No matter the time of year, it’s always a good opportunity to take inventory of what we have and consider what we really use. Then, we’re able to more efficiently access those things, and with little frustration too.
The holiday season is usually a time of year that this takes place, as we’re going through with the old and making room for the new. It’s a great time to think about how we want to get more organized (or organized in general). It always feels like a new, clean slate. A big part of that organization is going through your clothing and containers…seeing what fits, what matches, etc. And because the holiday season typically has us looking for lost sweaters and jackets more often than not, that organization often includes making sure we have the best labels for clothing and lunchboxes. They’re just a few of the things that can make organization during, or any time of the year, easier.
Things You Should Have on Hand to Get Organized After the Holidays
There are new toys, new clothes, and new gadgets all over your house. You look around and think, “Where is this all going to go?!” Don’t panic- before the holidays even arrive you can have some things on hand that will help you be organized right from the beginning. And hopefully, even stay organized.
Why in the world would garbage bags be needed? Because before the new stuff arrives it always a good idea to get the old stuff out of the house. Once all the holiday presents are opened, the new stuff will merge with the old and you will just have piles and piles of stuff. But getting rid of those old toys and old clothes before the holidays arrive is a great way to make space for all the new things. Here is how you know you should throw it away:
- Clothing- If it hasn’t been worn in over six months (seasonal) or in the past year (non-seasonal), it’s time to get rid of it
- Toys- This is a hard one for many parents because the second you decide to get rid of a toy your child’s Spidey-senses kick in and all of a sudden it’s their favorite toy ever. If there are some toys that your kids just really don’t play with, put them in a bag in a closet for a week or so. If they don’t even notice they are gone, its time to toss them.
Many people’s first instinct is to donate their used items to a local donation center, but some other organizations might be better suited to take your used items, depending on what they are:
- Women’s shelters are great for baby items, maternity items, and toys
- Books to your local library
- Dress for Success for gently used work clothes
- Habitat for Humanity Restore for furniture
- Baby2Baby accepts baby items, baby clothing, furniture, and more
Baskets and Bins
Baskets and bins strategically placed throughout your home make for easy clean-up when the day is done. You can get a variety of colors and styles, which make it easy to keep things tidy and organized.
To create an even more organized space, you can create tags for each basket or bin so that your children can put everything in the correct basket or bin, making it easy for clean-up at the end of the day. If you have non-readers in your home, you can create those tags using pictures instead of words (i.e., a teddy bear for stuffed animals, blocks, images of LEGOs, etc.).
Another great way to keep things organized in your house and out of your house is to label…everything. Labels are a great way to remind everyone in your household exactly where everything belongs and/or who it belongs to. From your clothing to your water bottles all the way down to your kitchen drawers, labels can be used for everything.
Tips for Keeping Yourself Organized in the New Year
It is one thing to get yourself organized so much so that Marie Kondo is impressed. It’s a whole other ballgame to keep up the organization throughout your daily life. Here are a few ways to ensure that you can stick to your neat and tidy household even when life gets busy:
- Bring three things upstairs/downstairs every time– Every time you walk up or downstairs, bring three things that belong there and put them away. This is especially useful with kids’ toys.
- Set a cleaning schedule– and stick to it– Just take a look at Pinterest, and you will find plenty of weekly cleaning schedules that make it easy to break up your cleaning throughout the week.
- Wash dishes and clean counters throughout the day- Clutter usually starts in the kitchen. Make sure your dishes are washed or put in the dishwasher right away instead of letting them pile up in the sink, and wipe down your counters every time you make meals or snacks.
- Get a robotic vacuum– Make this the top item on your holiday list. Just turn that baby on and let it sweep up your floors for you for a constant clean in your home.
- Pick up throughout the day– Don’t wait until the end of the day to clean up. Pick up throughout the day and don’t allow things to stay out if they aren’t in use.
- Make a list of your “to-do’s” that never seem to get done, and spend 5 minutes per day working towards checking every item off that list. These are things that have been looming on your mind to do but you can never seem to find the time (i.e., go through the kid’s clothes, clean out your closet, file important paperwork, wipe down the interior of the kitchen cabinets, etc.).
- Make all the beds every day- Beds that are made make for a much neater home right off the bat.
- Wipe down bathrooms nightly– Put some cleaning wipes in the bathroom and wipe down sinks and faucets every evening.
- Clean the oven/stove after dinner– Grease and grime quickly make the house look dirty. Wipe the areas down every night after cleaning up from dinner.
- Label bins, drawers, and cabinets for kids toys– Clean up is easier when kids know exactly where things go. Labels can be written or pictures for the youngest kids.
Research has shown that messy houses can make moms more anxious. According to Psychology Today, there are eight reasons why messiness can cause anxiety in a household:
- Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
- Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
- Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
- Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
- Clutter makes us anxious because we’re never sure what it’s going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
- Clutter creates feelings of guilt (“I should be more organized”) and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes or workspaces.
- Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brainstorm, and problem solve.
- Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly (e.g., files and paperwork lost in the “pile” or keys swallowed up by the clutter).
Keeping a neat and tidy home is important. Not only does it look great but it can also reduce the stress levels within your home. And it doesn’t take much to get there- research shows that it only takes three weeks to form a habit. So if you can stick to your organizing tips for just 21 days, you can stick to it for good.
Why You Should Label Your Stuff
Labels are one of the easiest ways to create a more organized home, as well as a more organized life. Labels let everyone know where things go within your home or who things belong to outside of your home. They help with less lost items, and they keep everyone more organized.
Labels are especially helpful for kids. Backpacks, lunch boxes, sweaters, coats, water bottles- all of these seem to get lost within the walls of your child’s school seemingly instantaneously. But having labels on all these items helps your child keep track of their items as well as get their items back to their rightful owners before buying replacements.
Labels can be useful for kids at home, too. They help children know exactly where to put their toys when it’s time to clean up or where their clothes go when it’s time to put away laundry. Labels can also help children keep your home organized because they can help you put things where they belong or help with chores more easily.
20+ Things You Can Use Labels For
There are a variety of things for which you can use labels that will help you and your family stay more organized well past the holiday season:
- Water bottles
- Toy bins and baskets
- Storage containers
- Homemade cleaning supplies
- Shoes (including right and left feet for little ones!)
- Dressers and drawers
- Toys that will be in a communal space (like beach toys or toys taken to the park)
- Preschool mats and blankets
- Daycare items
- Outdoor toys
- Sippy cups
- Sporting goods (baseball helmets, bats, football gear, dance shoes, etc.)
- Camping gear
Different Types of Clothing and Lunchbox Labels
There are several different types of clothing and lunchbox labels available. If your child is sensitive to certain fabrics or materials, you might want to avoid synthetic blends.
- Iron-On Labels: Iron-on labels are the most common type of labels. They can be personalized or written on with a fine-tip marker, and usually just take a little heat from an iron to stay on the clothing.
- Soy: Soy labels are usually made from a cotton-soy blend and are safe for kids who have allergies.
- Organic Cotton: Labels made with organic cotton are often adhesive labels, but they are also a great option for children with allergies
- Sew-On Labels: Sew-on labels are great for those who are afraid the adhesive or iron-on labels won’t do the trick.
- Adhesive Labels: Adhesive labels are great for things like water bottles or bento boxes. Many are made for clothing, too, but they sometimes lose their adhesiveness over time and can be easily removed.
Best Labels for Clothing and Lunchboxes
These iron-on labels are made with a cotton and polyester blend. They can be used for jackets, t-shirts, backpacks, toy bins, and more. They are easy to adhere, too- just 15 seconds with a hot iron, and they can withstand washings at 140 degrees and the hot area of your dryer.
These clothing labels are a great thing to have on hand when you are creating labels for all different needs and people. The strong adhesive sticks to clothing and are washable. They can be used on sports gear, clothing, baby items, kids items, and at home to help you stay organized around the house.
Another set of adhesive labels, these are great for both hard surfaces and fabrics. They are large enough to write important information like name and phone number, but small enough that they don’t take up too much space. They are washer and dryer safe, as well as dishwasher safe. They are waterproof so they are also great for water toys and bathing suits.
If you would rather have some cute labels that are pre-personalized for you with your child’s name or other information, you can do that, too. These labels by Label Time are small enough to put on anything- clothing, water bottles, backpacks, and more. They are fully customizable with a name, color, font, and icon so you can get different ones for each person in your family. They are made with durable 3M stickers so they will stay on even in the wash or the dishwasher.
If you have a little one in daycare or preschool, you know how important it is to label everything. Food, snacks, bottles, milk, formula, blankets, clothing, diapers, wipes, diaper cream- it all has to be labeled. With this daycare pack from Chubbie you can make sure all your baby’s items are properly labeled for school. The labels come in different sizes, too, so you can add more information to different items like clothing or have smaller labels on things like baby bottles. These labels are waterproof, and dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe with an extra layer of lamination to protect them from getting rubbed off or smudged.
If you really want to ensure that your items are safe, one of the best ways to do that is with personalized sew-on labels. These labels are guaranteed not to get smudged or ripped off your clothing over time. They can be personalized with your text, font, colors, and images. But the biggest con to sew-on labels is that they can not be used on any hard surface items like lunchboxes, water bottles, or sporting gear.
These cute princess themed labels are perfect for those who insist they are royalty. And let’s face it, that can be anyone! The adhesive labels that easily stick to your child’s clothing. It can be personalized with your child’s name or other text up to 25 characters. They are perfect for school items or toys.
These adhesive labels by Glibins are made to stick on your clothing’s garment tags or on the branded ink stamp on tables clothing. They are also perfect for har surfaces like water bottles, sporting gear, hard toys, camping gear, bikes, scooters, and more. They are washer and dishwasher safe, too. They can be personalized with your child’s name, your family name, or other text.
These sweet fire truck labels are the perfect labels for your little guy. They are safe for clothing and other fabrics and surfaces, and can be washed in the washing machine without coming off. You can personalize with your child’s name or other important information. They are perfect for daycare, school items, or toys.
Who says labels just have to be for clothing or other goods? Labels can help keep your family organized within your home, too. These peel-and-stick wardrobe labels from IARTTOP will help your littlest family remember where all their clothing goes. The convenient image-based labels are great for kids who can’t yet read the words to the labels. The decals are removable and they won’t leave sticker marks when removed. They are made with durable vinyl and can be placed on any hard surface like a dresser, wardrobe, or even a wall. They are great for your child’s room or for a preschool classroom with a dramatic play area.
Getting your home neat and organized is a great way to start off the new year. Keeping your home organized is a whole other story, though. Research has shown that moms are less stressed when their homes are tidy, so keeping things neat is important. Using some of these tips and investing in things like labels for your children, your personal belongings, and your home will help you create a clean, organized environment that your whole family can enjoy.
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