The average American spends 2 ½ days every year looking for misplaced items — and we collectively spend $2.7 billion each year replacing those items.
This holiday season, why not give your friends and family — from the slightly disheveled to the bona fide slob — a bit of time and money in the form of an organizing solution?
“Everybody loves to be more organized,” says Ellen Delap, 63, a certified professional organizer who served two years as president of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. “It makes people feel more confident and more in control, especially in uncertain times. We want to know what we have and make it all easy to find. It’s universal.”
Know what else seems to be universal? Praise for the label maker as a thoughtful present.
On spice jars, storage bins and countless other places, labels can reflect a personality. Label maker tape comes in different colors and sizes and can be simple or fancy, and many of the handheld devices can print borders. (Adding metallic or calligraphy pens to the gift is a nice touch.)
Labels may be particularly helpful for those with memory challenges, says professional organizer Linda Birkinbine, 59, owner of Keep It Organized in Amherst, New York. On shelves and inside drawers, they can alleviate confusion.
“That’s what’s so important about labeling — not only does it help you identify what you have, it also helps you identify where to put things away,” she says.
If you’re concerned that giving someone an organizational gift might come across as offensive, think about the continuing popularity of Marie Kondo and shows like The Home Edit. Containing clutter is hip. And the range of products on the market shows that such gifts don’t insinuate judgment.
Someone who spends a lot of time in this room may appreciate clear glass jars with pop-off lids that keep flour, sugar, nuts and other essentials fresh — and give a clean look to what can feel like an overwhelmed counter.
But don't forget about what's behind closed doors.
Acrylic bins — clear, so it’s easy to see what’s inside — are good for storing packaged snacks, rice and other kitchen staples, as well as medicine, says Delap, who is based in Houston. They’re usually sold in sets of four and come in various shapes and sizes.
“These help organize the pantry so it looks like Pinterest,” Delap says.