Peanut and Pumpkin returned to school last week. The return of school means the return of after school activities. From soccer and running club to piano and guitar, we are now on the run! I don't know about you, but for us, times of transition tend to result in more items lost and forgotten.
What can you do about all of these items that end up misplaced, left behind, or borrowed and accidentally taken home by the wrong person? We used to just write them off as a loss. No one knew who the pencil/shoe/lunchbox/sweatshirt belonged to, so people would take it with the best of intentions of finding the rightful owner. More often than not, it wouldn't happen. Even when an item ends up in the lost and found at school, it is rare for the owner to return to claim it. Often, they'll check when they first lose it, and it won't be there yet. Once it is returned, the child will have forgotten, gotten a replacement, or just got caught up in the craziness of life and neglect to check again.
The best way to make sure you get your items back is to have them clearly labeled with your name. A lost item with an unknown owner will result in minimal effort in creating a happy reunion. People are just too busy to search long and hard, especially when there isn't really a huge benefit for them. However, if someone knows who something belongs to, the effort required is minimal to return it safely home. We used to just use a Sharpie to label our important items. Unfortunately, Sharpie wears off. It does it so subtly that you don't even realize that your label is unreadable until it is too late. I knew there had to be a better way, but I was too busy to figure out what it was.
Then, several years ago, we discovered Mabel's Labels. My grandmother was in a nursing home and many of her items seemed to disappear from her room or wouldn't come back from the laundry. We looked online and found that Mabel's Labels makes Tag Mates labels. Tag Mates are sticky labels for clothing. No ironing required! We ordered some and loved them so much that we started to think about using them for school items as well.
Mabel's Labels has labels for just about anything you'd want to keep track of. You can buy items individually (if you only need shoe labels, for example), or you can buy them in bundles. Personally, I love the Tween Pack and the Stylish Scholars Combo. The Stylish Scholars Combo has over 100 labels in various sizes and shapes that are most practical for labeling your every day school items. The designs are attractive and fun, and would work for any age. We ordered a Stylish Scholars Combo with our last name so that the girls could share one pack. There are more than enough labels for them to share, and we still have some for items that need to be labeled throughout the year. We may even have enough for next year. The Tween Pack only has 25 labels, but they are so much fun, that they make a great back to school gift for your child that wants to express his/her unique personality with their labels. We ordered a Tween Pack a couple years ago. Because these labels are so unique, the girls use them sparingly. They place these labels on items like a binder that will be used all year, and can be used again in the future. Items like pencils or pens get a Skinny Mini label from the Stylish Scholars Combo.
Since we've started using Mabel's Labels, I'm buying fewer replacement items for Peanut and Pumpkin. I think they may end up paying for themselves over the course of a school year. (I know they did last year!) They also definitely decrease our stress over misplaced and stolen items. We love our Mabel's Labels for keeping track of all our stuff!
*I was sent a Stylish Scholars Combo in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. All thoughts and opinions are mine.