Organizing Blog

The Glue: Making Your Organizing Stick


You have applied the Major Mom Method. You have pictured it, planned it and completed each of the STEPS– Sorted, Treasured, Established Homes, Planned Containers and Started New Habits. There is a place for everything and at last, everything is in its place. It feels great, but you can’t help wonder, how long will this last? Maybe you have done this all before and are frustrated by having your efforts come “undone.” There is some glue you should add to those new habits that will help your organized picture to stay together.

One of the most crucial steps in organizing is labeling. Unless you live alone and have perfect recall, you’ll need a way to communicate the newly established “homes” with yourself and those who share your space. You can and should round up your roommates, loved ones and co-dwellers to show and explain this brave new system of organization. Discuss your new habits and the ones you are hoping they will acquire. You can count on them to remember and participate, right? There is an answer. Labeling can ensure your treasures return to their assigned homes and remain simple to find, keeping everyone on the same page!

Perhaps the idea of labeling in your own home seems awkward to you. Your home is not a public place, for goodness sakes, it is not the church kitchen! Consider the many ways to label. In your home it might involve labeling inside cabinets, on shelves or inside drawers. This type of labeling functions not only by saying this is where we keep the glasses, but also as a placeholder to keep their home from being invaded by someone just looking to put away the blender. Think about how much help this can in the pantry when you are making the grocery list, putting away the groceries or searching out the ingredients for dinner. The refrigerator shelves can also be labeled to assist in storing and locating food. The garage and basement are also great places to use labeling. You can find those seldom used items without going through everything you’ve stored, especially if the containers you’ve used are not clear. The linen closet is filled with sheets that look alike and are different sizes. Re-folding them all to find the size you need is never fun.

  • Labels don’t have to be fancy.
  • Use a label maker or don’t.
  • Print neatly or use the computer.
  • If you are labeling a box, label the two broadest sides.
  • Color-coding can be useful.
  • Use pictures if you have small children who cannot read. Labeling their treasures can prevent many arguments.
  • Choose your wording thoughtfully. What does your family call it? Be specific!
  • In the office with paper items use instructive words: file, review, pay.

You can also use labels to post simple instructions. On the rice container, 3x rice to 1x water. On the washer, leave this door open when not in use. An exit list near the exit point in your house can curb some forgetting. These small instructive notes have amazing authority. Think of the bottle marked “Drink Me” in Alice in Wonderland.

Don’t overlook this crucial step in organizing your spaces. It can be the “glue” that keeps it stuck!