HOW TO LABEL AND SORT, STEP BY STEP
Once you’re in your new place with all of your belongings, it might seem overwhelming to figure out what to put away and where. It’s easy to shove the things you don’t want to keep out into the moving boxes you’ve saved for just that purpose and to tell yourself that it’s a good weekend project to go through all of it later. But with some planning ahead, you can label and store your things without too much hassle. Once you have a system in place, you can go back, rearrange, and add to it without having to disrupt the progress you’ve made.
STEP 1 Take Inventory of Your Items and Make Piles.
Start by piling everything right in front of you, going through it, and lumping the similar items together. After you’ve gotten through the obvious groupings, decide what you want to have easy access to and what you want to put away. Further divide your item piles and make notes, mental or written, of where you want to put them.
STEP 2 Look For Places in Your Place Where you Can Put Things in Storage.
Think beyond the obvious–for example, the shelf above the clothes rack in your bedroom closet. Perhaps you can add shelves and put storage containers without cramping your place. Gather ideas about what kinds of storage containers can fit in those areas so you can determine whether you need something narrow and tall or something wide and flat. Don’t forget to measure your spaces–you want to be absolutely sure that you are doing the next step right.
STEP 3 Go Online or in Person for Storage Containers of the Right Size and Shape.
Target, The Container Store, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond have a lot of options and ideas for how to label, contain, and store your things. Do a keyword search on their websites for “storage” and “labeling”–many times, you can get ideas based on what kinds of items they suggest or show for the container units. If you go to the store in person, you will often find a helpful salesperson who can tell you what works and what doesn’t.
STEP 4 Get Practical AND Creative With Your Labeling.
A lot of storage containers are themselves pre-labeled. If these don’t work for your needs, a few of the practical things to consider are whether or not you will be able to easily read the labels or if you want them to last or eventually replace them it’s best to keep it simple, so for kitchen reusables, chalkboard paint labels work great on Mason jars. For the bathroom, where you typically put away things in the same place each day, the reliable label maker probably works best. Differently colored or sized hanging tags can go on clothing hangers or parse the space on the rod in your bedroom closet.
STEP 5 Create Storage Within Storage-You Won’t Need Labels At All.
This is great for the kitchen and bathroom items you want to have access to regularly. Grab some silverware dividers for your kitchen drawers and plate racks for your upper cabinets. There are also dividers and small racks that you can put in your bathroom, often visually pleasing and appropriate in size.