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5 Tips I Learned from Labeling My Life with Mabel

standard September 9, 2011 2 responses

So, I might have an addiction to confess to.

OK. If we count my addiction to sticky hanging hooks, I have two, but I’m not ready to talk about that one yet.

Instead, I shall spill all about my label addiction.

More specifically my Mabel’s Labels addiction.


My love affair started with Mabel years ago when I got my first set of  labels for C. Suddenly instead of sloppy Sharpie markings in all her sweaters she had nicely labeled clothing.

I might have gone a little label happy. Pretty sure I labeled a Happy Meal toy once.

With two kids in two different schools and one daycare, a mom who travels more and more, and an out of control chaotic life, my labels (and yes, my sticky hanging hooks) are the only things that make me feel like I’m a little in control.

We have labels on:
– Anything techy – phone, iPad, DS, Mobigo, cameras, computers, chargers… you name it, it’s labeled.
– Medication – the kids have asthma inhalers and spacers. All labeled.
– Toys – stuffies, dolls… anything that might be snuck into backpacks and taken to school or daycare.
– Games and movies… – again, anything that might be snuck into backpacks and taken to school or daycare.
– Clothing. – All clothing that goes to school has a label on the tag.
– Big stuff. – I put a label on C’s booster seat this morning. Enough said.

OK, so I haven’t labeled the cat yet. Maybe I can still be saved. (Though now that I think about it… he does hate wearing a collar…) Oh, and the car. The new car doesn’t have a label.

Since that first label-fest I’ve learned a few tips that I’ll gladly pass on to you. Then you can join me in my obsession passion.

1) Make yourself “family” labels. Your eldest will outgrow that jacket and your next child will spend all year explaining why it has a label with the right last name and wrong first name. Labels with just the last name or the words “The So and So Family” are perfect for big ticket items everyone shares or things that will definitely get handed down.

2) Put your shoe labels in the shoes sideways – cute icons towards the inside. Kids can learn to put shoes on the right foot by making the icons “touch.”

3) Keep your labels in the car. Seriously. I know I live in my car, but I’m 99% more likely to remember to label a new jacket/toy/etc just as I’m dropping off the kids rather than in the chaos of leaving the house.

4) Think longevity. Sure your 2-year-old loves princesses today, but that camera/bag/game is going to be around for a while. You’re also not going to use up all your labels right away. So, when she’s 4 and pink princesses are no longer all the rage, she’s not going to be as thrilled with those labels any more.

5) Label all the pieces. The top and bottom of that lunchbox container. The case and the device. Both mittens. Really. Kids don’t misplace things logically.

Now go forth and label. You can thank me when your kid is the only one who doesn’t lose fourteen sweatshirts this year.

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2 responses

  • Great ideas for labeling things. I keep a roll of tape in our cars, gonna add mabel’s labels to the car stash. Thanks for the tips!

  • Mabel’s Labels peel off pretty well too. I take the labels off after everyone outgrows clothes and before giving them to charity, and so far, all the labels have come off. Even the shoe labels!

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