The Grandma-Approved, Old-School Gadget That Organizes My Kitchen
I knew I needed this label maker after my friend (and lifestyle guru), Rebeccah, sent me a perfect Christmas package. The gift inside was delightful, but it’s the wrapping that still stands out in my mind: simple brown kraft paper, butcher’s twine, and a little red embossed label. When I thanked her for the present, and couldn’t shut up about the packaging, she introduced me to the old-school MoTEX Embossing Label Maker. It’s the same model she played with at her grandmother’s house three decades ago, but it was big news to me.
To type out a word, you turn the rotating dial to the letter you want and give the handle a good squeeze. You hear a faint click and feel a little punch, and you’re well on your way to label perfection! You keep rotating and squeezing and the embossed, adhesive-backed label chugs along until you’re done “typing.” Then there’s a blade inside the device to neatly snip the label off the roll, and voilà! It’s basic (that’s the point), but you do have a couple of customization options: You can change the font plate (but the classic typewriter style letters are almost too good to mess with) and then, there’s the color of the tape.
The best part? This gadget requires nothing more than a firm grip and a little dexterity. There’s no app to download, no printer cartridge to refill, no syncing necessary, and thank goodness, no power cord or charger. The labels are smudge-proof, not to mention bad-handwriting-day-proof, and they bring a little uniformity to the recycled storage bottles in my pantry.
When I first got my MoTEX, I pulled an all-nighter (college-style!), labeling just about everything in my pantry, because who can resist? Then I started in on the bathroom and launched into all my toddler’s stuff! I used it for my little pasta business, too, labeling boxes of ravioli by flavor and stamping out basic cooking instructions. My freezer now looks like it’s sponsored by MoTEX, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Every so often, I stick an encouraging message to the side of my coffee mug for the next morning. And sometimes I add ridiculous labels to objects to give future-me a giggle! (Maybe I should label the label maker?) The uses are endless!
It’s not for everyone — using an embosser takes longer than scribbling with a Sharpie or printing labels in bulk on a computerized system. But the process relaxes me. It creates a moment to think about what I’m cooking, who it’s for, and how I’m going to pack it up and store it. It brings intention and organization to a hectic day. Now, even if my kitchen is a mess after a busy cooking day, at least it’s a perfectly labeled mess.
Do you have a handy label maker you love? Tell us about it in the comments below!