I have a label maker and I’m not afraid to use it.

In fact, when all else fails, I enjoy printing out a label and sticking it on something… anything really. It gives me a reassuring sense of control in a world where I frequently feel very out of control. And I like that. Notice the “label maker” label on the label maker. I did that. See?

Let me tell you a little story about my label maker and me. Two of my kids have Nintendo DS hand-held gaming systems. Very cool toys. We’re big fans. My only complaint is that the game cartridges that go into these things are teeny-tiny. Each cartridge is about the size of a postage stamp. I think those evil geniuses at Nintendo designed that on purpose so kids would lose their cartridges and have to buy new ones. But think again, buckaroos. At $20-$30 a pop, there is no way in hell I’m gonna let my kids lose those things. And thus, with the help of my trusty label maker, a business card holder, and some packing tape, I devised a handy-dandy DS Cartridge Library. TA-DAH!!

This beacon of organizational bliss is hanging on the inside of one of our upper kitchen cabinets… far out of the reach of my 3 year old who calls the cartridges “tickets” and likes to insert them into heating vents. We have one rule – one game in, one game out. This way, with a glance, I can tell which games are being used and the kids are less likely to just leave them lying around for the dog to ingest and make into poo-sculptures in the back yard.

Now the funny thing, if you ask me, is that when my friends come over and reach into my cabinet for a glass and see this system, they always go “OH! Oh my! How surprising! You’re SO ORGANIZED!” And truly, it is shocking, because less than 18 inches from this system, you are likely to find a kitchen counter top that looks like this:

Wow. Look at that. Impressive, no? My husband and step father don’t call me Kudzu for nothing. I really wasn’t kidding when I said I was chosen for Oprah’s “Clean Up Your Messy House Tour” in 2009. I really was. Seriously. I was on the Oprah show. Well, my voice was, along with several pictures of me, my lovely family, and my messy home. You can see it did me a whole lot of good. Not.

But underneath all this clutter, the least significant parts of my life are really quite organized. And my label maker has a lot to do with that. Maybe I can’t find the permission slip for the school field trip, maybe I forgot to pay the homeowner’s association dues, maybe my dog digested the USB cable to my daughter’s new camera, but dammit, I know where every single DS cartridge in my home is. And so do my kids. And that is one less thing for me to worry about on a daily basis. Every little bit helps, right?

So, dear reader, on this dreary Tuesday, my “Just the Tip” idea for you today is to get out that label maker and tackle one hot spot in your home. You’ll feel better. I promise. But don’t be a dumbass like me and pick the smallest, least significant thing you can think of. Pick something big and go make a difference.

Can’t see the forest… I’m still picking up the pine needles,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris