My Labeler, My Love  – a guest post by Kay Vreeland

“People can last a day or two without food and water, but no one can live without a label maker!” — Adam Glassman in the Declutter issue of O Magazine, March 2012

My creative website-designer friend, Taughnee showed me her home office one day, a model of ornamental organization. I gasped at the simple elegance. She said it was a label maker that changed mess into method. Looking at her files and projects so clear on every shelf, I thought of my junky closet stuffed with underclothes and socks and scarves in the absence of a chest of drawers. I saw my snakes’ lair of cords and cables, and my boxes and shopping bags overflowing with papers, stuff stuffed in the back of drawers and shelves to molder undisturbed.

On the way home from Taughnee’s, I bought a 6½ ” x 4″ labeler, 8″ x 13″ open-top storage boxes and packs of Paris-themed file folders. That was five years ago and my life has been prettily streamlined ever since. I can see everything I own; hidden storage is gone; daily life glides along.

I labeled the magazine boxes and lined them up on my closet shelf. I filled bins with folded scarves, undershirts, camisoles, bras, underwear, socks, hankies, belts—voilà, my non-hanging clothes life was organized. The labeler then took care of the anonymous stacked boxes, big items wrapped in plastic, place mats folded in tissue paper, all now identifiable. Notebook binders of old bank statements, insurance papers, and tax returns got labeled and lined up in a high kitchen cabinet. The label maker named my fancy file folders that were put in decorative new Banker’s Boxes. Papers found their way home easily. Cords and cables had string tags for labels.

The sun came out in my life. I started living in a pretty forest of labeled containers and file folders that gave each hard-to-see thing I owned a home with an address. I could always put my hands on what I needed in an instant. I put things away because it was easy. I was in love. I still am.