One day, as I was standing in front of my class just as the school bell rang and everyone started to rush off to get home, my cue to start tidying things up and organize everything as much as possible began.
As a teacher, it is known that you can never ever have too many storage boxes, bins, and drawers to keep everything in place and organized.
But the thing is, as I scoured all through the bins and drawers trying to return all the materials the class used for the day to where it originally belonged to, I kept on opening the bins and drawers—only to open the wrong one over and over again until I found the right one.
And it’s a cycle that has been going on for ages ever since I started to teach, that’s when it hit me.
I needed a label maker, ASAP. But how can a label maker organize my life as a teacher?
Even though I had all the storage bins and shelves and drawers, it became counterproductive trying to find the place to put in the materials where it was supposed to belong.
And a label maker is just the remedy I needed to make things easier and more organized for me too. And not only that, I was able to use it for a lot of other stuff too!
To be honest, at first, I was a bit skeptical about using a label maker, that it won’t add any difference to my everyday routine—but boy did it prove me wrong.
Ever since I started using it to help me label everything from my classroom to my kitchen pantry, it was not only a life-changing teacher tool for me but also a great tool that I used to get my organization game at home on another level.
And with that being said, I’ll be sharing some of the hacks I tried and tested to use my label maker with because sharing is caring!
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8 Life-Changing Hacks!
#1. Shelves And Storage Bins
Initially, the only reason I decided to get a label maker was because of the predicaments I had whenever I needed to organize or put back items that belonged to my shelves and storage bins.
The storage bins that I used for my classrooms were not transparent, because I disliked how it tends to show off the clutter inside. So obviously I had a hard time determining which ones had the arts and crafts tools from the experimental materials and other items and supplies that I had for the classroom because they do get to be interchanged from time to time.
I always ended up opening each and every bin just to get all things sorted out, and that already took valuable time from me since I had plenty of them in the classroom.
The same also applied to the shelves I had in the classroom as well, since most of them had the same file folders, paperwork, and other important documents, it was hard to determine as to where I should put the papers I need to organize as quickly as possible.
That all changed when I started putting labels on every storage bins and shelves that I had in the room.
I no longer had to scour through all the storage bins and shelves just to know where pieces of stuff are supposed to go because of the helpful labels that I can read at a glance. I knew what storage box or bin to open and what shelves papers are supposed to belong to.
#2. Drawers and Drawer Dividers
Eventually, as time went by, I found more and more ways to use my label maker.
And the next project I used my label maker with is organizing my previously chic-looking drawers that somehow turned into junk drawers because I never had the time to re-organize everything in it.
But thanks to my label maker, I had the guts to go in deep and turn it into a satisfyingly organized drawer where I keep all my supplies and essentials looking neat and dashing every time I open it.
I’ve always had a number of pens, paper clips, markers, scissors, tapes, power cords, staplers, and other school supplies that teachers always stock up in my drawer at all times because those are the usual items that I reach out my hand to whenever I am at school.
As my drawers also come with dividers, I also tend to put in test papers, homework, and other important documents that sometimes get mixed up as I am always in a hurry.
I also have cleaning supplies, like some anti-bacterial wipes, disinfectant sprays, and other handy cleaning items that I also use on a daily basis.
I used my label maker to put labels on the drawer face for me to know which knob to pull whenever I need cleaning supplies or a pen when I need to write or sign anything.
I also labeled the dividers my drawers had because that’s the portion where I put all the important papers that I need to store because the dividers helped create a sectioning system to keep them all organized for me to easily identify where I kept a certain type of file or paper.
Labeling the storage bins, shelves, drawers, and dividers has dramatically helped me put back things where they belong which ultimately keeps everything in order and myself organized as well!
#3. Power Cords and Gadget Cords
Another dilemma that I know many teachers face as well as myself, it is the struggle to determine which power chord is which, especially in the classroom where you have a few electronic appliances that you use on a daily basis.
It can sometimes be a cord jungle beside my desk which is not really a sight to see when you’re trying to get yourself organized and clutter-free.
You’ll have power cords for printers, computers, projectors, speakers, and along with that you also have cords for gadgets like my laptop, tablet, smartphone, and other types of gadgets that I need to have in the classroom.
And with all the cords that we need to use every day, they do tend to come in the same color and size which can make it more confusing to determine if it’s the right cord for the certain item that you are trying to use.
And this has been a problem of mine until I also used my label maker to organize my cords to help me identify the right one that I need to plug in a matter of seconds, unlike before when they had no labels, I had to try a couple of times before getting it right.
Now thanks to my label maker, I have them all organized with their perspective names of owners and its uses to help me sort them out in a jiffy!
#4. Labeled Flash Drives
As a teacher, physical items and materials are not the only things that you need to have well-organized. Soft copies of important documents and papers are also essential to be kept arranged systematically in order to prevent situations of missing files and so on and so forth.
You surely don’t want important meeting files or class presentations to go missing at the last minute as teachers are always super busy with classes, meetings, and events happening simultaneously. Some teachers might not have the spare time just to go looking for it.
I like to have a couple of Flash Drives and Hard Drives because I want to have my personal and work-related files separate as much as possible, this is so that I can prevent mix-ups, missing files, and of course, I’ll immediately know where to find the right file as well.
I also used my label maker to help label each of my flash drives and hard drives accordingly so that I don’t have to let everyone see what’s in my flash drive when it’s showing in front of everyone in the class or when I’m in a meeting.
I was able to find the file that I was looking for in a very short time compared to when they had no label before. It made my life so much easier and I no longer had to be in doubt or guess if it’s the right flash drive to plug into my computer.
#5. Organized File System
The next project that I initiated to make use of my label markers is to get all my files arranged in an orderly fashion which ultimately made my life a whole lot easier than before.
I had a working system that I tailored specifically to how I would like it to function, which is one of the benefits of having a label maker, I was in control of how I would like to get things done and it made it possible for me to be more productive than I ever thought I could be.
I used it on anything I needed to have a label on, my file folders and binders where I labeled the sections of “Urgent”, “To File”, “Follow-ups”, “Need to sign” documents, and “Please return to” papers, and other essential documents that I need to attend to as soon as possible.
This not only saved me time and effort, but it also saved me from embarrassing missed deadlines and such scenarios that teachers do not want to be into professionally and personally.
#6. Immaculately Organized Pantry
With teaching as my main passion, I also absolutely adored cooking for my family during my free time. And that means I have loads of stuff in my pantry waiting for me to organize it.
Have you ever seen those Pinterest Pantries that are Picturesquely Organized accessorized with mason jars that are just so aesthetically pleasing to the eye?
Well, thanks to my label maker I was able to turn my run-down and disorganized pantry into one of those instagrammable cupboards that I just love to open every time I cook or when I just need to get something from it.
It turned my kitchen into somewhere I would love to stay and hang out for a while because after revamping my whole kitchen and organizing everything with labeled mason jars and glass jars, it was just a sight to see as everything was clutter-free and I graciously finished the look with the touch of my Philodendron babies.
I had labels on every container and thankfully now I know which one is the sugar from the iodized salt because my husband was truly and incredibly mad after I made him a cup of coffee with iodized salt instead of sugar. (Sorry love!) Imagine his taste buds after that!
This was also useful for my containers which had the same design which is not see-through and you can’t really see what was inside. It always gives me a hint which container had the all-purpose flour, and which one had the baking soda in it and the list goes on.
I also labeled baskets bins where I had a couple of bottles and also had an area for some of my fruits and vegetables, yes, because some of them are better stored at room temperatures, please don’t put your lovely tomatoes in the fridge they belong outside at room temperature. They will age better and last longer.
#7. Create Plant Markers
A great way for teachers to destress is through gardening. And as for my experience, I found that gardening has helped me channel my emotions gently through growing my own garden—and seeing my plants blossom because of all my hard work and perseverance to grow lovely plants is just fulfilling to see more than anything else.
It’s actually proven that even just by having a plant near your desk, it can dramatically reduce stress and will let you feel recharged and ready to take on the day.
If you are someone who suffers from anxiety or depression you might also find that gardening is highly beneficial not only for your mind but also for your whole being as well, which can only mean that gardening is the perfect hobby for teachers!
And as a newbie in gardening, I found another great way to make use of my label makers. I always try to start growing my plants from seeds. It’s just so satisfying and empowering to be able to grow them from seeds to seeing them sprout to seedling and eventually become a full-grown plant.
And of course, I needed a form of marker to help me identify which seed is planted in my starting tray because I usually have a couple of different varieties growing at the same time for each season.
I previously used markers on paper but they usually fade over time, especially when both the sun and water affect the paper and writing.
I used my embossed label maker to create plant markers using popsicle sticks and they just looked divine and visually stunning as well, plus they’re waterproof and they will surely not fade through the test of time.
#8. Light Switches
One of the life-altering hacks that I discovered that I can do with label makers is to label light switches, yes it may not sound that exciting at all, but boy, did this help a lot, especially with kids!
No longer did I have any problem with confusing light switches at school or even at home! Even my fellow teachers at school asked if I can help with their light switches because they just found the idea wonderful and also a great way to end the light switch dilemma they encounter from time to time.
Our entryway light switches were the most difficult panel of switches I have ever had to face. We had three panels controlling most of the driveway light, our living room circuit, and the light down our hallway as well.
Even though I have lived in our house for almost three decades it was still kind of puzzling for me to determine which switch is the right one for me to turn on. But all those problems were resolved by my label maker.
Even my mother asked me to get her one, and she’s loving it ever since!
Everyone has a different style or strategy to get themselves organized and what works for me might not work for others.
And that’s what I love about the label maker, it gives me freedom and the control over how I want to get things done and arranged in a specific manner that I know will work for me, help boost my productivity, and get things done task after task.
It’s just like giving my stuff names so that I can recognize them in a fraction of time which helps save both time and effort that I can funnel into other important things that I need to attend to.
Using a label maker to help you organize is a practical solution to the small problems that we think doesn’t hinder our productivity, but if you are to add them up they sure do take valuable time and energy from you.
There are so many ways to use the label maker, and I’m still adding some to this awesome list. You just have to be creative and find a way that you know will work best for you and your routine!
Have you tried using a label maker? How did it help with your organizing system?
Sound off below and let us know down in the comment section!
Hugs And Happy Organizing!