Labelling and organising everyday items

There’s a wide variety of skills, strategies and equipment that can help you identify everyday items. We’ve outlined the best for you here.

On this page

Organising and sectioning your cupboards

Simply being organised and regimented when you put things away means it’s quicker and easier to find things when you go back later. For example, keep all tinned soups in one section of a cupboard and put soups that are the same in a row, one behind the other. Label the soup at the front and when you take that one out, move the label to the one directly behind it. 

You can also buy portable shelving systems that lift the tins behind so that you can see them more easily. 

When grouping items together, another idea is to store each group of items, spice jars for example, in one container and then they’re easier to take out of the cupboard to look at more closely.

If you have remaining vision, putting lights in the cupboards can help you with identifying what’s in there. These can be activated by motion or manually turned on. You could also use a hand torch or the light on a smartphone.

In the fridge I put different things on different shelves – top shelf for dairy, for example. I put ready meals in date order with the longest date going at the back.
Margaret, guide dog owner

Using everyday items to differentiate between products  

A simple way to tell the difference between similar items, boxes of cereal or shampoo and conditioner for example, is to put an everyday item like an elastic band, hair bobble or clothes peg around or onto one of them. For example, put an elastic band around the shampoo and not the conditioner, or put a clothes peg on your favourite cereal so as not to confuse it with others. You can also try different coloured elastic bands if you have enough vision or bands with different thicknesses. 

If you have some remaining vision, you could use a thick black pen to write relevant information on items in large print. You could also attach labels written in large print or Braille using a clip, elastic band, blue tac, or sticky tape. 

Our blind hack for how you can identify the correct object using elastic bands.
Don’t let anything creep into the cupboard without you putting a label on it. PenFriend is my favourite way but you may need sighted help to label everything after a big shop.
Andrea, guide dog owner

Labelling equipment 

Here are some suggestions to help you with labelling and identifying objects: