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Thursday, April 16, 2009

labeling long-term storage

As we continue to talk about different kinds of containers for long-term storage, you may have noticed that the foil bags, PETE bottles, buckets and #10 cans all look very generic. This can make finding food a little tricky. With a little work, I'm always able to find what I need, but typically it takes moving several stacks of buckets or shifting many boxes. I currently label my cans, boxes & bottles with a black sharpie. For my buckets, I only use a small piece of scotch tape with one edge folded back on itself (for easy removal). These labeling methods are okay but I still end up twisting buckets and straining to read my labels. I need a better system!

Recently Stephanie posted these food-storage labels at a local money-saving forum. She has given me permission to post these pictures.

Aren't these labels great!?! I think this is a fantastic idea! She made her labels on the computer and laminated them for durability. I like the idea of tying the labels to the bucket handles using ribbons. Those labels and ribbons would be much easier to find/see than my standard marker or tape. It would be so convenient to untie the label once the bucket was empty and keep the bucket-less labels on hand to let you know what you need to replace.

Here are some fun variations on her idea:
*Use different colored ribbons for each different food (i.e red for red wheat; black for black beans; pink for pinto beans; tan for oatmeal; white for rice; etc.).
*Use a second ribboned-label to indicate the date.
*Fancy ribbon isn't necessary - wrapping ribbon and index cards would work just fine.
*Instead of tying a ribbon to foil pouches or #10 cans (that don't have a handle like a bucket or a neck like the PETE bottles), just label the shelves like Stephanie has, or adhere a label with a small piece of ribbon directly to the product.
*Use different colors of paper to make labels for different food items.

Here are some other labeling tips and ideas:
*Label two sides and the top of each container for more visibility.
*Use different colors of permanent markers to differentiate between foods and/or dates.
*Jodi at foodstoragemadeeasy.net made her own labels and adhered them to her buckets.
*Use cup-holder screws to hang labels on wooden shelves.

How do you label (or easily find) your longer-term home storage items?

Original: http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2009/04/labeling-long-term-storage.html