Why Masking Tape is One of my Favorite Kitchen Tools!

Masking Tape & Sharpie

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Communication is important in families – extremely important.  But sometimes there’s no time to communicate and bad things happen as a result – bad things like good food goes bad because no one eats it because they don’t know what’s in the container; or the cottage cheese you needed for the lasagna gets eaten; or no one remembers to change the Brita filter and the water starts tasting really disgusting.  See – bad things!

So to solve communicate problems, I use masking tape and a Sharpie.

Tape and sharpie in drawer

Our Brita pitcher has a filter that needs replaced every two months.  There’s a device on the top of the pitcher that used to flash when it was time to change the filter.  But it doesn’t work anymore and I haven’t had time to figure out a solution.  So this is the temporary solution:

Brita Filter

When I make my grocery list for the week, I found myself forgetting to check and see whether I needed salmon, tuna, peanut butter and jelly.  So I solved that problem by creating a specific spot for them in the pantry.  Now when I’m making my list, I open the pantry and immediately notice whether I need to buy more.

Salmon and tuna

Peanut Butter and Jelly

We recently discovered that our favorite salad dressing doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  It tastes a lot better if it isn’t!  So I put a little reminder on it in case other people are helping in the kitchen.

Salad Dressing

I purchased some roasted red peppers today and noticed they only last 7 days from the time you open them.  That’s one of those items where you notice it in the refrigerator one day and have no idea if they’re still good or not.  So . . .

Roasted Red Peppers

I also purchased cottage cheese today at the grocery store.  I need some of it but not all.  To prevent any trouble . . .

Cottage Cheese

And my favorite things to label are leftovers!  Then we know what’s in the refrigerator and how old it is.  Having the label increases the chances the food will get eaten.  It’s funny, but if family members can’t see what’s in the container, they just ignore it.


Do you label things in your kitchen? How do you prevent bad kitchen things from happening?


  1. Frederique says:

    I really like this idea. I wanted to do this with a washi tape roll I purchased “just to see what the fuss was” about washi tapes, but the design on the tape makes reading what’s written a bit difficult. I tried regular tape, but I discovered it left a sticky residue if you let it too long.

    And labelling things in the fridge? Just brilliant. The boyfriend is absolutely blind and dumb about anything that he didn’t put/do himself, so labeling foor containers and leaving instructions/reminders this way is, really, super easy and brilliant.

    I’m French so may not be familiar with the US/UK products : this “masking tape” is the tape that you use when you paint a wall and want to protect the ceiling from getting painted on, right ? Or is it some other kind of tape? In my experience, this “painter’s tape” (?) didn’t stick really well, but it’s true I had never tested it on clear/hard surfaces like plastic or glass. That’s why I wanted to know if “masking tape” is the same as “painters tape” ?

    • Masking tape is not the same as painter’s tape. Painter’s tape is designed to be removed easily. Masking tape is removed pretty easy but it’s stickier. You can find it at any home improvement store, probably with the paint supplies. It’s also available at hardware stores or stores like Walmart and Target here in the US. I’m not sure if you have something like that in France. It works GREAT for the type of labeling in the article. I don’t even cut the pieces off – I just tear them.

      My family ignores everything, too – unless it’s labeled.

      Let me know if labeling helps!

      • Frederique says:

        Hi Patty! I went yesterday in an home improvement shop (Leclerc Bricolage) and browsed the paint section as you suggested. The “masking tape” in French is “adhésif de masquage”, but it wasn’t clear, on each roll, wether it was the kind for painting or not. So I purchased a roll, ripped the packaging open as soon as I exited the store and tested it at home with the blue minisharpie I keep on hand in the kitchen : it seems to be sticking much better than the painters tape I used years ago, and I seem to have found what you refer to, and at 2.10euros/roll, that’s not a big splurge :)

        So, thanks for the idea and help, I will be labelling drawers in the kitchen (we are moving in a new appartment and the Boyfriend will be a bit lost), boxes that aren’t see-through, and all kinds of stuff.

        He’ll probably make fun of me but… I don’t care, I dig labelling everything :)

        • I’m glad you found the tape. It sounds like the right stuff. You’re going to have a lot of fun with it! Your boyfriend might make fun of you but he’ll probably still enjoy knowing what things are!

  2. What I really want to know is how you keep your family from running away with your Sharpie? I feel like I have to mine under lock and key! I really do like the idea for labeling everything especially on the pantry shelves.
    Jean recently posted…Saturday Success Stories, August 24My Profile

    • Good question. The sharpie is hidden in the baggie drawer and they forget it’s there. But if I had to, I would attach it permanently to the tape.

  3. I THOUGHT I did a good job of organizing my kitchen until I saw this. I love the idea of labeling items in the fridge with use by dates or labeling leftovers. That’s a great idea! I especially love that it’s such an inexpensive solution since I already have the tools on hand in the kitchen utility drawer. Awesome post!


    P.S. I found you on SITS Saturday Sharefest!
    Shauna recently posted…Sunday Social – 8/25/13My Profile

  4. Can I tell you how much I love that you just use masking tape and a Sharpie and NOT a fancy printable off of Pinterest? Sometimes, I feel like the organizing takes more time than it saves. I also love masking tape. It’s pretty good at removing pet hair and picking up teeny tiny pieces of broken glass.

    • I’m not big on anything fancy – the simpler the better. So masking tape and a sharpie works perfect for me!

      I have used masking tape to remove pet hair but didn’t ever think about glass. Great tip. We seem to break glass all the time so that could come in very handy.

  5. Great idea, Patty! I often use post-it notes for similar tasks, but they don’t always stick well. Don’t know why I never thought of this!
    Lisa @ The Meaning of Me recently posted…Epic Diaper Fail: A Babyzilla StoryMy Profile

    • I tried using post-it notes and had a similar experience to yours. I also tried post-it removable labels but those didn’t work great either. Finally went back to my good-old masking tape.

  6. I found another use for my masking tape, thanks.

  7. I’m big on the Sharpie. Love it and use it all the time. But I haven’t used it for leftovers. I’m totally going to start doing this. Man, would it help. Thanks!
    misssrobin recently posted…He Got a Job — Why Am I Not Happy?My Profile

    • It really does work. Now that we’re living with my kids (until we find a house), I’ve started doing it here, too. It makes it a lot easier for ALL of us to see what’s in the refrigerator.

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