Organize It: Tips for Choosing a Label Maker You’ll Actually Use

For anyone doing an extensive spring cleaning session or trying to restore order to a chaotic life in the household, a label maker is a must-have purchase. They are relatively inexpensive when you consider the lifespan and use you can get out of them, and the investment in label tape is well worth it because your eyes and brain will be able to pick up on similar label styles and process the information much faster than if you were using a mixture of different types of labels in one area of your home. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking for the best label maker that you will use over and over again.

Look for a simple gadget at first.

If you love labels, you may end up picking up a fancier machine later, but a simple machine is a great place to start. You can find these types of machines for around $50 or sometimes less, and they are typically one-purpose but sturdy. For example, they may only have one font available, but you should be able to print multiple sizes and easily customize the text. Label tape for these kinds of printers should be readily available at cheap sources like your local department stores and stationery supply stores.

Try a customizable machine if you like the simple one.

For those who find that the simple machine is perfect for some needs but they still need more options in other areas, a customizable machine that allows you to print graphics and barcodes along with text is a good idea. Machines like the dymo 450 are fully-featured enough for even intensive users while still not costing too much. You can check out different options in that lineup, some of which are available at under $100, and some of which cost over $200. Every organizer has different needs about what exactly should be in a label maker, so take a look at what’s included in each label maker and see which one is right for you.

Look at electric and battery-powered options.

If you work in a space where electricity is readily available, an electric label maker might serve your needs, but if you are moving around the house as you label, battery-powered machines are much more convenient. Printing labels while sitting on the counter so you can get to the high shelves or in the tool-cluttered areas of the garage is much easier when you don’t have to look for a power outlet. Of course, you can save money and the environment by purchasing rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.

Everyone finds their own routine when it comes to labels. Some people stick to simple, one-font labels for everything, while others start to mix it up a bit and use fancier machines so that they can use different fonts, graphics, and other fun elements that make the labels a pleasure to read. For example, if you’re creating labels for shelves in your fridge, you’re going to be looking at those labels a lot so it makes sense to make them pretty.

Bill Nixon organizes, declutters, and categorizes spaces. He enjoys writing about his little tricks to help people keep their lives in order.