Monday Musings: Does labeling make sense?

Ok – true confession #2 on this blog: while I am really great at organizing events, I would hate for anyone to see the messiest room in our home.

It used to be our bedroom. I got that in order so that I could sit at my desk and write notes, and because it REALLY needed to be done.  Aside from the piles of things on the desk, there had been a 6′ banquet table in our bedroom since last November.  It became the collection point for all things around the house that didn’t have a place, and I didn’t want to deal with at the moment that I was picking them up. And it was a disaster…by that I mean that I was using the tabletop *and* the space below it.  I don’t have a picture.  Even if I did, you wouldn’t see it, because I would be too embarrassed to share it. I think you can imagine how terrible it was.

Enter summer vacation.  We got to visit a friend’s new home this summer, and seeing her home completely inspired me to get a handle on the clutter and take back my home.

This mama has practically EVERYTHING in their home labeled.  And not just a label-maker on steriods kind of labeling.  She has taken the time to either hand-write or jetprint tags for every bin or basket in their home.  Then she cuts them out and attaches them to a cute backing paper.  Sometimes it’s a simple pattern-printed or bright color cardstock mat; others are die-cut into cute flower shapes.

All her kiddos have been reading by the time they start kindergarten.  Talk about print-rich environment!!!  Oh My Gosh…lightbulb moment!!  Every day, her children are interacting with letters and words.  It is no surprise that they are reading early – they are tieing physical objects to words every time they take something out or put something away.  I am guessing those letters start to make sense and correlate to sounds after a while, and some very organic learning is going on!!

So when we came back from our summer home, I tackled our bedroom.  I was determined that if this mama could be clutter-free, so could I.  All it takes is a little focus, right?

So my piles disappeared, give-away bags filled up…so did the recycling and the trash.  I made good use of my favorite item at IKEA, these nifty little “S”-shaped hooks to hang up all my bags and clear some shelf space for seasonal clothing items.

Then I hit Otter’s room.  She is the only one still not reading, so I went through and organized all her toys, and then labeled all her boxes and baskets. Next task: label her clothing drawers.

As for the other children,  Puma wants to make her own labels. The boys have labels on their baskets already, courtesy of the embroidery option from PBK.  I will leave their rooms for now, since I have a couple of other rooms in mind…

I  want to label the schoolroom and the kitchen since that is where we spend the most time as a family and both are high-traffic areas for the children.  I also take the time to make every label bi-lingual so that the Sweet Pea Kids are seeing everything in English and Spanish. I have to be patient and double-check all the spellings and accent placements in Spanish. I am giving myself a grace period to get that done – plan is to be close to where I envision by Christmas-time.

Now “that room” is my husband’s office, where there are still 15 boxes of stuff that I haven’t wanted to deal with since we moved our schoolroom last spring.  I promised Puma that we will each do a box a day, and do them together.  She has her own pile of stuff and boxes since she emptied everything in order to move rooms, and we didn’t want to unpack things until her room was painted.  Now it’s painted, so the work of sorting, stashing, and trashing starts on Tuesday.

Wish us luck!! I am looking forward to getting rid of all the boxes, once and for a while, anyway.

What about you? Have you ever thought about labeling around your home? Why did, or didn’t you?