Getting Organized: Label it!

I’ve been busy the last few days organizing and cleaning out some of the closets around my home.  I’ve finally corralled most of my holiday centerpieces into one closet where I can find them when I need them.  I do so love having everything neatly organized.  It’s such a great feeling when you can immediately put your hand on something you need, when you need it.

Recently, I posted about 20 Things I Can’t Live Without.  Thanks so much for all your amazing ideas and suggestions left in the comments!  I’ve already started trying some of the things you mentioned, including the perfume, Amazing Grace.  Oh my gosh, does it smell wonderful!  I put it on every day whether I’m staying home or going out.  It just puts me in the best mood!

After I created my “20 Things” post, Pam e-mailed to share something she couldn’t live without in her home: a Brother Label Maker.  I had a feeling her label maker was just a wee bit more sophisticated than the Dynamo label maker I had back in high school.

Do you remember these?  They used the colorful, sticky embossing tape.  I had the best time labeling all kinds of stuff back then.  It’s a wonder my cat didn’t end up with a label!  I remember kids would even bring them to school.  Did you have a Dynamo label maker?


Photo from Wikipedia

Here’s the label maker Pam uses.  Pam said, “The label maker photo shows its two essential features: a drop-in cartridge to easily switch between tape sizes with no wasted tape, and the USB cord that connects to the computer.  Of course, this handy gadget created a label for its own storage box!  Notice the fun font I used for that label. I love being able to use any font on my computer.”

Label maker

I asked Pam how she uses her label maker so she snapped a few pics to share.  Pam also shared some information about how she prints her labels out to avoid wasting any of the label tape.

Lego bins

Pam said, “I’ve had my label maker for 10+ years and use it constantly in my pantry, craft room, toy storage area and decorating closet (all the bins of stuff for various holidays).”
One inch wide label

“I absolutely love the ability to sit down at my computer with its familiar keyboard and make a whole batch of labels all at once – using any of several favorite fonts on my computer – and have the labels print to the label maker.”

Pantry label

“One of the quirks of a label maker is that when you print a label, it first spits out about 1/2″ of blank label tape (to position the tape under the print head). Thus, every time you print a label, you waste a bit of tape.”
Script font tea

“To avoid wasting tape, I usually go to the P-touch editor (the software on my computer – free download) and type a batch of labels on one long strip, with a few spaces between each. Sometimes my label is as much as 28″ long! I print this very long strip, then cut it into the smaller labels with scissors, thus wasting only that first bit.”

Shelf label

“All this to say – after using my label maker for so many years for so many labels, I think I’ve really gotten my money’s worth out of a labeler that cost about $75.  I buy my 1/2″ label tape at Costco – around here, they have the best price on a pack of three cartridges.”

Jar labels with frames

Wow!  Seeing all the ways Pam has used her label maker totally has me wanting my own.  I would love to create neat looking labels for all the file folders in my office.  Would look so much nicer and more consistent than my chicken scratch labels.  Probably be a lot easier to read, too.

Christmas storage

Pam, thanks so much for sharing all these great tips and photos. This definitely has my wheels turning!
I can really see how a label maker would come in handy in the home, the garage, a workroom or even a tool shed.  Endless possibilities!

Do you have a label maker? If so, what brand do you have and where/how do you use it?

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  1. Nicole, only some models of the PTouch are computer connectable. I’m afraid that many readers are thinking “Mine’s a PTouch, where’s the cord?” The PTouch 2730 is the current version of my old label maker. It costs about $71 at Amazon. But with the right model, it’s simple. The photo in the post shows how the cord connects via USB to the computer, where it acts like any other printer. You load the free Brother editing software on your computer, and then you can use any font on your computer for your labels. Magic! And most of my fonts are from one of several websitse that have free downloadable fonts. I’m as nuts about fonts as I am about my label maker. Pam

  2. I love my label maker! I have been cleaning and reorganizing in my craft room and I have made a label for everything! Not only do I like the look my husband doesn’t have any excuse for not finding that scissors or sharpie pen he might need.

  3. This brings back good memories, when in college I was a label maker fanatic. Thanks for the reminder! I think I am going to have to find an updated one!

  4. From Hickory Hill says

    Aaaah to be organized….I try but never quite succeed.

  5. I had a label maker when I was kid, but I probably should have one now! I am not organized at all these days.

  6. Lani Derrick says

    I have a Brother, we use it for school note books, garage storage tubs, and I think I need to add some labels to my new organized pantry.

  7. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest says

    My father bought the “household” a Dynamo label maker and I remember several things about it as though it were yesterday. 2.) I know Dad bought it for my HIGHLY organized Mom who had 5 VERY disorganized kids and a much more disorganized husband. He tried. She tried. Um, well, perhaps it helped until 2.) I remember getting in trouble for using it too much. Not BIG trouble, little trouble. But running out of the rolls of that blue or red or black plastic stuff was pretty common in our house. 3.) Jamming. And I don’t mean to the beats. I mean that thing used to jam up like there was no tomorrow. So, like so many things of my childhood I am fairly certain it went to the big Landfill in the Sky. Rest its soul. If it had one – because I am fairly certain Dad beat the soul right outta that thing. Just kidding. We weren’t abused as children, it just was said for giggles. Dad was awesome, and one of my best friends. OH- and yes this is long winded, sorry Susan – but my friend Amy came

  8. I have a Brother as well, but I never knew you could connect it to your computer. I’m going to have to look into this!

  9. I would like a label maker.

  10. I’d love to contact Pam to see how she connects her PTouch to her computer to get those custom fonts.

  11. www.lifeisapartydotca says

    I never knew I could connect my label maker to the computer and use different fonts either, thanks for sharing! Dannyelle

  12. www.lifeisapartydotca says

    I have a handheld similar to this one. It does several different fonts, but I don’t use the one I love the most because little kids can’t read the cursive. LOL! I have noticed, however, that the labels do not stick well to items exposed to any type of humidity (bins in storage, bathrooms, or even plastics that go in the fridge).

  13. Looks like a pretty cool gadget…and very useful too! I am not very organized….I should probably look into purchasing one of these!!! LOL ~Des

  14. So cool…but I’m opposed to bringing one more gadget in my house unless I’ll use it every single day. And I don’t think I would (kids are grown and gone). I label things with cute tags tied on baskets (homemade, brown cardstock, cut out with pinking shears).

  15. Ooooh I love it and love being organized that would be so cool but I think I’d get addicted to ‘labeling’ and it would get out of hand quickly! great ideas though and beautiful fonts!

  16. I also have a p-touch which I have used for years! I love it! Mine does not connect to my computer though. I need to look at that one! What fun that would be! 🙂

  17. Sue (Someones Mom) says

    I hate to admit it, but I think my old, yellow one from high school is around here somewhere! I love the idea of labels. I tend to just handprint mine, but these are so much prettier!

  18. Country Dreaming says

    I have the same one that Pam uses and I love it. We use it for everything! I have also made extra long labels too. Melinda

  19. Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista says

    I have a Brother label maker that is really useful. The only thing I’d do differently was that the one I got has an “abc” keyboard instead of the “qwerty” keyboard like a computer. So everything I need to type something I’m hunting and pecking to find the letters!

  20. Disappointing that your labels don’t stick in the bathroom and fridge. I haven’t had that problem with the Brother P-touch tape that I’ve bought at office supply stores and Costco. Once in a while, a label won’t stick well to a storage bin (textured surface), but that’s rare. I find that labels survive the dishwasher, even on plastic food storage containers. Pam

  21. Do I forsee a tutorial on label making via computer in the future? Hint! Hint! Susan knows I’ve already flunked that class before she starts!

  22. I have a Brother brand…I don’t know the model but it cost about $30. It isn’t real fancy but it does do the job!

  23. ❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ says

    I have a Dynamo label maker that has a little keyboard thingy on it and prints on paper labels but I rarely use it. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I used it…lol. IF I do make labels, I like to use the little hang tags or something cute, write on it and maybe decorate it with some stickers or something, which is what I do with the baskets in my sewing/craft room.

  24. That model looks too hard for me! I have a Dymo labelmaker and love it! The labels do waste a bit but the cartridges are affordable and I can choose between paper or plastic tape and very easy to switch for different needs. As for those good old-school label makers, did you know those are nifty for use with fancy scrapbook papers? I’ve seen tutorials where you cut a strip of the embossable paper and run it through and the label maker pushes up the bottom layer of paper creating the same look as that good old sticky plastic tape. Very cuter for scrapbooks or cards.

  25. How does Pam print her labels out without wasting any of the tape?

  26. Lizabeth @ Infuse With Liz says

    I have a label making but after seeing this I just looked it over and it doesn’t have a way to connect to a computer. Mine has 2 fonts…boring and boring!! LOL… I recently worked on my bedroom closet and picked up new clear plastics and used my labeler to remind me of what’s in them! I’m all for marking containers so you can remember what’s in them and not have to guess! I do hate the way it wastes that little bit of extra tape each time, but I like it just the same! I think I’m going to have to investigate one that can connect to my computer- having more options is a good thing!!

  27. Ashley – I always have to waste a bit of tape, but I try to minimize it. It always cuts off and spits out the first 1/2 inch. However, when I am typing labels using the software on my computer, I can make labels about 28″ long and easily scroll back and forth to read the whole thing. So I type many labels on the same long strip, with 3 or 4 spaces between each one, so a long label might start out like this: “Salt Baking Powder Baking Soda and so on…” Then I print the whole long strip and cut it apart with scissors before sticking them on. This way I only waste the first 1/2 inch, instead of 1/2 inch at the beginning of each label.

  28. Lizabeth – If you belong to Costco, hop on over to and snap up the P-touch 2730 at the fantastic bargain price of $39.99, shipping included. This special is only good through Feb. 26, so hurry! For comparison, this same label maker is $71 at Amazon and about that at the office supply stores. Great deal! Read my reply to Ashley above – and others have said the same thing – about making several labels at a time on one long strip in order to minimize the waste.

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