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Creative Labeling for Home Organization

by | Jan 8, 2009 | Organization

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Creative Labeling for Home Organization

I love labels. I like seeing a row of notebooks with labeled spines, bins with labels inserted into metal brackets, tags tangling from baskets and stenciled names above towel hooks.

Creative Labeling for Home Organization

Creative Labeling for Home Organization

Creative Labeling for Home Organization

Creative Labeling for Home Organization

I dream about everything in my house being all organized and labeled. I even bought a label machine so I could label to my heart’s content.

Creative Labeling for Home Organization

Creative Labeling for Home Organization

Ok, so why am I showing a toilet plunger? We have discovered one of the hazards of a brand new house — the wonderful “low flow” toilets. At great risk of offending someone (or more likely, embarrassing myself) over discussing such a, um, well, delicate issue, I will tell you that within three days of living at our new house we had to invest in three plungers disguised in metal canisters.

To the unsuspecting guest caught in an awkward situation, this little canister will likely save someone from utter mortification. And to make sure they know we have thought of their every need in their moment of crisis, and to avoid mistaken identity of what is in the canister, I am going to label the canister with the word “plunger.” All in the name of hospitality.

Don’t forget about the Beautiful Living Linky on Friday! I’m looking forward to the weekly motivation to stay on task with my goals. And I promise I haven’t forgotten about the home tour — I have the first photos uploaded now that I can show you all really soon.

Top two photos: See Jane Work
Next three photos: BHG


  1. Suzann

    This post is sooooo me! I heart labels, organization, pretty little binders all in a row, decorative boxes with ribbons and labels, I am someone who could live to organize.

    Suzanns inspiring blog post..Life In The Fast Lane…

  2. Kerry

    Labels are great – so organised – but only if they’re well-made. I love anything with beautiful writing, it adds life to an inanimate object – although I’m not sure just how much life you want from a toilet plunger!

    Great blog, gorgeous pics.

    Kerrys inspiring blog post..I Owe, I Owe, It’s Off To Work I Go…

  3. Jennifer

    I totally get the toilet issue. I hate our toilets. We have four kids that apparently use more toilet paper than those toilets were designed for and we are constantly yelling for the plunger. Grrrr.
    I also have the same labeler as the one pictured in your post and it is always out of tape because of those same 4 children. It is such a fascination for them. LOL!

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..Crazy friendship

  4. Terri Steffes

    I love labels, too and just purchased a label maker for school. I am loving it!

    Terri Steffess inspiring blog post..Antique Photos

  5. anne

    I love the little box for keys and stamps..

    You must of strange toilet systems over there, never heard of that before!!

    Melissa are you sure you have moved house!! All this time for blogging, does your husband know!!! :-) :-)

    annes inspiring blog post..Christmas Present to my hubby……

  6. gina

    I own THREE label makers and numerous other means of labeling things. Also a few high-end plungers- due to the joys of low flow toilets. ;)

    ginas inspiring blog post..Happy Valentine’s Day… to me.

  7. Rebecca

    I have the same problem with low flow toilets! After speaking with a plumber on numerous occassions, I can offer you this advice….use cheap toilet paper (it may not be comfortable but at least it will flush) and hold the handle down for at least three seconds with every flush. That would be a long label to make though!

  8. Vee

    Labels are one of my “things” too. I really like all of the ones that you’ve shown and now I realize that I can do better.

    The carpenter says that perhaps you could check into “Generation 4” water closets. These have been redesigned in such a way that the problems have been lessened.

    Nothing much worse than these “new” water-saving commode. The amount of water that it takes to make them function is so far more than the old standard that it is ridiculous.

    Vees inspiring blog post..That Mary!

  9. Julie

    Same toilet issues with our new house. Lived in a 70 year old house and never had a problem. Frustrating!!!! I love your blog and all the ideas you give out! Thanks for keeping it going even with all you have going on!

    Julies inspiring blog post..

  10. coco

    I am label crazy too…my kids know to get out of the way when I have the label maker in my hands! Love the toilet plunger, we also have low flow toilet syndrome here…the plunger is our friend!

  11. Karlene

    Good inspiration, love your blog. Thank you.

    Karlenes inspiring blog post..lovely images

  12. teresa

    Me to, me to! Labels are my friends :}
    We moved into a new home once with the same problem- with in a week my hd, was insulating new “old” style toilets. {I have four boys:}
    Good luck with everything-

  13. Laura Ingalls Gunn

    This is probably not what you want to hear, but the part of this post that jumped out at me was “Oh my goodness a fairly attractive plunger~I must have it!” So, the search is on.

    I am amazed that you can move and blog at the same time. My hat is tipped.

    Laura Ingalls Gunns inspiring blog post..Before and After’s of 2008

  14. cityfarmer

    I love the bread tin…I have one by my stove in pure white…it is one of my favortie things.

  15. Tara

    LOVE labels too! I think I could label everything, but I don’t know how my cat would respond to a label stuck to him…hmmmm! Can’t wait to see the pictures of your new house! congrats!

    Taras inspiring blog post..Worry Wart~

  16. Goldie

    I too moved this weekend and I am having trouble committing to labels as all the stuff I am unpacking will not fit behind that little label! As you can tell I am organized challenged. I am still waiting for the moving fairies to show up and unpack. Great blog!

  17. Isa

    Labels make the world go ’round -systematically and in glorious order! I’m with you on loving labels! Change out the low flows – we eventually did in our old house. The whole point was to save water, but when you have to flush them a gazillon times, the point is lost – and so is all that water!
    Love your blog!
    xo Isa

    Isas inspiring blog post..Sneak Peek…

  18. Janel M

    Yes! lol Love it!!

    With four kids home all day (we homeschool), if I didn’t label EVERYTHING – including the shelves in the fridge – my world would come to a grinding hault.

    Janel Ms inspiring blog post..Links for 2009-01-07 []

  19. Karen B

    Hi Melissa! Yes, I have both, labeler and irritating “new” toilets. I didn’t know you could get pretty plungers though. Just like Laura, the search may be on. My question is, how come it rarely happens to DH and mostly to me? Don’t answer that. :-)

    Karen Bs inspiring blog post..Valentine Pretties

  20. Melissa Miller

    I love this idea. Thanks for all the inspiration.
    Love your blog! ~Melissa :)

  21. Melissa Miller

    I spelled my blog address wrong. Oops!
    It’s “”

  22. Lorrie

    Labels! One of my favourite things! A way to feel like thing in my studio are in control when really they aren’t!

    So sorry to hear about the low-flow toilet issues.


  23. deann mcdaniel

    oh, you are singing my song – i love the look of notebooks all lined up w/labels…sigh, to dream! LOL!

    and what a wonderfully thoughtful hostess you are, to ensure that your guests will never have ‘an embarrassing’ moment!

    take care,

  24. LeAnn

    Yep, I can remember that problem with a new home…at least you can disguise and label them…LOL!! I have that first ETC basket in your picture.


    LeAnns inspiring blog post..I did a little tweaking….

  25. Rebecca

    Our builder gave us one good piece of advice on our final walk through…hold down the lever longer and it will go down much better! Now, if only we could find a nice way of hanging a sign in our bathroom for our guests to avoid the embarrassment! :)

  26. Adrienne S

    I need to know where you found those. We also have the low flow toilets and sometimes they are awful. Especially on holidays!

  27. Melissa

    Hi friends! We got our plunger at a home improvement store, Lowe’s. You can also find them at Bed Bath & Beyond, although I am not sure on that particular finish. Happy plunging! :-)

  28. Jaime

    I love labels. I love them!

    I hate low flow toilets. I mean, I’m all for helping to save the environment but there are just some things you can’t skimp on!

    When I get my own place I’ll have my toilet replaced if it pisses me off that bad. What will and will not flush is one thing I should NOT have to worry about in this modern world!

    Jaimes inspiring blog post..Blah Blah Boring Blah Blah Blah

  29. JenJen

    Cute label ideas. I love my little label maker but I should branch out and try some more interesting labeling.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  30. Stephanie

    I, too, invested in a label maker! They are fun to use. Now if it could just magically make me more organized!!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

    Stephanies inspiring blog post..New Years Cozy Giveaway from Joy!!

  31. Misti

    Funny! All this time I thought it was just our house full of guys! Darn low-flow toilets!!! I may have to label me a plunger just for our guest bathroom. I could see that being an issue someday. They would never visit again… Love the label ideas!

    Misti @ Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Step Inside my Kitchen: My favorite place in the house

  32. karen

    now you are a considerate hostess to provide that!! very nice looking also!

    karens inspiring blog post..HOOCHIE BOOK CLUB

  33. DebbieCalif

    I am laughing because I am ALWAYS that guest who is mortified because er’;”” something @$#%&*%^$ like this always happens to me and there is NEVER a plunger around!!!!! How embarassing! I laughed out loud at your post because no one mentions this ‘trauma’ and ‘panic’ but it happens to some of us all the time! More than once I’ve said ‘honey, quick let’s get out of here, before anyones figures out I was the one in the bathroom’…..giggle…
    Oh and by the way…love label makers, I wish they came in extra big size!

    DebbieCalifs inspiring blog post..Before and Afters-

  34. victoria ~ auction girl vintage

    We had the same problem with our *regular* toilets, which were installed in the mid-80s … specifically, with the toilets in the 2 bathrooms our boys use. When I put in new floors a couple years ago, I replaced those two toilets with Champion (dontcha love the name?) toilets by American Standard … affectionately known and advertised as the 24 Golf Ball toilet. Yep, a low flow toilet with a high-powered suction system and a wider-then-usual waste pipe that could dispose (literally) of 24 golf balls in one flush … impressive, huh?

    I replaced the floor and toilet in our master bathroom last summer, with the new and improved version of the Golf Ball toilet, which has never needed plunging and has a really-nice looking tank as a bonus :o) Lowes carries them, and so does Home Depot (where they’re quite a bit more expensive than @ Lowes).

    American Standard Champion Toilet Bowl (Model: 3225016.020) – Right Height™ siphon action jetted bowl with 2-3/8″ fully glazed trapway
    Features the Champion flushing system with the industry’s largest outlet at 2-3/8″

    The weird thing about this toilet is that it seems to flush “up” before the siphon part sucks stuff down … not a problem or messy or anything, just weird the first time you notice. All 3 Champion toilets in our house are the “right height” style, great for adults and taller people because the seat is 1 to 2 inches higher than a standard toilet.

    The tank is purchased separately, and it truly is pretty. American Standard Skyline4 Champion Toilet Tank (Model: 4077014). Take a look at it on Lowe’s website (search by model #).

    Now, if only the industry would start making toilet bases that hide all those intestinal-looking swirls along the sides and bottom … you know, something that’s actually quick and EASY to clean, so we don’t have to stand on our heads in such confined spaces :o)

    victoria ~ auction girl vintages inspiring blog post..Trash to Treasure ~ Copper Colander

  35. Maven

    Me too!!! I love a good label,

    And LOL!! I did wonder what a plunger was doing in the post and went looking for the label ;)

    Very stylish, I think I better get one too!

    Mavens inspiring blog post..Roller Derby Queen – Re-rolled and reloaded

  36. LuLu

    First, we use plunger almost everyday with the kids… never knew that came in a canister!!! My next purchase!! I need a label maker.. i’ve been making labels all week in my crazy organizational mission I am in for the month of January!! Mad about labels!!!

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Organize with Style

  37. Heather

    Labels are totally helpful – but I know I’m terrible at labeling things! I did label the vintage tin miner’s lunchbox that houses the spare rolls of t.p. in the laundry room washroom, but I’m not sure if it helped! I labeled it T.P. Rolls right where you would normally find a miner’s last name, and everyone asks if there really was a guy named T.P. Rolls !!! they can never find the spare rolls of paper! Oh well, I tried!

    Heathers inspiring blog post..Company Girl ‘Small Thing’

  38. Michelle K

    Oh my! I hate those low-flow toilets, too. We just redid our powder room, and I actually chose a gray pedestal sink that matched our old (high-flow) toilet. There was no way I was going to install one of those useless low-flow toilets.

    Michelle Ks inspiring blog post..Thankful Thursday

  39. Polly

    You’re too funny. I know what you mean about the low-flow systems. Our former house had that same issue. Now that we’re in a historic home, you can flush just about anything. However, the tree roots have grown into all the piping out front so the entire neighborhood has to be on contract with Roto Rooter! =) Blessings… Polly (p.s. Will be signing up for Balanced Living later this month!)

    Pollys inspiring blog post..Attic Classroom

  40. Lindsay

    I LOVE having everything organized and labeled. It just looks so pretty!

    We had the same low flow toilet issue in our old house. We spent the money and bought Toto Drake toilets, and they were the BEST EVER. We wanted to rip them out and take them to the new house we just had built. LOL We’re going to be replacing our new toilets with Totos, too, but we haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    Lindsays inspiring blog post..Ragamuffin Candle Cover

  41. Mary Beth

    I have the label maker you have pictured…plus several dating back to when I was about 9 years old and developed my love of anything remotely “secretarial and organizational”. I love your post…and I totally understand about the toilet situation….when I had my bathroom remodeled a few years ago I discovered the difference between my previous standard toilet and my new one. Sometimes, older is better.

  42. Gina

    I’m so glad we’re not alone with the toliet issue-we long for the day to upgrade our commodes! Until then I’m off to Lowe’s for my very own pretty plunger-now if only I can keep the kids from using them for swordfights!

    Hope you’re beginning to feel settled in your new home and on your new adventure!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Cafe Cayden

  43. jill

    A little tip … I discovered when we moved into our house that if you hold the handle down just a little bit longer, you (and your guests) avoid utter mortification. *Ü*

  44. Debbie

    I love my label maker! I just need to use it more. I hate the low flow toilets; just don’t work well.

    Debbies inspiring blog post..Introducing Fitness Friday

  45. Jennifer

    Oh Melissa, I want to thank you. We moved into a new home 8 years ago and from almost day one I began to notice our toilets were experiencing technical dificulties, ah hem.
    I am so silly, why did that never occur to me that it would be low flow toilets? My two men are only allowed to use one bathroom now and we have a plunger in all bathrooms. Oh my. I am laughing my tail off, all these years I have wondered why suddenly the men are so full of it after the move.

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..New Year Inspiration

  46. Lora

    I {heart} my label maker…well, actually it’s my husband’s but I swiped it:)

    Loras inspiring blog post..A Blog-o-versary Giveaway!!

  47. Matt McGuire

    I love labels. When filling out any label I have a tough time hand writing them. I almost always need to print them out. Not really sure why.

    Matt McGuires inspiring blog post..Switching to Chrome

  48. Terri

    I am a label gal too. I love to label things but rarely do because I can’t decide where anything will go permanently and keep moving things from one bin to another.


  49. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall

    The P Touch machine is one of the best inventions yet. I use it for EVERYTHING. I just love the idea of making labels pretty too, as in your photos above. Great post!

  50. Lisa

    We have had low flow toilets before – very annoying! I am loving the “hidden” plunger – what a fantastic invention! :)

    Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolatess inspiring blog post..Simmering Soup is Finally Here – Day 1

  51. Jendi

    That’s hilarious!
    I don’t think I would label my plunger. :)
    Course, I don’t dream about labels either.

  52. Jo Anne

    What a beautiful blog you have. Are my eyes deceiving me, or is that a slip-on spine label you have on the “recipes” notebook? It looks like something you can slip on and turn any spine into a label-carrying one. Am I right? If so, where do you get these?

    Thanks again for a nice and inspirational blog!

  53. Corinna Lyons-Revello

    I am also an avid labeler! The green Brother labeler you have shown in the photo is the one I have myself! Love it. Okay, your toilet story totally cracked me up. What’s the use in low flow toilets if you have to flush them twice as much? Makes no sense to me :)


    Corinna Lyons-Revellos inspiring blog post..I am in Creating Keepsakes February 2009 issue!

  54. Kara-Noel

    I love lables too! Especially for my crafting stuff… because when I have the time to craft I want to make the most of it!!
    I’m going to look into your friday linky. Please consider participating in my very first one on the 27th at We are all doing a post on our weddings!!

  55. Jodie Perry

    Labeling the plunger is a good idea because it is pretty. I need to know where you got them so I can get 3 for my low flow powder rooms! Please share… as I have been searching and searching for an attractive solution to this problem. Cheers.


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