{five minute friday} Organizing with Labels that Are Quick & Easy to Update

Friday, November 3, 2017

Raise your hand if you love to label ALL. THE. THINGS? Me too! Labeling is one of the most important steps in the process of creating an organized space, because it makes it easy for everyone in the family to find what they need, and makes it much easier to put everything away where it belongs.


But not all labels are created equal. A label is only good if it's accurate, so it's important to make labels easy to update for those spots in the house where the contents are likely to change frequently. This is particularly true when it comes to any kids space, because we all know how quickly kids grow and change!


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The boys had been begging to share a room for quite a while, so back in the spring we converted Cooper's former nursery in to a super fun shared bedroom, complete with the coolest storage bunk beds. It's a pretty small room, but we managed to create dedicated play space, and we packed in tons of storage, including hidden behind the doors of this cute Eiffel Bookcase.


I love that opening in the center for displaying some of the boys' favorite books and toys. But this organizing-loving mom really loves what is behind those doors. SO. MUCH. STORAGE.


This bookcase is a bit on the shallow side, so the style of bins I normally buy for organizing toys {these and these} were too deep. But I found these gray felt bins that are just perfect for the space.

But as you can see in the photo above, it's a bit overwhelming to look at these twelve bins with no labels. How the heck does anyone know what's inside? Good question. No one did, and so for the past few months, these baskets became a disorganized mess. It was frustrating the kids because they couldn't find the toys they wanted, and it was frustrating me because it make cleanup much harder.

Of course, it's my fault, because I should have labeled the bins when we first finished the room makeover. But it was one of those situations where I was so relieved to have the major decor and DIY projects in the space finished, so details like labeling the bins behind the doors were left for later.

One of the reasons I initially put off this project was that I wanted to come up with a plan to make these labels quick and easy to update, knowing that over the years what's inside each bin will change many times as they outgrow toys and games, and get new stuff.

I decided I needed to finally make this a priority, and once I came up with a plan, it only took me a few minutes to execute. Here I am kicking myself for not just spending five minutes to create these labels months ago!

Let me introduce you to my new favorite way to create easy-to-update labels - self-adhesive business card pockets paired with scrapbook paper!


I picked out a variety of colorful scrapbook papers {to coordinate with all the color of the other side of the boys' bedroom}, and I cut each 6" x 6" sheet of paper into four business card sized pieces.


I stacked up each matching set of paper labels, and tucked them inside one of the clear pockets, creating twelve sets in all {one for each toy bin}.


Then I used a Sharpie to label the front piece of paper in each set.


Sure I could have just cut one label for each bin, but by taking a few extra seconds to cut three extra labels to tuck into the back of each adhesive pocket, it's going to be SO EASY to update these labels in the future. When the floor puzzle gets replaced with a different toy or game in the future, all I need to do is discard the front label and write the new contents of the bin on the second label back. 


After sliding all of the labels into the pocket...


...all I had to do was peel the label pocket off of the backing...


...and stick it onto the bin.


These adhesive pockets stick really well, but are easy to remove for later.


Now that all the bins are labeled, it's SO much easier for everyone to find the toys they want! Rather than just having twelve identical bins with a randomly assortment of toys, everything now has a dedicated spot, which means less time searching and more time playing. And it makes clean-up much quicker as well!


For very young kids, pictures, color-coding, or numbered bins, can be a good way to go, but now that my boys are old enough that one is reading, and the other is recognizing letters and words, labeling these baskets with simple descriptions was fast and easy.


I'll definitely be using these adhesive label pockets more often when I need to create labels that can be quickly updated over time. And spending just a few extra minutes to cut the extra pieces of paper to tuck behind the current label is going to pay off big when the time comes to update!

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