Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Why I Love a Label

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom

I love a label. Love. Love. Love.

  • My grocery store bags, children’s lunch boxes, our water bottles, coolers, and flashlights are labeled with our last name.
  • All of my girls’ uniforms, sweaters and coats have their names in them.
  • When they were littler and their feet closer to the same size, all of Audra’s socks were labeled on the bottom with a letter A to distinguish them from Clara’s socks.
  • My canisters of food staples are labeled with their contents, even though you can easily see into the canisters.
  • The girls and Dan and I have matching hairbrushes and matching nail clippers; matching, that is, except for the big “Mom and Dad” on the items that belong in my bathroom.
  • All the leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer are labeled with the name and date.
  • I label packages of food with the carbohydrate counts in large letters so they’re easier to find and read.
  • My ipod, laptop, cell phone, and Clara’s insulin pump and supply bag are all clearly labeled with contact information on the outside.
  • When I loan out a book, I slap a return address label on the inside cover.
  • One lip balm is labeled “desk.” Another is labeled “bed.” Scissors are labeled “Mom,” “Dad,” and “Kitchen.”
  • All of my garden tools are labeled on the handles – some so long ago that they bare my maiden name.
  • All of my animals have name tags on their collars, the cats as well as the dogs.

These labels help keep me and the family organized, help items to come back to us if they’re lost or misplaced, cut down on waste, and prevent clutter.

Obviously, when many things are labeled, it makes it easier for everyone to find what they’re looking for and to put things back where they belong. Labels help to keep like with like. They help you to find what you want and prevent duplicate purchasing due to “I know it’s here…somewhere.”

Labels also help your lost or misplaced items to be returned to you. Recently Clara and I left her diabetes kit on the floor of a shoe store. (Dummy us!) Fortunately, Clara realized within a few minutes. We hurried back to the store, and the sales clerk was literally calling me as we arrived because the bag is plainly labeled “Diabetic Supplies” with my name and phone numbers.

Several times a year, we take many of our gardening tools to the girls’ school for big grounds clean up, and it is used by many different folks. Having everything labeled allows it all to get back to us, eliminating the need for replacement purchasing.

All these things are true, but I have to tell you what motivated this post. First a quote from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (or Philosopher’s) Stone by J.K. Rowling. Harry is looking over his school supplies list. First up are the required uniforms:

  1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
  2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
  3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
  4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)

Please note that all pupils’ clothes should carry name labels.

“Please note that all pupils’ clothes should carry name labels.” Oh if reality only mimicked fiction.

I volunteered to take home all the lost and found from my daughters’ school. Not the uniforms that had made their way into the Lost and Found but everything else. I was flabbergasted by what awaited me. First off, let me add that the girls had sorted everything as an end-of-school clean-up chore and had already returned everything that was labeled with a name. I brought home more than 100 items that I had to check over, sort, clean, and donate. 100 items for a school of 120 girls and about a dozen teachers and staff. Currently in my house are a couple of seemingly brand-new swimsuits, a couple of beach towels, a dozen tote bags, at least fifteen refillable water bottles, a dozen books, five or six lunchboxes (one still complete with lunch and full water bottle), a whole host of non-uniform jackets and sweaters, and someone’s special stuffed dog along with her nice hairbrush.

All these items have to be looked for and replaced by their owners (owners’ parents). How much simpler would everyone’s day have been if the items had been labeled to begin with and could have been returned before it was too late?

Is there anything you could label at your house that would make your life easier, more organized, and less likely to create clutter?

* * * * * * *

Today’s Declutter Item

This camera case is no longer useful to us because we sold the damaged camera for parts on ebay.

Camera Case

Something I Am Grateful For Today

My son Liam handed in his last uni assignment in for the semester and all of last semesters unfinished work is also complete and handed in.. Now he can have a nice break for four weeks and return with a normal work load next semester. At last life post accident can return to normal. It is amazing how that time (9 months)has flown and how well he has recovered. Thanks again everyone for your well wishes during that frightening period in our lives, your support was a Godsend.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

 


Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Day 195 Computer clutter I don't usually write about computer clutter in my blog as it is not really an area of expertise for me. However I am going to mention it today because it can be a problem for some. I […]

Comments

  1. Great post, Cindy. Some of the things you mention are ones I have never thought about but can see now that it would be a big help.

    Could you tell us more about how you label different types of articles, too? Such as those nail clippers – what do you use for a label? Or for items in the freezer? What works best for you? Thank you.

  2. Cindy, this is such a great post. I agree with you about labels. Now if I could only get Mom to agree. Grin.

    Colleen, I’m so glad to read that Liam is all caught up and has a 4 week break. He is doing so well and that’s a big answer to prayer.

    • Thanks Deb J, he will have no excuses from now on not to do his best work. I am glad the period is behind us now and life to return to normal.

  3. Cindy, i too love to label!! and in this parralell universe that we seem too be living in, i too am the lost and found monitor. Last year i was amazed at what parents didn’t bother to even scrawl their childs name in, even with a biro pen. I never actually counted the items ( i will this year 🙂 ) but amongst them where items of uniforms, practically new, odd shoes?? I don’t mean plimsoles, proper leather school shoes. Underwear, bath towells, designer jackets.. i could go on!!

    Out of interest are you a list maker too? And what do you use to label?
    Love your daughter’s name, my daughter was nearly called Clara, but Claudia was the closest that my husband and i could agree on 🙂

    Sharron x

  4. Cindy, This is an awesome ‘weekly wisdom’! Ok, now you have to tell all of us in reader-ville-land HOW you label (for example, like Jo asked about nail clippers & freezer items…). How do you label the clothing? I’ve been using a permanent thick tipped marker pen to do that and would like to know what you use (then I mark through name/number data if the item is still in good condition when it is outgrown and we can give it away).

    Cheers!

  5. Thank you, everyone. I do love a label. I see my name and phone number on my laptop, a plastic tub from the craft closet labeled “little sparkly things” and my drinking glass has a green sort of clip on it which means that it’s mine. (We were going through about 10 glasses a day for 4 people. It was making me crazy. The clips I have are intended to be round plastic paperclips, more cute than useful. Everyone in the family picked a color, and that’s your glass. We also have 4 dots that guests can chose from.)

    My main labeling tools are a bunch of Sharpies (permanent marking pens), a label maker, purchased iron-on fabric labels with just our last name on them, and art tape. I write directly on many things, including the nail clippers, water bottles, and lunchboxes. The iron-on labels are for uniforms and clothing. The label maker covers everything else. For leftovers, I have used two systems. The first was just a little colored dot on which I wrote the date. Since then I have progressed to art tape (like masking tape, but it pulls off easier). I slap on a piece of tape on the container and use permanent marker to write the date and what’s inside.

  6. As a school teacher who has a class of 22 children aged 5 I couldn’t agree more with this post!

  7. Hi Cindy.
    wow you really do love labels. Funny that this should be today’s post as just yesterday I was attaching labels to the cords of a Playstation and a DVD player that are not being used at the moment. At least we will know what the cords belong to if ever we need to sort through them.

    At the school that your children go to do they lay all the lost property out on tables periodically and give the children the opportunity to riffle through them for things they may have lost?

    I use your painters tape method on bowls and plates when going to potlucks and the like so they I always get my plate back even it I have to leave early.

    Thanks for another helpful post.

    • The kids and parent are encouraged several times a year to go through what is officially called The Lost and Sometimes Found closet. I also encourage parents to visit it, even if they don’t think they’ve lost anything. I was stunned one day when I walked in to look for a jacket, and the first thing I saw was a hairbrush labeled “Mom and Dad.” Very fishy. What was it doing at school? Well, Clar had been in a play, so she’d taken a brush to school. Audra was using their brush when she was packing her bags and *ta-da* suddenly MY hairbrush is in the school’s lost and found.

  8. Hi Cindy, Seems that I am the only one here who does not like labels.
    I don’t like to disturb the beauty of some objects with letters. (I have a Doctors writing ;-). We are only three in our family and there is never a problem with missing labels. And I can’t remember having lost anything in recent years. (But a friend of mine has labeled everything and permanently loses her stuff. Maybe she isn’t careful anymore just because she labeled everything.)

    Ok I admit there are things I label too. Like books. But you know what? They still don’t come back to me. Today I loan books only if I can do without them.
    But I see your point in labels. And perhaps I will change my mind when I have children myself.

    Colleen, I really like the decluttered design! No more old shoes on top of the page 😉

    • HI Sarah,
      I am glad you like the design, my husband will be pleased.
      I like your reason for disliking label ~ “I don’t like to disturb the beauty of some objects with letters.” ~ that sounds reasonable to me. I must admit I have only half my canisters in the pantry labeled and some of those would be labelled wrong because they empty at times and I change the contents but not the label. That could be a problem if I go away and leave the men here on their own. My mother never labelled things either and even though I was only seven when my little brother was born I remember my dad having a few cooking disasters while she was in the hospital, like icing sugar in the gravy and flour in the peas. why it didn’t occur to my usually intelligent father to taste the ingredient before he used it I don’t know.

    • You don’t like labels? I’m so sad. But, if you’re not having trouble losing things, I guess it works for you!

    • the Other Lynn :

      I agree with you, Sarah, although for different reasons. I hate buying books from the used bookstore with someone else’s name in it, so I don’t put my name in mine. After all, they will probably go back to the bookstore eventually! My kids’ clothes were used by at least two other kids; if we all wrote our names in them, we would run out of room! As they get older, this may change, I will admit (they are 2 & 4). I never thought about labeling hairbrushes and the like; I’ll have to think about that one. Thanks for the post, though!

  9. Speaking of labels, although not sure if Cindy will see this or not, but here goes. I read somewhere (who knows?) that when we have tons of cords going into plugs, we tend to not know what each one is. Most of us buy bread with the little plastic tabs. A way to organize, as well as reuse is those little white tags. Using a Sharpie, write whatever that component is “DVD”, “VCR”, “TV”, etc. Attach said Sharpied tag to appropriate cord. Now, whenever you want to unplug just the VCR, you know which one. 🙂

    • I’ve seen that several times recently Gen, and think it’s really clever.

    • You are going to think this is strange Gen but my son collects those little tabs off the bread packets. He has a friend that did this and used to collect them and give them to her but now he started his own collection. I even picked one up off the street in Seattle when we were there in April which he has kept separate because he misses his beloved Seattle. I am not a lover of collections, they are just clutter to me but at least this one doesn’t take up much space. Knowing my son, if he tires of it he will dispose of it in a heartbeat, probably by giving them all to his friend making her very happy.