Have you ever had to dig through a ton of boxes to find a file, just because you didn’t know what box it was it? Have you ever unplugged two or three things before finding the right cord? How many hours have you spend sniffing the spices, just because you couldn’t tell by looking which one was nutmeg? Wouldn’t it be nice if everything just had a label on it? Well, why can’t it? There are a number of labellers available today – from desk top to handheld. In other circumstances, blank labels and a black marker will do. Here are some ideas to get you started on labelling your world:
File folders – When labelling files use a broad term that makes sense to you and to others that may be looking for the file. Put related items in the same folder.
File cabinets – Some offices can have rooms and rooms full of file cabinets. By labelling each drawer with the contents of what is inside and having each file inside labelled; you can save yourself hours of searching.
Frequently borrowed items – Stapler, scissors, hammers, rakes...people that ‘borrow’ sometimes end up ‘keeping’ because after time passes, they tend to forget who they borrowed the item from in the first place.
Electronic accessories – IPods, Blackberries, digital cameras and other gadgets...the adapters and USB cords collect quickly. Do you know which one goes with which, or do you have to try a few out before getting it right? Label each one.
Cords - How often have you unplugged the wrong cord? When power bars get full of similar looking cords for the computer and its accessories, it is easy to mix up the cords. Unplugging the computer when you meant to unplug the fan can lead to lost documents. Put a label on the cord as close to the plug-in as you can. If it helps, label the other end as well.
Food items - A lot of people like to put spices and condiments in decorative jars and containers. How useful is this if you don’t know what is in the container? You don’t have to wreck the decor, just place the label on the bottom of the container.
Instructions that are impossible to remember – In the office we had a fantastic high-quality stapler. The only problem was, every time it ran out of staples we spent hours trying to figure out how to refill it. Since we put the instructions on a label on the bottom of the stapler, we haven’t had that problem.
You don’t have to go label-crazy, just label the things that make sense. Make sure to use short, descriptive words so that you know exactly what it is you are looking at.
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© 2007 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Fax: (902) 455-0553