put them in the freezer thinking I’m going to remember what that is, of course. But you don’t remember how long it’s been there, and sometimes things look very different after they’re frozen and they’re very hard to tell what they actually are. The manufacturers almost always put a blank space for a label on there. Just get a Sharpie really quick and write on what it is and what date you put it in there as a policy so that you won’t be wondering later on.
Another thing is light switches. You will continue to get confused, even if it’s your own house, after years go by and you never use that ceiling fan, and which one is it. As you see here, it’s a great policy to just label all the light switches in the house. That makes guests more comfortable and anybody.
The other thing that happens is you have a big control panel in many homes with a security system or some kind of internet wiring. Ultimately you’re going to need to know someday which one of those goes with what room. As you can see here, all of that being labeled just takes a few seconds. Next time your service provider comes over to work on the panel, don’t let them make any changes without you standing there and putting a new label on it. That’s what I always do. Because, inevitably, that helps later.
People ask me all the time about the best label maker and the best ways to label. You know, it’s very simple. I have had this very inexpensive $25 label maker for my entire career. I started my career with this 16 years ago. It still works. I rarely even have to change the batteries in it. That’s all you need, and some kind of Sharpie marker. I like these twin-tip ones that have a fine tip and a large tip. You want to keep these around the house in multiple places where you’re going to need them. I always have one near the freezer, for example.
If you want some help with ideas like this and any kind of project consultations that you need, we do budget consulting. We are going into our tenth year of Clutter Diet’s Membership Program. You can find out more about how to get very inexpensive help from us at http://www.clutterdiet.com/learnmore. See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.