Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to get your family to keep your house tidy

I want to talk to you about making your house easy to keep tidy.


I know, I know. It sounds impossible - especially when you share your home with loved ones.

Loved ones who are wonderful people but they just. never. put. things. away.

Sound familiar?

Over the last few months at Beautifully Organised I’ve noticed a pattern coming in via comments, questions, and emails from my readers.

Everyone’s overwhelmed - you’re busy, there aren’t enough hours in the day and you feel like you are wasting time doing the same things over and over again - like picking up around the house and tidying each room.

And the most common difficulty I see with people trying to turn this around? It’s too hard to get your family involved in keeping the house tidy.

Yes, the biggest challenge for Mums is getting the family to put things away... in the right place, all by themselves!

So here’s my sneaky little tip that will help you get your family tidying with you.. without even realising they’re doing it.

That sneaky little tip? Start labelling.

Yes, labelling. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your significant other, older children and even the young kids will get the hang of putting things away when it’s crystal clear where they belong.

I use a DYMO LetraTag labeller - Here is the LetraTag LT-100H:

It’s simple to use and you can choose from a range of label colours and styles (think paper, plastic, metallic and iron on). I recommend going with a colour that will compliment your house but will stand out so you can see those labels easily - for me, that’s a simple white background with black lettering.

Here’s how to set it all up -  I’ll use the pantry as my example here:

Step One: Clear out the space you are working on (a drawer, a shelf, etc):

Step Two: Print out a label - keep it simple - name the item/s that will live there:

Step Three: Stick your label on:

Step Four: Put the items into their new home:
Step Five: Drag your family members in to see your made over space and get familiar with where everything belongs now!

The pantry is a great place to start because most family members use it themselves, so they’ll get lots of practice putting things away when they’re done with them, and you will see a benefit straight away too: Clean kitchen - YAY! Plus now you can see which groceries you’re running low on at a glance, so shopping lists are quick and easy.

This will work just as well with other cupboards, toy areas, shoe storage, bathroom cabinets and even your wardrobe.

(Stay tuned for a video later this month on how I label my daughter's’ toy area!)

So have a look around your home and I know you’ll find a spot in every room where labelling will help you keep it tidy :)

And the best part? No more:

  • Sorry -  I couldn’t put it away because I don’t know where it goes
  • Sorry - I just shoved it into the cupboard because I don’t know where it goes
  • Mum, where’s my.....?

Plus, you’ll have:

  • More money - now that you don’t accidentally repurchase things you already own but just can’t find
  • More time for you - because now that you have a great system in place that the whole family can use, I’m ordering you to stop doing it all yourself and let everyone work well together!

If you want to check out the DYMO LetraTag for yourself, you can get them at Officeworks. You also have a chance to win a family escape to Hawaii worth $20, 000 or one of 50 x $100 vouchers to Officeworks when you purchase a DYMO LetraTag at participating Officeworks stores before July 15!


I also have 2 LetraTag LT-100H Label makers to give away here thanks to DYMO! For your chance to win one, just comment below and tell me which part of your home you will label first to get your family tidying!

Want extra entries in the Beautifully Organised giveaway?

Optional: You’ll go into the draw again when you:
  • Like the DYMO Facebook page and comment there saying you were reading about them  at @Beautifully Organised (or something similar with @Beautifully Organised tagged)

    • Share this post on Facebook using the button at the end of this post

    • Tweet “Hope I win the #DYMOLetraTag at @BeautifullyOrg - www.beautifullyorganised.com” (or something similar with  #DYMOLetraTag, @BeautifullyOrg and www.beautifullyorganised.com in it)

Just one extra entry for each - don’t want you getting all spammy ;) Don't forget to tell me in the comments what you've done for extra entries!

You have until midnight (Sydney time), Saturday, June 30 to enter, and I'll announce the winner on the blog shortly after. Good Luck!  

Don't forget the fine print:

  • Prize to be shipped within Australia
  • It's a game of skill so I'm looking for an original and creative answer - have fun!
  • Make sure you leave me a way to get in contact with you if you win - email address, Twitter / FB details, etc. Post here in comments or email them privately to me at marissa@beautifullyorganised.com



When I was asked if I would like a complimentary LetraTag to review, I had to say “No Thanks - I’m already a happy LetraTag owner and couldn’t live without it!”

I have the Letra tag LT-100T, I bought one all by myself ages ago and adore it.

So I asked if DYMO would like to sponsor this post and help me share some organising and labelling tips with you all, and they were happy to do so. Thank you DYMO :)

I'm joining in on the Aussie Giveaway Linkup:

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

Also joining in with Win Free Stuff - Find the best Australian Competitions brought together all in one spot. It's free and updated daily!


  1. The shoe shelf in the laundry will be first. NO EXCUSES for leaving shoes lying around goodness knows where AND for not knowing where your shoes are.

    Yes, I'm talking about you!!!


  2. The linen cupboard would be the first on my list {although it is quite funny to watch my husband trying to get a queen quilt to fit in a double cover!}
    Nicola smileycarrot@hotmail.co.uk

  3. First thing would definately to label little miss' clothing drawers and toy spaces in her play room so she can start to help me out with these things! Save me having to reorganise everything because nothing is in the right place! :)

    Have also liked the dymo facebook page & mentioned reading Beautifully Organised :)


    1. Thanks Crystal! Labeling clothing drawers has been a lifesaver for me - I find I out things away more neatly myself, before I would just through everything in in the first drawer I came across!

  4. Oooooh we have just been discussing getting a labeller! The office is first on the hit list, especially with tax time coming up, and horror of horrors... My sewing area:)
    I've just found your blog thru the Herald article,look forward to checking it out!

    1. Thanks Michelle! Which Herald article was it? I want to check it out :)

  5. Kim maxwell galwayst@hotmail.comJune 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    I would organise my tool cupboard and tool bench so that my husband and kids put stuff away properly!

    1. Isn't it funny that we have to train Husbands as well as kids ;)

  6. Liked the dymo page !

  7. Kids playroom will be the first to get labeled, then the pantry!

  8. Said Hello to Dymo on their facebook page :)

  9. Shared your page (onto my FB page) Delightfully Tacky Lil Squirts

  10. Tweeted :) https://twitter.com/DTlilsquirts/status/216813050139914240

  11. I would love to start organising and labelling our office and sewing room. Many containers and boxes needing labels.

  12. Shared and commented on dymo's facebook page. :)

    Melissa Okimoto

  13. I'd begin in my pantry.. I shop at a whole foods store to which we take in our containers to be filled - at the moment, I put a strip of masking tape on each container, and I write on it what it's to be filled with. Practical, effective.. but not very attractive! Imagine what I could do with a DYMO..! And then my husband would be able to read what's quinoa or amaranth or chia seeds..!

    natalie_bond85 {at} hotmail {dot} com

  14. I liked the DYMO Facebook page and commented there, tagging @beautifully organised.

  15. And I tweeted - https://twitter.com/BlanchNatalie/status/216834235531669504 (new follower of yours too)

  16. The freezer. My hubby says he can never find anything in the freezer. His suggestion was that I abel everything and place a white board on the door, stating what was on each shelf.

    I said...like I have time for that! (typical male)

  17. Definitely my filing cabinet. But for my benefit not anyone else!! We moved into our house six months ago and its still not sorted!

  18. Let me think now what wouldnt i organise is this question, this family of mine, unfortunatley including me really needs to start putting things back where they go so if everything was clearly marked, you really arent going to put the tomato sauce where your deodarant is meant to go. In all seriosness I would start with my pantry and or the kids rooms or the tv room or the laundry. oops hold on got a little carried away. :)

  19. for get to tell you I hae liked Dymo on fb and shared your blog post on fb.

  20. my linen closet for sure. which actualy has no linen in it as it has become my (quick chuck everything in the closet before our vistors come and relise how messy we realy are hide away) so over the 5 years i have lived at my home the more random stuff goes in the less room there is for linen. so what exactly lives in my closet, well at a glance, i have wrapping paper, pens,paper,ash try (used for loose change), hair brush, baby monitor, puzzels, kids craft supplies etc.
    i would use the labeler to organise this space so my linen has a home and even befor that i would find my labeler a home and then LABEL its spot.

    Sarah Fahmy :)

  21. First on the list would have to be the toy baskets and then the pantry that way I won't have to reorganize everything every fortnight.

  22. I know this is an obvious one, but it probably shows just how unorganised I am- the pantry! Start with something that we use all the time- I might get so many compliments I might continue becoming more organised! russellcathryn at yahoo.com.au

  23. Kimberley BelfordJune 25, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    My daughters cupboards would be the first place I'd pick
    I usually find undies in her pjs drawer or under the bed
    Putting labels on everything I'm sure would do the trick
    Id hope to find a clean organised pretty room instead :)
    No excuses for her anymore!!
    Dymo is one brand I definelty adore


  24. Kimberley BelfordJune 25, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Shared on Fb

    Tagged Beautifully Organised & Dymo on Fb :)

  25. The first place would be my pantry in particular the spices as there it is annoying wondering whether the spice in the unlabelled jar is paprika or hot chilli powder. The labels are on the lids but these seem to get muddled up. The labels would also help prevent cooking disasters like when I used salt instead of castor sugar in pancakes recently ......

  26. I'd buy some large plastic containers and label for the kids toys-my feet can not take another Lego incident!

  27. Whoops-forgot to leave an email address

  28. My teenage daughter's room. She needs everything labelled as I can only assume everything lives on her floor due to her not knowing where it belongs as oppose to laziness!

  29. With three kids aged seven and under
    The rumpus is a mess, is it any wonder?!
    There's so many toys strewn all over the floor
    Barbies, and books, and playthings galore!
    I'd get some storage tubs then label them one by one
    I'm a super neat-freak, so it would be fun!
    Hopefully this system will put an end to my screams
    Dymo Letra-Tag, fulfill my de-cluttering dreams!!

    Email is kookla123@yahoo.com

  30. Just bought my first house! It's incredibly exciting. I've been buying lots of things for the house over the years. I need this label device to save me from freaking out.


  31. My own room....I figure if i print enough labels, I'll get the hint.

    email: cheesydaves@hotmail.com

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