This package might look unassuming, but what’s lurking inside may be the most brilliant organization tool of the century– and I don’t say that lightly. In fact, might even break up with my label maker (GASP!) after seeing how these ingenious smart labels whipped my home into organizational bliss so efficiently. When I first received the Pack and Track labels from Duck Tape in partnership for this post, I knew they looked helpful but I didn’t realize they would be THIS amazing. In fact, when I opened the package and started playing with the free app, I let out a plaintive “whyyyyyyyyyyyyy didn’t I have these when we moved???” because it would have make our complicated moving and storage situation SO much easier. But the Pack and Track name is a bit misleading, as these simple-looking labels aren’t just for packing and moving– they’re so full of organization power they’ve unleashed a torrent of whole-home organizing that my muscles are still recovering from.
Despite the 100 degree temps this week, I went crazy organizing my garage.
Then tackled the kitchen.
Got my daughter’s memory boxes into shape.
Made it easy to figure out where we put the thermometer:
And now I’m in the process of organizing Christmas.
What makes the Pack and Track labels unique? They have a QR code you scan into an app, and then you list the name, location, and contents of the box using either your voice or the phone’s keyboard.
You can even add photos so you can see EXACTLY what’s in the box without having to shuffle things around and open it up.
But the best, most brilliant part is the ‘reverse search’ option. Not sure into which bin you put something? Search for that item by name, and it’ll tell you the name of the bin and the location! For example, I can search ‘air pump’ and find exactly which of these bins it’s hiding in without digging through them. (hint– it’s in the ‘Pool Floats’ bin, not the Outdoor Toys or Bike bins.)
The app is incredibly user friendly. I loved the voice option so I didn’t have to get my phone dirty when typing with dusty hands when I was cleaning the garage. GENIUS.
While the name is Duck Pack & Track™, the uses go way beyond packing and moving– it’s truly an organizational powerhouse. Here’s just a few ways you can use it to organize your entire home!
Organizing The Garage
This is embarrassing, but I’m going there. I may have published a book on organization, but my garage was a mess. Our Pennsylvania home had both a basement and large attic storage area, but our North Carolina home has neither so we had an organizational nightmare on our hands. My husband employed the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ method of organization (aka, shoving things into the shelves as far back as they would go and walking away.) With some work, after a few hot and sweaty hours I was able to turn this disaster:
We had stuff shoved everywhere, no rhyme or reason. Even our garage fridge wasn’t safe.
So much better now!
To make this happen, I counted how many bins would fit on our shelves and gathered all the gray bins we already had and bought the remaining ones we needed. Then, I wrote a unique name on each label, measured 5″ down so they lined up neatly (definitely not necessary, but I really wanted them to look professional), and placed them on the bins. They adhere really well, so make sure they’re straight the first time you put them on!
PRO TIP: when you buy storage bins, get them in a color that never goes out of style such as gray in case you need to add more a few years down the road. These shelves look cohesive because most of the bins are gray toned. Of course it’ll still work to use various colored bins, but I have to say the consistency here makes my heart skip a beat. Some of these bins are 15 years old, and they blend with the new ones nicely because Sterilite has had a line of gray bins for as long as I can remember.
After labeling the bins, I sorted everything that had been previous shoved onto the shelves into them. Once everything had a ‘home’, I scanned each bin and added the name and location (you can use either your voice or a keyboard to do this!). Then I snapped a pic or two so I can always see exactly what’s inside. Last, I used the voice function to dictate the contents of each bin and BOOM, I had an inventory of everything in our garage in minutes.
Another problem area in the garage was this wall– we had water toys mixed with sports equipment mixed with lawn tools. This would lead the kids to getting water squirters and using them IN the garage and shielding themselves with lawn equipment and it was a wet and wild mess. Now if they want water toys, they have to be intentional and pull out the bin which makes it so much less spur-of-the-moment-we’re-supposed-to-be-getting-into-the-car-to-go-to-school-but-let’s-make-steam-come-out-of-moms-ears-by-squirting-each-other-with-the-SuperSoaker-instead. Not that I know anything about that. But let’s just say my reaction to the alleged incident wasn’t one of my proudest parenting moments. 😉
Organizing the Kitchen
After organizing the garage, I was unstoppable. The kitchen was next. Whether you have empty cabinets or ones that are stuffed full, it can sometimes be tough to find miscellaneous cooking utensils. The one time a year I use my Pierogie maker I can never seem to find it, along with other random pieces. Duck Pack & Track™ solved that problem!
Scan, snap a pic, label, add items, done.
Each birthday that rolls around, I misplace the streamers. NO MORE. Now I know exactly where to find them, along with other party supplies– in my pantry!
PRO TIP: if you want to use Pack and Track to find items in your kitchen island and cabinets, you could tape the label into the inside door so you know exactly which cabinet has what without having to use the adhesive backing in case you want to move it later.
Organizing Heirlooms and Photos
Next up were the memory, photo, and heirloom boxes. We have lots of these, so I started in my daughter’s room. We have things sorted into boxes, but it can take awhile to find exactly what we’re looking for.
She often asks questions about when she was a baby, so I cataloged her cards and memories to be able to put my hands on things instantly. I simply put the label on the bottom so I didn’t ruin the box. 🙂
Organizing the Linen Closet
Another problem I wanted to solve was organizing and keeping track of first aid and medical supplies. We have supplies in a few places in our home due to my daughter’s health history, so the labels made it easy to figure out what was where, and also get a snapshot of exactly what we have. Because when someone needs a Star Wars band-aid, they NEED a Star Wars bandaid NOW.
Organizing Christmas & Seasonal Decorations
As for holiday decorations for Christmas and Easter, we have those boxes tucked away in a small space that can be accessed through what we call the ‘Hobbit door’ in my closet. This makes it really tough to get in there and search through bins when I need something!
It’s actually pretty big in there, once you get through the (teeny) door:
Since it’s almost 100 degrees today, I’m working on the labels now and will work on the actual bins when it cools down a bit. It’s going to be great to search ‘stockings’ or ‘tree skirt’ and be able to find the exact bin we need.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s a few more ideas for using Pack & Track:
- to organize craft supplies
- to track items when moving so you know what’s in each box
- finding what you need when you have boxes in a storage unit
- storing clothing for the seasons
- storing hand-me-downs
- rotating bins of toys to play with every few months
- pantry storage
- cataloging boxes of photos
- storing hobby supplies
- storing wedding china and heirlooms
- finding office supplies
Here’s a quick video that shows Duck Pack and Track in Action:
Anywho, I’m equal parts blown away and inspired.
If you need me, I’ll be here, labeling away.
I still need to tackle our photos and closets.
Am I weird for thinking this is fun?
Don’t answer that. 😉
Disclosure: I received compensation to complete this project for using ShurTech products. All opinions,
projects and ideas are based on my own experience.