How I organized my home with the Brother P-touch 400 AD labeller

As a professional writer who works out of a home office, and a mom with a bustling social life, keeping the house organized has always felt like plate spinning.

At least it did until Brother sent me a P-touch 400AD labeller to test out. I never knew something so small could organize my life in such a big way.

AlisonThe PT400AD is a portable, handheld unit, smaller than a tablet, with touch keys I can easily tap with my thumbs. It’s super easy to use and addictive. Write a word and the tape pops right out, ready for sticking. The TZe tape is dishwasher proof and can withstand freezers, heat and scrubbing. Plus, it’s flexible: you can use batteries or plug it in.

I immediately thought of half-a-dozen things I could organize with the PT400AD. I attacked my freezer first.

Alison Ramsey, Montreal-based freelance writer

The freezer

I swiftly labelled every unidentified frozen leftover and, unlike the masking tape I’d used in the past, the labels stuck right on. The PT400AD handles like you’re texting. A screen display lets you fix typos before wasting tape; the spool design allows any length; and five minutes with the instruction sheet opens the door to 14 fonts, 600 symbols and decorative flourishes.

Before:                                                  After:
Br-freezer-prelabel-300x161  Br-freezer-v2-EN-300x222

The breaker box

The breaker box in my house was a visual mess. Scrawled in pencil, incomplete—even occasionally inaccurate—hitting the right breaker was sheer guesswork. For safety’s sake, it was begging for proper labelling.

Before:                                                   After:
Br breakers pre-labels  Br breakers EN


Br spices ENI snagged a bagful of beautiful glass bottles with stoppers a few years ago. My intention was to label them prettily and use them for spices. But, like the handwriting-challenged procrastinator I am, I feared making a mess of them and never got around to it. It was the perfect opportunity to use the PT400AD’s gorgeous gold labels: leaf frame for herbs, bubble frame for spices.

School supplies

Br school suppliesElementary schools demand labelling of each child’s supplies. It’s a breeze in kindergarten, labelling a few chubby pencils and an eraser. By Grade 5—when coloured pencils, markers, pens, sharpeners, erasers, a geometry set, calculator and ruler have to be individually ID’d—it’s a tedious task that will make you rue the day you named your child Stephanie and not Sue. But it’s a snap for the PT400AD. Repeat a label? Just use the multiple printing function for more copies!

Household finances

Br P90 files EN closeupMy better self would be someone who files important papers regularly, not the current someone who heedlessly jams them into an accordion file. And searching for a particular bill would take seconds, not be an exercise in frustration that involves riffling through a random pile that lacks any order. The simple answer is file folders; the labeller makes them cute, so they’re clearly marked and fun to use.

Bake sales

Br baking EN copyThe PT400AD will be a huge timesaver when I help out at our spring church bake sale. We have to repackage tonnes of baked goods into smaller containers to spur sales. Each packet needs its own label, and those labels can be pretty detailed (like last year’s “Orange, cranberry and white chocolate muffins. No nuts”). This year, the PT400AD will be a big help. Since its memory stores up to 50 completed designs, I can make all my pretty labels in batches. Just use the multiple printing function for more copies!

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