I do love to sort things out. But it’s a sad fact that things which are sorted out have a strange tendency to un-sort themselves. For ages I have happily blamed Oli for this, accusing him of spending his time purposefully undoing the lovely storage and sorting systems I have created.
But it occurred to me recently, as I was hauling open a drawer, and wondering whether the pyjama bottoms in it belonged to Rosa or to India, that actually, it may not be entirely his fault. And I realised (with the kind of flash of inspiration that I seem to be reserving for the blindingly obvious at the moment. I blame baby brain) that in a house of two adults, three children, and one cleaner, it is just NO GOOD organising things if the receptacles into which they are organised are only recognisable to me. It’s not helpful. If I forget which is the basket for the charity shop, and which is the shelf for the single sheets as opposed to the double sheets, then what hope does anyone else have?
I realised that from here on in, labels would be my friend. And I turned my attentions firstly to the chest of drawers in the girls’ room.
Remember this? It was no longer needed by my aunt and uncle, and gratefully received by us. The drawers are just a little bit ill-fitting, and in an ideal world, I would like to paint it, perhaps a funky colour like a leafy green, or bright turquoise. But here we are in our less than ideal world, the time available to me for repainting is precisely zero, and it has ten lovely drawers to hold tonnes of clothing belonging to small children. Perfect.
Perfect, that is, apart from the constant question about what belongs where. Not helped by my periodic reorganising of the drawers, as the quantities of different types of clothes ebb and flow, depending on the vagaries of growth spurts, hand-me-downs and the Boden sale.
I had a good read of this blog (so happy! So very, very American!) where she gives lots of details about how to make your own labels. And as with so many detailed sets of instructions about how to do things, I found that all the various steps described (Excel! Print! Mount! Laminate!…) made me feel like putting away the laptop, and having a little lie down. Besides which, I knew that I would want to change things around so I needed something that was, if not exactly temporary, certainly easy to change.
Something nagged at my memory, and I returned to my pinterest boards where I found the answer. Chalkboard labels! Of course. I could stick them on the drawers, buy a chalkboard pen (who knew such things existed?) label the drawers, and just wipe the labels and change them around if I needed to. A quick hunt found me some from a UK seller, here on ebay, and I was away.
Obviously even with such a small job there was a problem with all this. And that problem is rather beautifully illustrated by poor Persephone’s cross face in the picture above, namely the constant presence of various small children. But I managed to distract the children, write the labels, and stick them onto the drawers.
I love them. I can’t say how much I love them. I think the flute-y shape of the labels is inobtrusive, but attractive. And although I just used my neatest ‘maybe I should have been a primary school teacher‘ writing on them, I love the way it looks. In my generally optimistic way, I wonder whether the labels will give Rosa a bit of extra, purposeful reading practice, too?