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The Best Organizing Tool EVER

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Have you ever found something and said, “THIS is a game-changer!” Well, that’s just what I thought when I found the best organizing tool ever!

best organization tool ever

Fair warning, y’all… this is NOT a pretty post. However, it IS a practical post that I hope y’all find as amazing as I do!

The Storage Organizing Problem

One of the BIGGEST issues I have with storage and organization is finding where my decor and craft items are located.

We’re talking faux florals, spring decor, fall decor, vases, tablescape items, and CHRISTMAS!

Christmas storage organizing is a BIG problem… can I get an “amen”?

Do you have trouble finding where you’ve put your silver ornaments? How ’bout that mercury glass ornament garland you made? Or maybe even the DIY silver candle rings that dressed up your candlesticks?

I TOTALLY get it!

best organization tool ever stacks of storage totes in kitchen

Using storage bins has always been my go-to for my decor items. But, when you have more than 15 or 20 storage bins, it’s even harder keeping track of WHERE those items are, right? (And for a blogger, 15-20 bins is not that much!)

(Did you notice those labels on my bins??? Read on!)


A couple weeks ago, my interior-designer-cousin texted me and said, “I thought you might like this.”

Well, THAT was an understatement!

It was a video of a woman using a storage organizing tool. Actually, it was a storage organizing app! Some people call it a personal home inventory app.

My reply to him…

“That is so dang smart!”

“Oh my goodness!!! I’m going to do a post for this!”

“Like, that is AMAZING!”

And what makes it even better, this storage bin organization app is FREE!

The Game Changing Organization Tool App – ToteScan

You are not going to believe how easy this app is to use, and how well it keeps track of your home inventory.

Though there are several home inventory apps available (I’ll share several more options at the end of this post), I decided to go with ToteScan.

photo of smartphone with qr labels and boxes

How Does a Home Inventory App Work?

ToteScan uses QR barcode labels and their free app to keep track of the location and contents of your storage bins. The app has an easy-to-use search feature that will tell you exactly which storage location and which bin your items are in!

Let me show you how it works!

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.

Purchase Affordable Labels and Optional Items

From what I understand, you can make your own QR barcode labels, but for me it’s just easier, time-saving, and economical for me to purchase the ToteScan QR Barcode Labels.

(You can also purchase labels inside the app.)

If you want to do a DIY for the sleeves, you can make your own and learn how to laminate without a machine!

Download the ToteScan App

Go to your app store and download the FREE Totescan App.

best organization tool ever

Open the ToteScan app and follow the directions to setup your Main Profile.

Label Preparation

Remove a label from the label sheet and place it on an index card (I placed it at the end of the card, leaving room for notes on the card at the bottom).

qr barcode labels on index cards

Tap “Scan ToteScan Label” and scan your label. (Note: This happens so fast that I couldn’t get a photo of it!)

Then slip the card inside a self-adhesive sleeve and attach it to your storage bin. If you need to change a label on a bin, this makes is super easy without having the mess of removing a label or stacking labels on top of each other.

best organization tool ever QR label on bin

Choose Title and Location of Tote

At this point, fill in the Title field (“Untitled”) by tapping on the ‘Edit’ button. (Do y’all know how many times I had to change ‘click’ to ‘tap’? Just pretend the photos say ‘tap’. I’m old!)

photo of totescan app screen

And choose the location of the bin (aka Tote) (where it will be stored).

best organization tool ever screenshot of app screen

This is probably my favorite aspect of ToteScan. Because I live in a tiny home, my family has been kind enough to allow me to store items at their garages/homes. So, I can choose “Storage 1” as my sister’s home, “Storage 2” as my brother’s garage, “Storage 3” as my daughter’s garage, etc.

For a larger home with more storage areas, you can choose “Pantry”, “Garage”, “Shed”, etc. And this can be edited at any time!

Add Items to the “Tote”

Now tap on “Add Item” in the upper right corner of the app.

Type in the name of the item. You want this to be brief, but specific… something that your mind will think of to easily search.

Then you can either add a photo of the item from your photo roll, or take a photo of the item(s) as you go!

best organization tool ever screen shots of phone app

Update the quantity (i.e., you may have two candle rings, or three bells).

And, if you like, you can even add more info at the bottom of the screen. (I haven’t tried it, but I bet this is searchable, too!)

Then tap on “Save” in the upper right corner.

photo of totescan app screen

You will now see a line under the Tote’s main screen with the item and photo. I know, jaw-dropping, right?

To add more items, simply tap on “Add Item”, and repeat!

You can tap on any item to see a photo and details of the item.

screen shot of phone app with candle photo

View the Contents of Any “Tote”

To view the contents of a “Tote”, simply scan the QR barcode label from the My Totes screen, and the list will populate.

best organization tool ever screenshot of app screen

Voila! (Again… it scans so fast, I can’t get a pic… you’ll just have to trust me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Search for an Item in a “Tote”

You can search for a specific item on your My Totes screen or within a specific “Tote”.

best organization tool ever
Search through ALL totes

photo of totescan app screen
Search through a specific tote

Fully Editable

The ToteScan storage organizing app is fully editable (at least from what I can see). Storage locations, tote title, item descriptions, everything!

ToteScan Updates

Now don’t forget, apps are ALWAYS getting updates, and it’s not different with ToteScan. Since this post was first written, there has been and update, AND I’ve added more information on how to use ToteScan on my post that includes the best Christmas storage solutions! Be sure to check it out for more screen shots and directions! It’s even better!

More Home Inventory Apps You Might Like

Here are some additional home inventory options that have either less options or more… take a look and see if these might be a better fit for you:

Have you heard of the Happy Planner? Take a look at this guide to Happy Planner disc sizes.

The Best Organizing Tool EVER Really is the Best

Well, that’s MY opinion about ToteScan! It really seems to me to be the best organizing tool ever. What do you think? Would this home inventory storage app be a game-changer for you, like it is for me?!

If you are already using a storage bin organizing app, share with me in the comments which one YOU use!

signature updated 2022

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  1. This is so cool! I’m literally drowning in stuff and can never find what I’m looking for (or forget I have it all together!) Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for the recommendation, Julie. I donโ€™t have a problem with seasonal stuff – all our holiday decorations are in bins and labeled. Itโ€™s the other decorative stuff we use in between holidays that I forget where I stored them – my green vintage bottles or blue candles. I will definitely have to check this app out. Sounds interesting.

    1. Wow, I’m impressed that you can keep track of Christmas decor that easily! I hope it comes in handy for other decor!

  3. Holy moly! I am so doing this! Even though I claim my storage unit is ultra organized and manually labeled, this IS a game changer. To be able to scan and see what contents are in a tub without trying to figure out my own handwriting or abbreviations I’ve used in the past is PRICELESS. Thank you!

    1. Right?!!! It’s a crazy amazing organizing app! And so easy to use! (I’m glad I’m not the only click-to-tap person. LOL!)

  4. What an awesome app! I just bought more storage bins and can’t wait to try this out. I always feel so disorganized not knowing what’s in each bin. Thanks, Julie!

  5. Wow, Iโ€™ve never heard of this and I currently wish Iโ€™d had it when I packed everything away from last spring. Iโ€™ve been digging through boxes all morning still havenโ€™t found what Iโ€™m looking for. Lol.

    1. Well, now is the time to start, since you have bins open! I even took photos of things IN the bins, as I put them in (especially with my florals!)

    1. It’s actually fun to use, and helps me feel accomplished… I wanted to empty and repack all my bins at once, which doesn’t work in a tiny apartment! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Oh.My. Gosh! This is BRILLIANT! I have SO much stuff between decor, and inventory, and staging stuff, and then we also do Christmas decor for commercial projects and pack them up at the end of the season…this would be ah-MAY-zing and a total game changer!! Thank you THANK YOU for sharing, Julie.

    1. Yep… this is perfect for attic storage! No more losing things and having to buy them again (like Shawna pointed out in the comments). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. This is cool, Julie! I have already told one friend about it. Do you happen to have a link to the video of the woman using the app? I might have missed it as I skimmed through some of your post (Not because it was boring-I was just in a hurry!). I looked one up on YouTube but Iโ€™m not sure if itโ€™s the same one.

    1. Cathy! So fun to see your comment here! I actually don’t have the video… my cousin sent it to me, but it wasn’t instructional (and it was a different app the didn’t have labels available on Amazon… they were out). Maybe I should make a quick video? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. That is what I understand. But you need to know how to create QR codes and then print them yourself. For me, it’s actually more time-saving and money-saving to purchase them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I have a question about the app. I checked the labels on Amazon it said to use your Echo Dot to scan the labels which I don’t have so I thought I was out of luck. Then I noticed they have the labels to scan with an Android phone. Do you know if the app works with labels? Sincerely Barbara Jones

    1. I need some clarification, Barbara? Are you asking if you can use the ToteScan labels with your Android? They can totally be used with an Android device, if that is what you are asking. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Oh my gosh! I am so excited to find this tool! We have so many items stored away in plastic bins but finding the right bin has been a real chore. This will be SO HELPFUL so that we can finally locate the correct bin (much less the correct content). I’ve already downloaded the app and we’ll soon be opening those bins so we can correctly mark them. Thanks so much for sharing this~

    1. Ellen, I’m SO glad this will help you so much. It certainly helped me when I went on the hunt for my fall items! Enjoy!

  10. So it sounds like you had a great time using this system when you packed your things up for storage. How has it been looking for things to UNpack this year?

    1. Hi, Elle! I’m glad to report that finding items this year has been a breeze! I KNEW I had some spray flock/snow in a bin, but wasn’t sure which one. I simply searched the app for “spray snow” and it came up! Told me which bin it was, and I had the bin right there in front of me! This happened several times with different items. Also, I decided to reorganize a little as I went along, and place some items in different bins. Each item has the option to “move” to a different bin, too! You just tap the time, at the bottom, is has the option to ‘move’. You tap ‘move’ and then you scan the bin you want to move it to! SUPER easy! Love this organizing tool more each year! I may just need to write an update post!

  11. I have used Pack n Track since we moved from Northern California to Chicagoland in 2019. For an OCD peล•fectionist, it’s been awesome! Unfortunately, Pack n Track is being discontinued, so I probably will follow your recommendations and try Totescan. Thanks!

    1. Great, Scott! Let me know what you think! I’m hoping to do an update post after Christmas, as I’ve learned some options in the app since this original post!

  12. Hi, Julie! Where has this barcode organizing system been all my life?! I was super inspired by your dedication to organization and working smarter! I would love to invite you to link up your project at Whimsy Home Wednesdays to inspire others and have a chance to be featured.

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