Easy Organization with QR codes
Organizing Projects

Easy Organization- QR KIDDING ME!

Big Storage, Little Visibility

During this COVID culture, I went DIY crazy on home improvement projects and sucked my sweet hubby into the vortex with me. One of our projects was to organize the garage. This involved a massive clean out and purge and then the creation of dedicated work areas and tool storage in the form of a ROCKIN’ workbench, brilliantly designed by Ana White (https://www.ana-white.com/woodworking-projects/ultimate-roll-away-workbench-miter-saw-stand). The workbench provides an abundance of storage but, as you can see, limited visibility of what’s inside. Then I learned about a great tool for easy organization.

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It’s easy organization that’s like having x-ray vision!

During a recent post highlighting my OCD organizing obsession, one of my sweet friends got me on to this. It’s called ToteScan and it is simple and GENIUS! It’s easy organization that is like getting x-ray vision for under $10 and a free app! I purchased a set of their adhesive, pre-printed QR codes (mine came from Amazon and were $9 for 45 codes- https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07LF3XPLJ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Each cart in the workbench has a large storage area in the middle and a set of three shelves on each side. I named each cart then placed three codes on each cart, one for each section.

QR codes simplify keeping track of what is stored in each section of our workbench.
QR codes simplify keeping track of what is stored in each section of our workbench.

Next, I scanned the code and had the option to name the storage area. In my case, I named each code the cart name followed by either Left Shelves, Middle or Right Shelves. But you will also notice that there is a designation for “Active Profile”, in my example, it is “Main”. It is possible to create multiple profiles. “Main” might be for the entire family. But, let’s say I choose to use this system for all of my crafting supplies as well. I could create another profile just for my things. This would allow multiple people to quickly access their things within their personalized profile without having to scroll through all the shared items.

Or maybe you want to make the profiles unique by event or category, instead of by person. For example, one for each holiday as a way to organize all of your decorations, accessories, etc. for each season! HOW COOL IS THAT?

Next, you will see a gray bar indicating “Garage” above the list of codes, or totes, as they are referred to on the app. Within each profile, you can designate the location where the listed totes can be found. There is a long list of pre-populated locations to choose from as well as the option to add custom locations. So you can distinguish between items in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, attic and even dog house!! I CAN’T HANDLE IT!!

Once I had a particular storage area labeled, I clicked on it and was able to start entering exactly what is stored there. But, it gets even better! Within that area, I was able to get even more specific by labeling everything by shelf, complete with a picture!

So, if I’m looking for the knee pads, I could scan each QR code to see what is in that storage area without having to open it up. That’s a little labor intensive but far better than aimlessly moving around and digging through multiple boxes and or cabinets. Or, even better, I can go to the app and type in the search bar what I’m looking for. When I search for knee pads, it tells me that they are on the bottom shelf of the storage area with the code DTRXS. This is one of only two slight flaws that I’ve encountered so far and that is the fact that it tells me the code to look for, not the name I have assigned to it. But that’s pretty lazy when I read it in print. And, who knows, maybe this will be part of an update someday.

“Alexa, use ToteScan to find an extinct fish”

ToteScan also has an Echo skill so you can link it to your Alexa and ask her where something is. So we don’t even have to have our phones handy to locate something. Of course, if you have any experience with Alexa, you know that, like any other Alexa skill, sometimes it works flawlessly and sometimes she tells me that Dremel was some Norwegian royalty or extinct fish or something. BUT, once again, it is SO much better than moving and digging through heavy boxes!

I should note, when I first started using ToteScan, I could ask Alexa to find items that were listed in the “Item Detail” description and she would. This was super handy. Now, however, she doesn’t find anything below the “Item Detail” level. This seems to be a ToteScan skill issue, not an Echo issue. But it does minimize the functionality a bit. Still well worth using ToteScan though, as I only used the Alexa skill a fraction of the time. I find using the search bar within the app to be the most efficient way to locate specific items.

Easy peasy organization

After organizing the garage, I have also used them to organize all of my crafting supplies. What a difference that has made! And there are so many more possibilities- sports equipment, Christmas decorations, pantry, kitchen cabinets, books in a home library, cosmetics and keepsakes. Hopefully this answers your questions, inspires you and helps you in your pursuit of organization. Or in the taming of your OCD tendencies. Let me know if you try it out. I’d love to learn what clever ways you find to use it and any other cool things you might discover about it. And please share your organizing ideas and accomplishments!

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