So I’m furloughed. The federal government shutdown has meant many things to the thousands of Americans it has affected. The biggest story, of course, has been the one that starts and ends with the devastating absence of earned income. But to me, for now, it is a tale of time. Lots of extra, unplanned hours to fill with useful activities. And these activities must accomplish some worthy goal, because nothing is more dispiriting than lying around the house all day, despite the antonymous glee the thought inspires. My newfound time is also tethered by the unknown. The shutdown could end tonight and I would be expected back at work tomorrow morning. On the opposite vein, it could also end in weeks or “months or even years.” If that happens, my relatively stable finances would deteriorate. My dreams of whiling away my furlough on a tropical beach quickly fly away on the wings of those uncertainties.
I therefore knew I needed to make some meaningful goals when I was sent home a week ago. And then I said to heck with that and took a break. I went to the movies (On the Basis of Sex = awesome), had lunches with girlfriends, got my hair done, and sat around literally eating bonbons. But by day 3, it was time to get to work. Some work, any work. I decided I would practice the piano a little bit longer (easy) and run a little bit farther (doable) each day. I would also do what I hate the most: organize.
I am a cluttery clean freak. When I am working on a project, I can turn my Lysoled dining room into scrap paper mayhem in less than two minutes. Since I started this blog in August, my office slash craft room has devolved from “the place where I work” to “the place where I throw stuff then slam the door so no one will see it.” I could barely walk in there. Knowing that there is this enormous mess in my little house has been weighing on me.
I began tackling it on Wednesday afternoon and finished Thursday. I keep my craft supplies in IKEA storage boxes on modern metal bookshelves. When I originally organized it a few years ago, I carefully put all the cutting tools in one box, all the ribbons in another, and so on. But I skipped labeling the boxes, and so whenever I needed something, I had to remove multiple lids and rummage. Worse, I stopped putting things back where they should go, and the disarray grew. So this time, I made labels for the boxes. Now I can go straight to the item I need, and replace it properly when done.
Once all the scissors and gift tags and ribbons and glue and paper were stored away, I felt so much better. I had returned to the land of productivity, a place we all need to spend time regularly. Especially those of us who may have a little extra stress and time on our hands right now.
I am including the printable labels I used at the end of this post, in case you, too, have anything that needs organizing. You can enter your own text into the PDF before you print it. They also make wonderful, any occasion gift tags.
STEP 1 Download and Edit
Download the PDF using the link at the bottom of this sheet. Save it to your hard drive or a thumb drive. The PDF is a letter size, 8.5×11 inch sheet, with twelve 2×2 inch labels on a page.
After you have saved the file, open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader. This step is very important. While PDFs will open in many applications, the form functions only work properly in Adobe. Click inside the blue highlighted areas, and type whatever you like. Save the file.
STEP 2 Print
For paper, use a bright white cardstock. If you do not have a printer, you can also just have them printed at an office store local to you. The cost is less than a dollar per sheet, and many vendors will also cut them for you.
Once you are ready, print as many sheets as you need.
STEP 3 Cut Out
I prefer to use a paper cutter when I am cutting out tags, as it helps to get the corners perfectly square using the guides. I love my Purple Cows Trimmer. If you don’t have a paper cutter, however, you can also use scissors.
STEP 4 Adhere Labels
Use a double-sided tape to attach the labels to the boxes.
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Note: Printables are for Personal Use Only, and the PDF may not be sold, distributed, or posted on other websites. If you wish to share this project, please link to this page. Happy crafting!