If you ask the Mrs. and my two kids, they’ll likely tell ya that I’ve gone label crazy. I wanna label everything. I put a “label maker” label on the label maker (see below). It’s kind of outta hand.
I can’t really be blamed for this unbridled enthusiasm. The Brother P-Touch (along with the financial stipend it came with) is a wide open door to organizational utopia. Admittedly, my expectations may be a touch too high. But you see, I so want to be organized. The toy room was the first to get the treatment. Two guesses as to why. Hint: one is a Bear, the other a Mouse.
I bought colorful plastic totes to house the previously scattered collections of: My Little Ponies, Mr. Potato Head, Littlest Pet Shop, Squinkies, Wizard of Oz figures, Zhu Zhu Pets, and other toy lines we’ve adopted over the course of our first 7+ years of parenthood. I paired the virgin plastic up with a myriad of recycled shoe boxes – because I’m trying to do my part, ya know? Each tote and box got a label – white ink on pink paper, so sweet! – and got lined up on the bottom of the bookshelves and on the floor next to bookshelves in a giant tower replicating a famous Italian one.
The Mouse can’t read yet but she can sound out the beginning of words, so when the buckets are dumped all over the floor, and let’s be real: they will be before long (aaaaaagh!), both children will know where this Squinkie and that Pony are to be redeposited when playtime is over. No excuses. And no mercy for non-compliance. I have labels and I’m not afraid to use them!
In addition to the toy buckets, I also bought some new label-worthy organizational items for the Bear’s pretend one-room schoolhouse. She’s now got an easy to reach, hanging 3-compartment folder system for homework (she is relentless with the take-home work!), completed assignment sheets, and workbooks she distributes in class for silent/morning work. Work, work, work! Sheesh.
The Brother P-Touch has so many snazzy embellishment options that you can be paralyzed with indecision and/or left scratching your head when confronted with the gigantic directional foldout. As you can see below there are flourishes for most every occasion and temperament; leaves, stars, & hearts are just the beginning. This is one of the ways little kids can get excited about organization with a Brother P-Touch. Let them pick which features to use, let them peel the backs off the labels, and help affix to the storage boxes (note: if you are totally anal like the Mrs. and I about symmetry and straightness of bumper stickers, labels and such you may NOT want the children to help with the sticking-on portion of this activity. just sayin’.)
So the toys and the play school got straightened up thanks to our Brother P-Touch. And my office space did too! A little bit. I now have a well-labeled business receipt case using black ink on clear labels. So if the IRS should come-a-knockin’ I’ll be all organized with my business travel and expenses. Because I’ve gotta keep all of my Grammy Awards Weekend receipts together, now don’t I?
We’ve still got more to do, namely with the wifey’s photos and scrapbooks. That involves redesigning a closet to include storage solutions for all of her supplies. That isn’t complete yet. Heck, that project hasn’t even been started yet but the vision is there and without a doubt, labels will be involved in the finished product.
The exciting part of all of this, in addition to the obvious benefit of a more compartmentalized homelife, is that the kids got jazzed about the process. Yeah, buying hot pink labels and pastel-shaded bins helped (I’m no dummy) but they also fancy the idea of everything in it’s right place (go ahead and sing that line if you’ve got some Radiohead in your music library). Time will tell what lasts longer; the labels or the children’s enthusiasm. Smart money’s on the Brother, not the sisters.
I’ll be back in the Spring with a follow up on this project!
*Note: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Brother P-Touch and received product and a gift card to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.